Community Notes


October 29, 2006

Replace batteries in smoke alarms

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services reminds residents that when clocks are turned back one hour to standard time today, batteries in smoke alarms should also be replaced.

For the 19th year, the department has joined forces with Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs to publicize the fact that working smoke alarms cut in half the risk of dying in a house fire but nonworking alarms provide no benefit whatsoever.

Most house fires occur between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., when families are sleeping, according to the department's Bureau of Life Safety.

Smoke alarms should be tested and cleaned monthly, and vacuumed twice a year to remove any cooking grease or dust. At least one alarm is needed on each floor, but an alarm in each room is highly recommended.

Alarms are best placed on ceilings because smoke rises, but if the ceiling is below an uninsulated attic or in a mobile home, the alarm should be mounted on a wall 6 inches below the ceiling. Smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old should be replaced.

Information: www.energizer. com/firesafety.

Free smoke alarms are available to residents who cannot afford them from the Bureau of Life Safety, 410-313-6040.

Candidates forums being rebroadcast

The League of Women Voters of Howard County Inc. has arranged to have candidates forums rebroadcast on Gtv Channel 70 and HCC Channel 71.

A candidates forum for the offices of county executive and County Council, held Oct. 11 at Howard Community College, will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. today on Gtv Channel 70.

A candidates forum for the General Assembly (state Senate and House of Delegates), held Oct. 18 at the college, will be rebroadcast at 1 p.m. today on Howard Community College (HCC) Channel 71; 12:30 p.m. tomorrow on Gtv Channel 70; 2 a.m. Tuesday on HCC Channel 71; 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on Gtv Channel 70; 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday on Gtv Channel 70; 12:30 p.m. Thursday on Gtv Channel 70; and 9 p.m. Friday on Gtv Channel 70.

Information: 410-730-0142.

FluMist for kids, 5-11, to be provided free

The Howard County Health Department will provide free FluMist influenza vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 during walk-in clinics Nov. 6 at Howard County Library branches.

FluMist, manufactured by MedImmune Inc., also will be available for healthy individuals ages 12 to 49 at a cost of $20.

Children and adults with asthma, weakened immune systems, a recent history of Guillain-Barre syndrome or who are on long-term aspirin therapy should not receive FluMist. Pregnancy or any medical condition should be disclosed to the technician administering the vaccine.

Morning clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the east Columbia, Elkridge and Miller branch libraries; afternoon clinics will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Savage and Glenwood branches, and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the central library.

Information: 410-313-6503. Or

Retreat planned for cancer survivors

The Center for Breast Care at Howard County General Hospital will sponsor a Survivor Healing Retreat for people who completed cancer treatment six to 12 months ago.

The overnight weekend retreat will be held from Friday evening through Saturday evening at Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville. The cost is $25, which includes accommodations, meals, snacks and activities.

Art therapy, yoga, journaling, meditation, a guided nature walk, knitting and fellowship with other survivors are planned. The Bon Secours center includes more than 300 acres of countryside.

Information: 410-884-4650.

Executive candidates forum set for today

The Association of Chinese Americans -- Howard County Inc. will hold a county executive candidates forum from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. today in Room N220 of the Nursing Building at Howard Community College.

Admission is free and open to everyone.

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