This weekend (May 20-21) our Maryland State Fire Marshals, Fire Inspectors and Administrative members of the OSFM in partnership with our local Fire/EMS Departments will be knocking on doors to help support our Statewide Maryland Community Risk Reduction Weekend. As we enter this weekend over 40 Marylanders from across the state have lost their lives to fire and we are asking that all Marylanders come together to ensure that our homes are fire safe and have working smoke alarms installed to help safe guard and alert us when fire is present. You can contact the OSFM for a smoke alarm.
For more information on fire safety call 1-800-525-3124
Many ask how smoke alarms work,….. there are two styles of smoke alarms: Photoelectric and Ionization.
- Photoelectric smoke detectors/alarms are best at detecting large smoke particles from slow, smoldering fires.
- Ionization smoke detectors/alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires. How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates.
Either style of smoke alarm can be used. We ask that if your alarm is more than 10 years old, you should change out the system completely. This applies to both the stand alone battery powered types or the hard-wired type of detector. It is important that you keep these devices properly maintained. If a smoke alarm sounds, react immediately and without hesitation….evacuate the building and dial 911 for help.
Here are the top 5 MOST important items that we ask you to do in order to keep you and your family safe in the event a fire were to breakout in your residence.
- Placement of Alarms: We want you to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, They should be placed outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. We ask that you test them monthly and if you find a problem reach out for help. Replace the alarms if they are 10 years or older. This goes both for hard-wired and battery powered devices.
- Close Before You Doze: At night, make sure all bedroom doors are closed, and be sure to close all doors behind you when you are escaping a fire. This will prevent the spread of smoke and fire throughout your home and give you time to be rescued if trapped by a fire.
- Develop an Escape Plan: Meet with your family and develop an escape plan, have two ways out of every room. Make sure door locks are openable without using a key, and that bedroom windows are operational from the inside. Have a meeting place outside the home so your family can ensure everyone got out. We ask that you practice this plan every 6 months and if you have guests that are staying over inform them as well in case a fire was to occur.
- Get Out and Stay Out: We want you to Get Out and Stay Out always! Once out, NEVER EVER go back inside a burning building! You will not come back out alive.
- Call 911: Once out, make that 911 call immediately to the fire department to get them started as soon as possible. When calling 911, …..stay calm, account for everyone that is with you and give the call taker a clear and complete address to your location. Stay on the line with the call taker as they will ask you questions to help the responding fire department.
If you know someone that requires a Hard of Hearing Smoke Alarm and Bed Shaker please visit: Our Application Process | fabscom-maryland and you can request one to be installed.