Fire and Life Safety Education

October is fire prevention month, and for this year we are producing safety videos and graphics that will be available in multiple languages.

Here are the English versions of our safety videos:

Call 9-1-1 for Emergencies

CALL 9-1-1 or send someone else to call 9-1-1 for fire, medical or police emergencies.

  1. If there is a fire, call 9-1-1 after you are outside and away from the fire and smoke.
  2. Know your address or location.
    • Say your language, if it is not English and stay on the phone. Do not hang up.

Smoke Alarms: What to do if the smoke alarm sounds

Smoke alarms save lives by alerting people to the dangers of smoke. Smoke is poisonous. It is what kills most people in a fire. It is important to take the smoke alarm seriously and act quickly when it sounds. Never cover, paint or remove smoke alarms. Remember to change batteries yearly or if the smoke alarm "chirps."

If the smoke alarm sounds:

  1. Fire spreads quickly. Get out fast and stay out.
  2. If possible, close doors to confine the fire.
  3. If you encounter smoke, crawl under it to your exit.
  4. Go to the outside meeting place and call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible. Tell the operator your language if you don't speak English.
  5. Once out, stay out. Never go back inside a burning building.

If you can't escape (Shelter in place for apartments):

  1. If smoke or fire blocks your first exit, try your second escape route.
  2. If you live in an apartment, seek refuge inside a room with a window. Go to the window and wave so firefighters can see you, but do not open it.
  3. Close all doors between you and the fire. Place towels or bedding at the base of the door to keep smoke from coming in.
  4. If possible, call 9-1-1 to report your exact location.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms: What to do if the alarm sounds

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that can kill you. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. It is especially dangerous to small children and elders. Carbon monoxide can come from any fuel-burning appliance in your home. Examples include: gas appliances, wood stoves, charcoal grills and power generators. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, flu-like symptoms and nausea. If not treated, it can lead to death.

Ways to stay safe:

  1. Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home near the bedrooms. Carbon monoxide alarms alert you if carbon monoxide is present to keep your family safe. Washington State law requires all rental homes and apartments to have a carbon monoxide alarm inside the home. The landlord is responsible for providing a carbon monoxide alarm.
  2. Never use a charcoal or gas grill inside your home or garage. Carbon monoxide can reach dangerous levels, even if a window or door is open.
  3. If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds without stopping, get everyone out of the home and call 9-1-1.

Be aware of an expired carbon monoxide alarm:

  1. If your carbon monoxide alarm beeps every 30 seconds, it's not an emergency. It means your alarm has expired and should be replaced.
  2. Carbon monoxide alarms are only made to last about 7 years. After that, they will start beeping every 30 seconds. This is an end-of-life warning signal telling you the alarm needs to be replaced.
  3. Don't call 9-1-1 if this happens. Replacing the battery will not stop the beep. You need to replace the entire alarm.

Heating Safety

Heaters need space. A fire can start if curtains, furniture, pillows, papers or other items are too close to a baseboard or portable heater.

  1. Keep ALL objects away from heaters.
  2. Minimum distance is 12 inches/30 cm for baseboard heaters and 3 feet/90 cm for portable space heaters
  3. A baseboard heater may still come on, even if the heater is turned off.

Cooking Safety

Click here to access multilingual versions of the cooking safety video.

Most home fires start in the kitchen when a person starts cooking and forgets about the food on the stove. It is easy to get distracted by a person, a phone call or an electronic device. A fire can start in seconds.

How to be safe:

  1. Stay in the kitchen when cooking with oil or grease.
  2. Always use a timer when cooking to remind you that the stove is on.
  3. Keep the stove area clean.
  4. Keep a lid near the stove in case of fire.
    • Never pour water on a grease or oil fire.
    • The best way to put out a small pan fire is to slide a lid over the pot or pan.
    • Turn the burner off. • Do not try to move a burning pan.
    • Remove the lid only after the fire is out and cooled off.