Fire Chief Bashoor presented a Unit Citation on Thursday, March 12, 2015, to CHVFD members and career staff who participated in the 2014 CHVFD Door-to-Door Smoke Alarm Campaign. During the campaign crews would install new 10-year long life battery smoke alarms and provide literature on the importance of home fire escape plans and working alarms.
Through this campaign, we installed over 900 alarms in homes within our community. A little over 10% of the homes had no working smoke alarms and over 30% had alarms that were not operational. This included alarms that were outdated, non-working, with dead batteries or that had no batteries at all.
The 2014 smoke alarm campaign was made possible with Fire Prevention and Safety grant from FEMA/DHS. This is the second Fire Prevention and Safety grant from FEMA/DHS that the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department has received. The first award in 2007 provided funds for Fire Safety House 5, which is used at events in Capitol Heights and throughout Prince George’s County.
The department saw first-hand the effect of our work in late 2014. On the morning of November 7, 2014 firefighters responded to a fire in the 400 block of Xenia Avenue in Capitol Heights, Md. Upon arrival they found smoke showing and smoke alarms sounding. The family had escaped from the home after being alerted by 10-year long life battery smoke alarms that we installed this past June. Prior to the installation of these alarms, there were no alarms in this home. Residents were able to escape, call 911, which alerted firefighters and helped them stop the fire from progressing. The outcome of this fire could have been tragic, without these working smoke alarms.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “operable smoke alarms substantially reduce risk of death in residential fires; and property losses are significantly less.”
This incident reinforces the goals of this project and remind us that there is always more work to do to keep our neighbors safe. We will continue our pro-active efforts to prevent tragedies from occurring.
For residents that were not home at the time of our visit 2014, we left a tags with our contact information. If we didn’t meet and you would like to schedule a visit, please call the firehouse at 301-336-2111 or E-mail [email protected]. We plan to canvass the area of London Woods townhouses on May 16, 2015 starting at 9:30 am.