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Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

        Jack-O-Lanterns are ushering in Halloween all across the region, as the State Fire Marshal and your Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company recommend several fire and life safety tips to help everyone enjoy a safe Halloween. “Planning ahead can help make this and every Halloween fire safe. Taking simple fire and life safety precautions, like making sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame-resistant, can prevent fires and avoid needless burn injuries” states Fire Marshal Brian Geraci.
          The FVFAC and OSFM provide these sensible Halloween fire safety tips:
·        Pick costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and ensure masks don’t block vision.
·        Consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat containers for greater visibility.
·        Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose materials that will not easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame.
·        Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costume.
·        Use flashlights or glow sticks as alternatives to candles or incandescent lights when decorating walkways or yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters whose costumes may brush against the decoration.
·        Always supervise children as they go trick-or-treating.
·        Remember to keep exits clear of decorations ensuring nothing blocks escape routes from the home.
·        Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothing catches on fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands, roll over and over to extinguish the flames).
·        If you are walking with pets, consider using a leash with reflective material attached.
·        Instruct children who are attending parties at others’ homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out if an emergency would occur.
·        When decorating inside the home, consider using battery operated candles instead of burning regular candles to help eliminate the potential of a fire occurring.
·         Do not overload electrical outlets and extension cords. Excessive use of extension cords may cause overheating and also become trip hazards.
·        Replace frayed, cracked or otherwise damaged electrical cords.
·        Don’t overload electrical circuits.

         (Please use link below to for more info)
The State Fire Marshal offers one additional tip that could well be the most important. “Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  These devices are some of the most effective fire safety tools in preventing injury or death from fire and carbon monoxide,” according to State Fire Marshal Geraci.




NFPA Smoke Alarm Safety Tips

          As daylight savings time ends in the early morning hours of Sunday November 2nd, the Fallston Volunteer Fire & Ambulance Company along with the State Fire Marshal are urging residents to “Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery” in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your homes. Recognizing that working smoke alarms and CO detectors double a family’s chance of surviving a home fire and/or an unsafe carbon monoxide level, the State Fire Marshal says Daylight Savings Time is a great opportunity for families to change the batteries. “This simple step can help us avoid tragedies in the place we should feel the most secure – our homes.”
          A reminder that the new smoke alarm law became effective on July 1, 2013 involving “battery only” smoke alarms used in Maryland residential properties. When these “battery only” smoke alarms have reached their 10-year life span, they need to be replaced with new long-life sealed lithium battery smoke alarms with silence/hush button features. The “silence” or “hush button” feature on these new alarms temporarily disables the alarm so the occupant can ventilate the space if mild smoke conditions occur, such as those typically created during some cooking operations. The use of these alarms also eliminates the need to replace the batteries during the 10 year life of the alarm. (Scroll down to see previous story on this new law)
          The new law also requires homeowners to ensure they have a smoke alarm installed on each floor and in each sleeping area, per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommendations. 
          If your property is protected with 120 volt “hardwired” electric smoke alarms, they also should be replaced every 10 years with new 120 volt smoke alarms w/ battery back-up to ensure proper and timely operation in the event of a fire. 
          Along with working smoke alarms and CO detectors, having and practicing home escape plans are another way you can avoid injury or death in their homes. By identifying at least two different escape routes, families can practice the plan together – before an emergency strikes. Practicing the plan helps educate younger children to the danger of hazardous situations and the importance of recognizing that the sound of a smoke alarm or CO detector signals a potential hazard in the home. “Changing the battery in your smoke alarms and CO detectors, along with developing and practicing a home escape plan, are two of the best ways to protect your loved ones and yourself from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning,” stated Fire Marshal Brian Geraci.
          Please observe the overhead electronic signs as you travel throughout the state this weekend. The FVFAC, Office of the State Fire Marshal and all Marylanders thank the Maryland Department of Transportation and the State Highway Administration for assisting to spread the word about this life saving reminder




FVFAC Engine 1312 supporting Cadet Program Activities

FVFAC Engine 1312 supporting Cadet
      Program Activities

               Did you know that High School Seniors in Harford County are able to learn the basics of firefighting, hazardous materials response, and emergency medical services through their school curriculum? The Harford County Board of Education and the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association have partnered to provide a vocational program for seniors to obtain the entry level training, experience, and credentials which enable students to move forward to a career in emergency services upon graduation from High School. Classes are held each day at the University of Maryland-Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute North East Regional Training Center in Harford County. If you are interested in obtaining additional information on the Cadet Program please contact Mr.John Richter, Cadet Program Coordinator, at or 443-903-8098.




           The Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. (FVFAC) provides Fire Safety Education to many groups throughout the year. October, which is National Fire Prevention Month, is always our busiest time for these visits. Today our members and our HCVFEMS Foundation Paramedic visited Fallston Child Care (FCC) at Fallston Methodist Church to talk with the 2-5 year olds in their Pre-School Program. After speaking with the students, teachers, and parents on topics related to Fire Safety and Prevention the group was given a walk-around tour of Rescue 1351 and Ambulance 1391.

           FVFAC would like to say THANK YOU to the FCC staff for the opportunity to talk with their group about these important topics. Any local group that would like to have FVFAC visit and deliver a Fire and Life Safety and/or Fire Prevention program please contact Lt. Steve Hull by email at    




courtesy of Capt. Jason Tarbell, FVFAC

courtesy of Capt. Jason Tarbell, FVFAC

           At approximately 9:00 A.M. on Saturday October 18, 2014 the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. was dispatched for a motor vehicle crash in the 1800 block of Arabian Way. As units responded Harford County DES Dispatchers provided additional information that the crash involved a vehicle that had struck a building, and that the driver was believed to be trapped in the vehicle. Further information relayed to responding units indicated that the driver was able to self extricate from the vehicle and had left the scene on foot. Ambulance 1391, Rescue 1351, and Chief 13-2 arrived to find a vehicle that had left the roadway, crashed through the door of an attached garage, and exited the rear wall of the garage. Although the occupants of the home were inside the dwelling at the time of the incident, they as well as the driver of the vehicle were not reported to be injured. Representatives of the Harford County Technical Rescue Team and the Harford County Building Inspector were requested to the scene to assess the structural damage prior to removal of the vehicle. The  Harford County Sheriff's Office is handling the crash investigation. 




Paul Harvey's "FIREMEN"

           The FVFAC would like to share this video from one of America's most reknown radio journalists- Mr. Paul Harvey. Harvey was well known for his "pauses" for effect, tales of American life, and down home folksy observations. Please take a few moments to view his thoughts on the Firefighters of America. His observations are as accurate today as they were then!   




courtesy of NFPA

courtesy of NFPA





 The Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company will be hosting a Fire Prevention and Public Safety Open House at our Carrs Mill Road Station on Saturday October 11. Click on the flyer here for more info and watch this space for details!   




             On Monday August 25, 2014 at approximately 8:20 P.M. the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company (FVFAC) was dispatched to assist the Long Green VFC and other Baltimore County Fire and EMS responders at the scene of a serious motor vehicle crash on Bottom Road south of Fork Road in the Baldwin area. First arriving units from Baltimore County Volunteer fire companies found a single vehicle crash involving a SUV which was overturned and off the roadway. There were two adult patients trapped in the wreckage of the vehicle. FVFAC initially responded with Truck 1331 and subsequently responded two (2) Advanced Life Support Ambulances, Medics 1392 and 1393. When the patients were extricated from the vehicle EMS personnel from FVFAC and Baltimore County units continued patient care as they were transported to a landing site on Long Green Pike where the transfer of patient care to Maryland Sate Police Aviation Command personnel occurred. The patients were flown to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.  

               This call is an excellent example of the level of cooperation among public safety agencies that exists in the region. Responding agencies from Harford County, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland worked closely together to insure the best possible outcome for the citizens involved in this incident.  

photos courtesy of Kingsville VFC

photos courtesy of Kingsville VFC



FVFAC Ice Challenge video courtesy of Christine M. Sullivan

              FVFAC members and friends from the Fallston community joined together Friday August 15 to hold a Ice Bucket Challenge that was, at a minimum, incredible! Thanks to Paramedic Frank Janczak for organizing and executing this amazing challenge to benefit such a worthwhile cause! 



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