An­nual River Water­shed Cleanups set for April dates

Maryland Independent - - News -

Two Patux­ent River Water­shed Cleanups will take place Satur­day, April 1, and Satur­day, April 8. Vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties range from col­lect­ing lit­ter to lead­ing and or­ga­niz­ing a cleanup site. Charles County has nearly two dozen es­tab­lished sites and is al­ways in­ter­ested in wel­com­ing new sites to this pro­gram. This is an op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents and scouts to earn com­mu­nity ser­vice hours. The events will be held rain or shine. For de­tails, call the Charles County De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works, En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­sources Di­vi­sion, at 301-932-3599 or go to www.charle­scoun­­ter/ water­shed-cleanups and click on find an event. Po­tomac River Water­shed Cleanup is made pos­si­ble with the sup­port of the Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers.

Fire mar­shal re­minds Mary­lan­ders to change smoke alarm bat­ter­ies

In an­tic­i­pa­tion of day­light sav­ing time be­gin- ning in the early morn­ing hours of March 12, the Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal is urg­ing Mary­lan­ders to “Change Your Clock – Change Your Bat­ter y” in both smoke alarms and car­bon monox­ide (CO) de­tec­tors in their homes. Rec­og­niz- ing that work­ing smoke alarms and CO de­tec­tors dou­ble a fam­ily’s chance of sur­viv­ing a home fire and/or un­safe car­bon monox­ide lev­els, the State Fire Mar­shal says Day­light Sav­ings Time is a great op­por­tu­nity for fam­i­lies to change the bat­ter­ies.

A Mary­land law be­came ef­fec­tive on July 1, 2013, in­volv­ing “bat­tery only” smoke alarms used in res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties. When these “bat­ter y 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/ hush but­ton fea­ture tem­po­rar­ily dis­ables the alarm so the oc­cu­pant can ven­ti­late the space from mild smoke con­di­tions typ­i­cally cre­ated dur­ing some cook­ing op­er­a­tions. The use of these alarms elim­i­nates the need to re­place the bat­ter­ies dur­ing the 10 year life of the alarm.

The new law also re­quires home­own­ers to en­sure they have a smoke alarm in­stalled on each floor and out­side sleep­ing ar­eas, per Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion (NFPA) rec­om­men­da­tions. It is rec­om­mended to place them in each bed­room as well.

If the prop­erty is pro­tect- ed with 120 volt 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, home es­cape plans are an­other way Mary­lan­ders 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.

Also please re­mem­ber to keep doors closed while sleep­ing in case a fire oc­curs in­side your home. A closed door will af­ford more time to es­cape and/or be res­cued by: block­ing smoke, toxic gases, heat and flames from en­ter­ing your room. If mak­ing an es­cape from a burn­ing build­ing, close doors as you leave, in or­der to stop ad­di­tional oxy­gen from en­ter­ing and en­hanc­ing the growth of the fire.

House­hold haz­ardous waste col­lec­tion re­sumes April 1

The Charles County De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works would like to re­mind cit­i­zens that the first house­hold haz­ardous waste col­lec­tion for this year will be held on Satur­day, April 1. The house­hold haz­ardous waste col­lec­tion site is lo­cated in the park­ing lot of the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works build­ing, lo­cated at 10430 Audie Lane, off of Ra­dio Sta­tion Road in La Plata. Col­lec­tion hours are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Items ac­cepted free of charge in­clude: pes­ti­cides, her­bi­cides, fer­til­izer, gaso­line, oil-based paint, clean­ing sup­plies, pool chem­i­cals, flu­o­res­cent lights, mer­cury ther­mome­ters, and other poi­sons found in the home. Please re­mem­ber to mark any con­tainer that does not have a read­able, orig­i­nal la­bel.

Unac­cept­able ma­te­ri­als in­clude bio-med­i­cal waste (sharps, nee­dles, any­thing with bod­ily flu­ids), la­tex paint, pre­scrip­tion drugs, and am­mu­ni­tion. Used mo­tor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and bat­ter­ies are ac­cepted on a reg­u­lar ba­sis at var­i­ous col­lec­tion sites. Go to www.charle­scoun­ for a list of pre­scrip­tion and non-pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion dropped off lo­ca­tions.

House­hold haz­ardous waste col­lec­tion will oc­cur on the first Satur­day of each month through De­cem­ber. Up­com­ing 2017 col­lec­tion dates are: April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 4, and Dec. 2.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call the Charles County De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works, En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­sources Di­vi­sion at 301-932-3599 or 301-8702778, or the land­fill and re­cy­cling in­for­ma­tion line at 301-932-5656. Cit­i­zens with spe­cial needs may con­tact the Mary­land Re­lay Ser­vice at 711, or Re­lay Ser­vice TDD: 800735-2258.

Al­ter­nate 911 phone num­ber for AT&T cel­lu­lar users

AT&T is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a wide­spread prob­lem that is im­pact­ing its ser­vice. The Charles County 911 Cen­ter tested a cell phone on the AT&T net­work. It could not com­plete a call to 911 but could com­plete a call to a 10-digit num­ber. Res­i­dents that use AT&T as their cel­lu­lar ser­vice provider should call 301-609-3499 if they have trou­ble reach­ing 911.

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