Fire & Rescue Safety Assistance

We strongly encourage everyone to learn about fire safety. Below you will find helpful tips to prevent fires or prepare for emergencies. If you have any questions, please call (206) 533-6500.

The information provided here will give residents and businesses useful tips on how to prevent the common causes of fire, injuries and accidents, as well as information on how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes.


The annual “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” safety tip is important to know during the month of October especially.

The idea is to promote the adoption of a simple lifesaving habit to change all smoke alarm batteries when the time comes to change clocks back to Standard Time (Daylight Savings) each fall.

Additional smoke alarm tips:

  • Change your smoke alarm batteries
  • Check, Count, and Clean your smoke alarms

Did you know between 2010 and 2015, Firefighters responded to more than 10 fires a day at buildings under construction? Fires during construction, alteration, or demolition operations are an ever-present threat. Please refer to this document to find out how you can plan to avoid dangers during the construction process.

Generators can help with power outages, but they can be hazardous if not used correctly. Learn how to prevent generator-related fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Fires and carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by

  1. Learning the proper use and placement of emergency generators
  2. Raising your awareness of the dangers of using charcoal or outdoor propane devices inside your home
  3. Reporting a power outage to Utility outages and energy shortages

We urge the following precautions:

  • Call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773 (1-888 CALL PSE) for generator assistance
  • Be certain that the hot muffler is kept and pointed away from any combustible material
  • Do not bring ANY charcoal or propane fueled equipment into your house. Only devices labeled for INDOOR use are safe
  • Do not refuel the generator while it is running
  • Clean up any fuel spills before starting the generator
  • The generator MUST be kept OUTDOORS while running
  • Make sure a qualified professional does the wiring for you, if the generator is not permanently wired into your home.
  • If your generator is connected to your home electrical system, it must be done via a National Electrical Code and local/state approved transfer switch.
  • Please check with us for any applicable permits
  • Never use any double ended cords to connect a generator to your home
  • Be careful not to overload the electrical capacity of the generator when connecting household appliances
  • When using extension cords to connect the generator to household appliances, make sure that exhaust cannot enter the house at the same point the extension cords come in.
  • Candles – be especially careful. Never leave them burning unless you are in the room with them

Check Smoke Detectors

Check the first or last day of every month by testing them with a well-aimed poke from a broomstick.

Change Batteries

A good reminders is when you turn your clocks forward or backward for daylight savings time.

Keep Your Stove Company

Kitchen fires often occur when wandering cooks forget that they are cooking. When cooking, wear short or close-fitting sleeves to prevent clothing from catching fire.


Keep furniture away from windows so children can be prevented from tumbling out an open window. Drawers have been used by children as stairs, so be sure to anchor tall chests to walls to prevent them from falling over. This will also be helpful in case of an earthquake.

Use a Nonslip Step-stool/Ladder

Instead of climbing on a chair, counter or table to change light bulbs or grab something out of reach, use a step-stool or ladder with nonslip treads, a safety rail and rubber-capped feet.


Stairs should be used only for feet, not for storage of toys, laundry, etc.

Here’s what to do when guarding against fire in a public building:

  • Locate two exits that are closest or easiest to find in case of an emergency
  • If exit doors are blocked, locked or barred in any way, immediately report that to the owner/manager and your local fire agency
  • Immediately leave the building if you hear a fire alarm
  • Don’t go back until the fire department has said it is safe to return


  • Have flues and chimneys inspected before each heating season for leakage and blockage by creosote or debris
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting the fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. This will avert the building up of poisonous gases, especially while the family is sleeping.
  • Never use gasoline, charcoal lighter or other fuel to light or relight a fire because the vapors can explode. Never keep flammable fuels or materials near a fire.
  • Keep a screen or glass enclosure around a fireplace to prevent sparks or embers from igniting flammable materials

For questions or additional information, please contact our Fire Marshal Office at (206) 533-6565.


  • Choose a heater tested to the latest safety standards and is certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. These heaters have up-to-date safety features and meet the newer safety standards.
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has worked to upgrade industry standards for electric, kerosene, and vented and unvented gas space heaters. An automatic cut-off device is now required to turn off electric or kerosene heaters if they tip over. More guarding around the heating coils of electric heaters and the burner of kerosene heaters also is required to prevent fires.
  • Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, or other flammable materials.
  • Keep doors open to the rest of the house if you are using an unvented fuel-burning space heater. This helps prevent pollutant build-up and promotes proper combustion. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to provide sufficient combustion air to prevent carbon monoxide production.
  • Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep. Never place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
  • Turn the space heater off if you leave the area. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Do not use a kitchen range or oven to heat your house because it could overheat or generate carbon monoxide.
  • Have a smoke alarm with fresh batteries on each level of the house and inside every bedroom. In addition, have a carbon monoxide alarm outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area.
  • Be aware that mobile homes require specially designed heating equipment. Only electric or vented fuel-fired equipment should be used.
  • Have gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually to ensure proper operation.

Christmas Tree


  • Needles should be green and hard to pull from the branch
  • The trunk should be sticky to the touch
  • Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground
  • If needles fall off, the tree is no longer fresh and is a fire hazard


  • Never place trees near a heat source such as a fireplace or heat vent
  • Never smoke near a holiday tree
  • Heat will cause the tree to dry out faster and ignite much easier
  • Do not leave cut trees in the home for more than two weeks
  • Always keep the water receptacle filled


  • Never put branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove
  • When the tree becomes dry, discard it immediately
  • Dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or use a community pick-up service



  • Only use lighting tested by an approved testing laboratory
  • Check your lights for frayed wires, bare spots, insulation gaps, broken or cracked sockets, excessive kinking and wear
  • If any of these conditions exist, discard the lights

Do Not Overload Outlets:

  • Do not link more than three strands of lights, unless directions specifically state that it is safe to do so
  • Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet
  • Check the wires of your lights periodically
  • Disconnect and replace them, if they are warm or hot to the touch

Extension Cords:

  • Do not use indoor extension cords outside
  • Use only those that are made specifically for outdoor use
  • Keep extension cords above ground and out of puddles and snow

Turn OFF

  • Always turn off lights at night when no one is home!


Be Sure To:

  • Make sure candles are in stable holders
  • Place them where they cannot be knocked over
  • Locate candles where children and pets cannot reach them
  • Always extinguish candles at night and prior to leaving the house


  • Use a lit candle for a tree decoration
  • Go near a holiday tree with any open flame, candle, lighter, or match

Fireplaces, wood burning stoves and heaters


  • Make sure all combustibles are away from fireplaces, wood burning stoves and heaters


  • Make sure that fireplace screens are in place and in good condition


  • Empty the fireplace or stove by placing ashes into a metal container
  • Place the container away from the house and other outdoor combustibles
  • Leave the ashes in the metal container until they are cold
  • NEVER leave this container in the house or garage