Maryland Firefighters and Paramedics Team Up With Area Schools to Make Pledge

Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) have joined together to ensure that 4th grade students pledge to learn the basics of smoke alarm safety. The department will challenge all HCPSS 4th grade students to take the “Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge” now through October 3, 2014.

“It’s simple – smoke alarms help save lives. We know that the risk of dying in a house fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “I challenge not just our 4th graders, but all our residents to take the ‘Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge.’ Take the time to sit down with your family to discuss the importance of smoke alarms and create a family fire escape plan. Together we can help ensure everyone makes it out alive.”

Students who take the pledge will agree to check all smoke alarms in their homes on a monthly basis and also replace smoke alarm batteries twice a year. Additionally, the pledge states that students should have parents replace any smoke alarms that are more than ten years old. Alarms should be placed on every floor of the house, including hallways as well as inside and outside of every bedroom. Students will also create and regularly practice a fire escape plan with their family.

“We are invested in the well-being of our students and their families. The Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge gives 4th graders a chance to take on a leadership role in helping their families stay safe. I encourage all of our students to get involved,” said Howard County schools superintendent Renee A. Foose.

To fill out the pledge form, students should have a parent, teacher, or guardian log onto www.hcdfrs.org and key in the student’s name, school name, date, and age. Students should also take a few minutes to read the Fire Safety information in PDF above the form. This will officially allow them to take the “Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge.”

The contest will be judged by the school with the highest percentage of pledges, according to the total student body population. One 4th grade unit in the county will be selected as the winner during Fire Prevention Week, which runs October 5th – 11th. Winners of the pledge contest will receive Chick-fil-A coupons and a visit from Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard.

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