Fire officials are advising residents to check test their smoke detectors and have an emergency plan.
Emergency preparedness could have avoided the dangerous position Prince George's County firefighters were put in while battling a fire in Temple Hills yesterday, according fire department officials. Three firefighters suffered burns while trying to contain a basement fire.
All three are expected to make full recoveries from their burns, but Prince George's county fire department spokesman Mark Brady says the situation could have been avoided if residents in the home had made sure smoke detectors had working batteries.
The residents all escaped the fire without injury, but lacked a plan to gather in one place outside the home in an emergency, Brady said.
"So firefighters were placed in danger to search for those occupants even though they were already outside," Brady said. "So it all starts with having a working smoke detector and a home escape plan and hopefully that will keep everybody safe."
Brady says in addition to a designated meeting place outside the home, it's good to have a home escape plan in place that identifies multiple ways out of every room in the home.