Saturday, January 6, 2018

Fireplace Safety 101

When is the last time you had your chimney inspected? Fireplaces can add extra heat in the winter, but if they're not properly maintained, they can also become a hazard.
The purpose of a chimney is to carry hazardous gases and smoke out of your home. If chimneys are not cleaned regularly, residue called creosote can build up inside your chimney and catch fire. When you clean your chimney and have it inspected periodically, you help ensure there is a clear pathway for gasses and heat to escape.
If you're planning on curling up in front of your fireplace this winter, keep the following tips in mind to help prevent chimney fires some quick tips:
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a chimney professional. A chimney professional will make sure your chimney is structurally sound and will remove creosote buildup and any other debris (such as animal nests).
  • Only burn dried-out wood - cardboard, trash, or other objects can burn very quickly and the flames can get out of control. Never dispose of a Christmas tree in your fireplace. Like ever. 
  • Never (ever) use flammable liquids! You're not lighting the grill. No charcoal, no lighter fluid, no kerosene, no gasoline. 
  • Keep your fireplace doors opened or cracked when burning a fire, as restricted air supply can cause creosote buildup.
  • Stay on the lookout for signs of chimney fires. Indications of chimney fires include dense smoke and a loud rumbling noise (often compared to a freight train). If you think you have a chimney fire, get everyone safely out of your home and call 911. Never attempt to fight the fire yourself. 
  • It is important to note that some chimney fires are slow-burning and may not make loud noises or have lots of smoke. These can cause damage to your home as well and weaken the structure of your chimney.
  • Important: COOL your ashes and then CAN your ashes. Embers from fires can retain heat and reignite for days after the original fire
  • Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are WORKING. We're not kidding when we say that carbon monoxide is the "silent killer"and you MUST keep those carbon monoxide detectors in good shape.  
  • Working smoke alarms? We know - you're too smart not to have them in your home and that you test them as often as you check your phone.
  • Chimney fires often lead to house fires. It's important to follow safe fire-burning practices and keep regular maintenance on your chimney.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Need Help With Your MCFRS Firefighter Application?

The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service (MCFRS) is hiring and accepting applications for the position of Firefighter/Rescuer I (Recruit) through January 6, 2018 at midnight. 

This recruitment will be used to establish eligibility for a Recruit Class that will tentatively begin in September or October, 2018. Applications will only be accepted on-line. MCFRS Firefighter/Rescuers receive outstanding benefits, including a 20-year retirement with no age limit, group health and life insurance, tuition assistance, pay differentials, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave.

If you have applied for the position of Firefighter/Rescuer I (Recruit) previously, you MUST reapply to be considered.

Have questions? We can help!

1.  How do I create my Account? Can you give me step-by-step instructions?
Yes! Click hereLink

2. I created my account, but still can’t apply.  What should I do?
Make sure that you have waited at least 30 minutes after creating your account to apply.  Make sure that you are logged in when trying to apply.  Follow these instructions:
  1.  Log into your account
  2. Click on the word "employment"
  3. On the search panel, highlight "public safety"
  4. Hit go.
  5. Find the position. (IRC28202)
  6. Click on the vacancy number (IRC28202)
  7. Scroll all the way to the right.
  8. Click on the "apply" button

3. I applied, but didn’t get a confirmation email.  How can I check my status?
  1. Log into your account
  2. Click on the vacancy number (IRC28202)
  3. You should be able to see your status. It should say “active application.”
  4. If yes, you have successfully applied and no additional information is needed.
  5. If no, please make sure that you applied for the position and clicked on the “submit” button.
  6. If you continue to have problems, contact:
4. I received an error message when I tried to input an employee as my referral source.
How can I fix this?

1. Send an email to
2. Include the following information:
    a. Your Last name and Your First name
    b. The name of the employee that referred you to the job announcement 
        (only 1 person can be listed). Include Last Name and First Name
    c. Your Information will be updated within 1-2 business days.
    d. An email confirmation will be sent to you as a confirmation of the change.

5. Do I need a resume?
A resume is not required for this position so you do not need to upload one. If this document is needed later in the application process, you will be provided with specific instructions on how to upload.

6.  I forgot something on my application. Can I make an edit?
Unfortunately, you cannot edit your application once it is submitted. If you need to have your application updated with your college credits, you must send an official transcript from your university before the closing date to the contacts listed at the bottom of this page. Once received and verified that you have 30 or more credits, your application will be updated. Again, an official transcript from your university MUST be received BEFORE the application period closes. 

7. I can't make any of the dates for the entrance exam. What do I do?

There are no alternate dates for the entrance exam.

8. Any special order when inputting my name?

Your name must be last name then first name.

9. I need HELP!!!
We understand and are here to help you. For any OHR and computer access (registration and Job Vacancy Portal) concerns contact: Jacquelyn Anderson Montgomery County Government OHR (Office of Human Resourses) at:

For any Fire and Rescue, hiring press release and job description related questions please contact: Captain O’Neal Johnson Jr. Montgomery County MD Fire & Rescue Service Recruiting Manager at: or via cell at 240-454-1533.