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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

FD focuses on smoke alarms

By Matt Zapotosky
Matt Zapotosky

Acting Prince George's Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor has initiated a program to have firefighters or other community representatives try to knock on every door in the county in the next six months to alert residents to the necessity of working smoke alarms.

The initiative, announced at a press conference at the District Heights fire station Friday, comes in response to a fatal fire New Year's Day fire at a two-story home that apparently had no working smoke alarms. Bashoor said that fire in the 2700 block of Fairlawn Street in Temple Hills appears to have been started accidentally by a space heater, and investigators are still working to identify the man who was killed.

"In the fire service, we take any fatality personally, but this is especially poignant for me as the first fire fatality under my watch," Bashoor said, adding that smoke alarms likely could have prevented the death.

Bashoor said as part of his initiative, firefighters themselves would be instructed to knock on residents' doors when they are in neighborhoods for various non-emergency calls, and he would partner with churches and other community groups to get those people to knock on doors. The goal, he said, is to hit every door -- either directly or indirectly -- in six months.

By Matt Zapotosky  | January 7, 2011; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Fires & Fire Safety, Matt Zapotosky, Pr. George's  
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