La Plata, MD – Only 1 in 5 parents regularly practice fire escape plans at home, and only half of parents report that their children know what to do in the event of a fire. Yet, home fires are the biggest disaster threat facing American families today, with 9 in 10 structure fires occurring in the home and more than 8 in 10 fire-related deaths resulting from home fires.

To raise awareness of this issue and encourage families to be more prepared when it comes to fire safety, the Professional Paramedics & EMTs of Charles County have partnered with Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program to promote a new national observance day – Home Fire Drill Day – on the last Saturday (October 13) of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week (October 7-13, 2018).

This is the first time that like-minded parties from the public and private sector are collaborating on this single, life-saving call to action. Home Fire Drill Day tips include:

Prepare for the practice by drawing out a plan based on the exits around the home.
Pick a family safety spot that’s near your home and a safe distance away.
Test your smoke alarms with your kids so they know what the beep sounds like.
For children under six, assign an adult to help them.
Use a timer to ensure everyone is at the safety spot in two minutes or less, this is how much time a family has to safely exit the house in the event of a fire. 

“When a fire happens at home, children can become frightened and hide,” says Ryan DeGruy, president of the Charles County IAFF Local 4658. “It is our hope that by practicing for these emergencies, by educating our children, we can save lives and even have a little fun while doing it.”

Your Professional Paramedics & EMTs of Charles County encourage everyone in the community to participate in Home Fire Drill Day Saturday, Oct. 13 and to make practicing a home fire drill a twice-yearly tradition.

For more information, contact the Professional Paramedics & EMTs of Charles County, IAFF Local 4658, at

The Professional Paramedics and EMTs of Charles County, Local 4658, was established by the International Association of Fire Fighters in 2008 and currently represents over 80 personnel.

The members of Local 4658 respond to nearly 19,000 emergency calls per annum, protect approximately 4580 square miles and serve over 146,000 citizens.
Local 4658 is dedicated to ensuring that our members are provided with all of the tools that they require to ensure that the citizens and visitors of Charles County receive the highest level of emergency medical service and transportation and hazardous material mitigation.

Our organization promotes a safe and healthy working environment for its members by the establishment of just and reasonable working conditions.