Fire & Life Safety For All

Fire & Life Safety For All

Fire & Life Safety Information For Families

Our Smoke Alarm Program

Nationally, home fires claim seven lives every day. Having working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death by half.

Smoke Alarms are a vital component of a home fire escape plan. They are your first alert and warning sign that deadly, toxic smoke is present and spreading. They should be installed in every sleeping area, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of a home.
Do you have them in your home? Are they all properly installed?

If obtaining or installing smoke alarms is outside your ability at this time, let us know – we can help! We can provide and install smoke alarms.
If you need to utilize this program, please call 253-538-6402.

Wildfire Preparedness

Wildfires move at an average of 14 miles per hour and burn 5-10 million acres in the United States every year.
Each year, wildland fires consume homes in the wildland-urban interface – defined as areas where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildland fire. Studies show that as many as 80 percent of homes lost to wildland fire may have been saved if brush around the homes were cleared and defensible space created around structures. There is no better time than now to prepare and educate your family, friends and neighbors. Make sure everyone knows what to do to protect people and homes in case of fire.
If you would like to schedule a 30-minute Wildfire Awareness session for your HOA or community group, please CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A REQUEST.
*Your neighborhood fire departments, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue and Graham Fire & Rescue have come together to increase awareness of wildfire emergencies in our communities. This session brings our department personnel to your group’s site location to instruct and answer questions about: basic preparation for wildfire events, identifying warning alerts and evacuation levels, and supporting prevention of wildfires.To view the informational presentation, click here.

Car Passenger Safety

Did you know that 4 out 5 car seats are installed incorrectly?

Central Pierce Fire & Rescue offers free car seat inspections in-person via pre-scheduled appointment. If you would like to meet with our Car Seat Technician, please reach out via email to! Let us check your child’s car seat and provide you with installation guidelines and tips.

Additionally, you can schedule an appointment with Mary Bridge’s Car Seat Technicians for this service. To schedule an appointment, visit their “Car Seat Check-Ups at Mary Bridge” webpage.

For additional resources on this topic, check out Safe Kids Worldwide “Car Seat Safety Tips” and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s “Car Seat & Booster Seat Safety

Washington State Child Restraint Law:
Children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.
Children ages 2-4 years must ride in a car seat with a harness (rear or forward facing).
Children 4 and older must ride in a car or booster seat until they are 4’9″ tall.
Children over height 4’9” must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt (typically starting at 8-12 years old).
Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical to do so.

Every child restraint system must comply with U.S. DOT standards and be used according to vehicle and child restraint manufacturer. For the best protection, a child should remain in each stage of restraint until they reach the maximum height and weight based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
To view the current Washington Child Passenger Restraint Law, click here.

Fire Escape Planning

Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.

Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Make sure you have a safe meeting place for everyone to go to so you know everyone got out.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has created a short informational video on this topic. You can view it on YouTube by clicking this link.

Candle Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s Research Division, during the five-year period of 2018-2022:

> Candles caused 4% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires.
> U.S. fire departments responded to an annual estimated average 5,910 home structure fires started by candles. These fires cause an annual average of 74 civilian deaths and 558 civilian injuries, as well as $257 million in property damage.
> Candles were the second leading cause of bedroom fires and fifth leading cause of living room fires, as well as the eighth leading cause of all home structure fire civilian injuries.
> The rate of 94 injuries per 1,000 reported candle fires was nearly three times the rate for all home structure fire causes.
> Half of all candle fires started when a flammable piece of décor – such as furniture, mattresses, bedding, curtains, home decorations, paper, or clothing – was too close to the lit candle.
> In 21% of home structure candle fires, the candle was either left unattended, discarded, or otherwise misused.
> Over one-third of candle fires (36%) started in the bedroom. Sleep was a factor in 10% of home structure candle fires, 15% of candle fire deaths, and 18% of candle fire injuries.

It’s always safer to use battery-operated candles, but if you choose to use wax candles to brighten up your home, follow our safety advice:
> Keep clothes and hair away from the naked flame.
> Always use a suitable holder when burning candles.
> Keep candles out of the reach of children and away from pets.
> Consider an extra smoke alarm in the rooms where you use candles.
> Extinguish candles before moving them and don’t let anything fall into the hot wax.
> Extinguish candles before you leave a room and never go to sleep with a candle still burning.
> Use a snuffer or a spoon to put them out. Blowing them can send sparks and hot wax flying.
> Don’t put them under shelves – make sure there’s at least one meter (three feet) between a candle and any surface above it.
> Put them on a heat-resistant surface and be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic.
> Scented candles turn to liquid in order to release their fragrance, so always burn them in a suitable glass or metal container that can withstand the heat of the liquid.

Cooking Safety

Cooking is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries and the second leading cause of home fire deaths.

What you should know about home cooking safety:
• Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
• If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire
• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
• Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Safety considerations for cooking with oil
• Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
• Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
• Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
• Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
• Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water on the fire.
• If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.

General Fire Safety Tips

Many home fires are preventable, and with slight behavior changes, we are able to be proactive.

  • Portable Heater Safety: Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Smoking Safety: The home is where most smoking-materials structure fires, deaths, and injuries occur. Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.
  • Matches/Lighter Safety: Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.
  • Electrical Safety: Electricity makes our lives easier. However, we need to be cautious and keep safety in mind. Replace electrical cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.
  • Sprinklers: If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive. To see the timeline impact of home sprinkler systems, please view this short video.