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Keyword: carbon monoxide

Show Airs on Cable Channel 25 and Online

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” features an interview with newly appointed BCPS Superintendent Verletta White, the County’s new College Promise program and a major fire safety initiative.

Smoke and CO Alarms Save Lives – Is your home safe? Find out about County Fire crews offering free home safety visits, and smoke/CO alarms for eligible residents.

Baltimore County’s College Promise Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis explain how the County is making CCBC tuition-free for eligible students.

BCPS Superintendent Verletta White – Hear firsthand from the newly appointed Superintendent of Schools about her priorities and student-centered approach to creating safe and effective learning environments.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page. In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Fire Crews to Canvass Neighborhoods Offering Education and Safety Resources

A $589,000 federal grant will help Baltimore County fire officials provide public education about preventing fires and carbon monoxide-related incidents, especially in neighborhoods at higher risk from these tragedies.

Fire officials, along with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, kicked off the program this morning at the Randallstown home of Theodore and Geraldine Barham; the Barhams are the first family to participate in the program.

“This grant is going to help us save lives,” Kamenetz said. “Working smoke/CO alarms prevent tragedies, and yet so many families in our communities don’t have them or don’t know how to use them.”

About the Program

Several months ago, BCoFD received the most significant federal fire safety grant in years, a $589,000 award issued under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Prevention and Safety program. Under the terms of the grant, the County contributes 5 percent, or $29,452.

“We know that detectors save lives, but telling people to use them isn’t enough – and we know from experience that installing detectors doesn’t necessarily mean they are working,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “This federal grant will enable local firefighters to make house calls to ensure residents not only have detectors, but that they will work when needed. This is exactly the type of common sense investment in public safety that our constituents expect us to prioritize.”

The grant includes the purchase of smoke/CO alarms for distribution to residents who participate in the educational program and meet the program criteria. The grant also includes smoke and CO alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing and printed educational materials in multiple languages.

“Our goal is to help people take charge of their own home fire and CO safety,” said Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III.

Fire crews from every career station have been identifying areas in their districts at risk of fire and CO-related incidents. Beginning Saturday, April 14, Fire personnel will begin canvassing targeted neighborhoods, providing educational information, evaluating properties for safety recommendations and performing walk-through evaluations for residents who request them. Volunteer stations will be invited to assist with these events and specific locations will be announced via the County's social media platforms prior to the firefighters’ visits.

County Council Chair Julian E. Jones Jr., a veteran fire professional, praised this initiative. “After 32 years in the fire service, I know that prevention and early warning are critical in preventing injury and loss of life, and I enthusiastically support this proactive effort by the County to get modern smoke and CO detectors into homes,” he said.

Requesting a Visit

Residents may request a visit from Fire personnel to review home fire and CO safety prevention. A request form is available at

Program Will Provide 20,000 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Homes

The Baltimore County Fire Department (BCoFD) recently received its most significant federal fire safety grant in years -- a $589,000 award that will be used to establish a smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm educational program. Fire officials expect to launch the program – still in the planning stage – early in 2018. The County Council accepted the grant, issued under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Prevention and Safety program, earlier this month.

“This grant is going to help us save lives,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “So many fire and carbon monoxide tragedies are preventable with working alarms, yet there are communities in Baltimore County where many homes still don’t have them.”

Under the terms of the grant, the County must contribute five percent of the grant award, or $29,452. BCoFD has begun the process of purchasing 20,000 smoke and CO alarms for installation in homes that meet the program criteria. The program will target neighborhoods at higher risk from fire and CO-related incidents.

Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III said fire personnel from every career station will assess their districts to identify areas in need of targeted fire and CO safety education. Residents will be able to request individual walk-through inspections and smoke/CO alarm installation through an online request form on the County website.

Once the program is underway, targeted communities can expect to see fire personnel periodically canvassing neighborhoods, providing educational information, evaluating properties for safety recommendations and performing walk-through evaluations for residents who request them. Volunteer stations will be invited to assist with these events.

Educational materials distributed as part of this program will be provided in multiple languages, thus meeting the needs of all our constituents. In addition to funding for the smoke and CO alarms, this grant also will support the purchase of alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Winter and Holiday Fire Safety

The heart of the winter season, Preis said, is the right time to make sure alarms are in working order and properly placed. The risk of residential fires is greatest during the winter months due to heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles. Chief Preis stressed that the new program does not mitigate residents’ responsibility to make sure their homes are properly equipped with working smoke and CO alarms.

Here are some of the biggest concerns:

Candles - The top four days for home candles fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. Never leave candles unattended. Use sturdy candle holders, preferably ones like a “hurricane” type holder that shield the candle. Keep candles away from flammable items like wrapping paper, curtains and greenery. Consider battery-powered candles.

Live Christmas trees - Christmas tree fires are rare, but when they do occur they are devastating because a dry tree provides so much fuel for fire; such fires often spread so quickly that it’s impossible for people to escape. The fatality rate for Christmas tree fires is far higher than for other home fires. In 2014, a horrific fire involving a dry, 15-foot Frasier fir in an Annapolis home claimed the lives of a couple and their four grandchildren.

Keeping the tree watered is the key to safety. A dry tree is extremely flammable. If your tree’s needles are dry, brittle and dropping to the ground, it’s time for the tree to go.

Electrical fires - One of the most common causes of home fires at any time of year, electrical fires are most commonly caused by overloaded outlets and extension cords and electrical malfunction. During the holidays, overuse of extension cords is a real problem. Minimize the use of extension cords, and do not run cords under carpets. Always follow all manufacturer’s recommendations when using any electrical appliance.

Revised October 16, 2020               
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