Kidde Announces Recall of Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
9/19 - Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc. ("Kidde") in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall to replace certain Kidde AC/DC smoke alarms and combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms.
More information about the recall can be found here.
EJFR Recognizes Port of Port Townsend Employee
Pete Parrish extinguished fire during Wooden Boat Festival
The Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 1 Board of Commissioners officially recognized a Port of Port Townsend employee at the Nov. 19 Board meeting.
Port employee Pete Parrish was recognized and presented with a certificate of appreciation for his efforts at putting out a fire he discovered in the early morning hours of Sept. 7, 2014.
At about 2:30 a.m., Mr. Parrish was on patrol at Point Hudson Marina and RV Park. This was during the three-day Wooden Boat Festival, a significant community event held annually.
During his patrol, Mr. Parrish noticed smoke and four-foot flames coming from a bucket below a fryer in the Kokopelli Grill vendor tent.
Mr. Parrish immediately rushed back to his patrol vehicle and obtained a dry chemical fire extinguisher. He then used the extinguisher for extinguishment of the blaze.
Mr. Parrish also called 9-1-1, summoning East Jefferson Fire Rescue firefighters and Officers Patrick Fudally and Jeremy Vergin of the Port Townsend Police Department.
While putting out the fire, Mr. Parrish suffered some smoke inhalation, for which he was later medically treated.
Fire officials determined that Mr. Parrish’s quick actions prevented significant property losses among Wooden Boat Festival vendors and potentially, Port of Port Townsend facilities.
Firefighters Extinguish Chimney Fire on Haines St.
East Jefferson Fire Rescue responded to a chimney fire in the 2300 block of Haines St. Tues. morning. The fire was contained to the chimney and some surrounding attic material.
The homeowner called 9-1-1 after climbing into the attic and finding the chimney still hot to the touch after an earlier chimney fire which he thought had gone out. He also noticed smoke coming from the side of the chimney in the attic space.
Firefighters were hampered by the confined space in the attic area of the 100+ year-old house, but several applications of sodium bicarbonate and water down the chimney cooled surfaces significantly.
Thermal imaging cameras (“TICs”) were used to determine that the temperature had been reduced to a safe level.
The homeowner was advised to use alternative forms of heating until the chimney could be professionally serviced.
EJFR Chief Ted Krysinski recommends that owners of all houses with chimneys, but especially older homes have their chimneys periodically inspected. “Chimneys age along with the rest of the structure and eventually they’ll need to be tuck-pointed and serviced to remain safe,” he said.
A unit from Jefferson County Fire Protection District #5 (Discovery Bay) assisted in the call.
11/13 - Fire seriously damaged the second story of an uptown Port Townsend residence Thurs. afternoon. No one was injured in the blaze.
East Jefferson Fire Rescue was toned to the fire in the 400 block of Quincy St. at 12:41 p.m. after a child at Castle Hill Preschool across the street noticed a plume of smoke coming from the building and alerted his teacher. She then called 9-1-1.
Firefighters arrived to find smoke flames and smoke billowing from the second story of the house, which was built in 1913. They immediately began a transitional attack, which consists of simultaneously applying water from the exterior of the structure while sending firefighters into the home with hoses to begin an interior attack.
Their efforts proved successful in knocking down the fire within 20 minutes, limiting fire damage to the second story and attic of the house. The first floor suffered smoke, water and traffic damage.
The Jefferson County Fire Investigation Task Force gathered immediately after the fire was extinguished and are conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire.
Approximately 22 firefighters and command staff from East Jefferson Fire Rescue, Naval Magazine Indian Island, Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue and Quilcene Fire & Rescue responded to the blaze.
ANYWHERE, JEFFERSON COUNTY—It’s late on a cold winter’s night. Bedtime. You throw one last log on the fire—just to keep the chill off. At about 1:30AM, the smell of smoke awakens you.
You look out the bedroom door. Sparks from the fireplace have ignited the carpet in your living room, which is now fully engulfed in flames. You evacuate the residence and call 9-1-1.
You chose the piece of property you built your dream home on because it was wooded and somewhat secluded. As you travel down the winding, tree-lined driveway nightly, you remain pleased with your choice of locations. And that’s where the problem takes another turn.
Three fire engines are en route to your home together with a medic unit and, because your property backs up to a stand of trees, a brush rig is also responding. But they won't make it to your house.
Your lovely, long, winding driveway is too narrow for the fire apparatus to maneuver through. The engines can’t get to your house.
Radio traffic between firefighters on scene does not reflect a positive outcome. First on scene crews radio a description of the driveway to incoming apparatus, further stating that it is inaccessible and they will need to stage at the top of the driveway--one-quarter mile from the burning structure. Not even the smaller, less-equipped brush rig will be able to make it.
. . . .
The above scenario is far from being fictional. All fire districts in Jefferson County have encountered this situation—too many times. As picturesque and serene as they might be, in reality, skinny roads and narrow, tree-lined driveways can be hazardous to your health.Attempts to use chainsaws to cut back the overhead branches and impeding brush is futile. That process takes an inordinate amount of time--too long to save the house or provide medical help to those in need. Fire District 1--East Jefferson Fire Rescue-- will be launching an effort in the coming months to evaluate and identify residences with long, impeded driveways.
"We follow Section 503 of the International Fire Code ‘Fire Apparatus Access Roads’ which spells out specific, optimal clearances for fire apparatus clearances for driveway access," said Chief Gordon Pomeroy.
"Firefighters will be driving through their response areas to identify access issues and notify residents of potential problems. Homeowners will be given a copy of the recommended guidelines."
"It will be up to the resident to decide for themselves how to respond to the recommendations," Pomeroy said. A follow-up communication will be sent to the resident.
"While citizens are under no obligation to comply with the guidelines, the above scenario demonstrates actual situations we have had to deal with. If we can't gain access to a residence, the potential loss of human life and property is clear," said Pomeroy.
"We are strongly encouraging area residents to help us so that we can provide the services they need and pay for," Pomeroy added. "It's in everyone's best interest."
Winter and Holiday Fire Safety Tips from EJFR
Our cooling weather brings with it a reminder that winter months are the most dangerous for fires and injuries. Please play it safe by taking time to review the following home safety tips:
Test the smoke alarm by pushing the test button. Newly released guidance states that you should periodically dust or vacuum your smoke detectors. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
When purchasing a smoke detector, choose one that has the label of a recognized laboratory. Be sure to position smoke alarms away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should not be closer than 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning may include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Extremely high levels of poisoning can be fatal, causing death within minutes.
It’s recommended that you install and maintain CO alarms inside your home.
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide, have your fuel-burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood stoves, coal stoves, space heaters and portable heaters, as well as chimneys inspected by a professional every year. Also, be sure to open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
Fireplaces and Chimneys
Use artificial logs according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never burn more than one log at a time. Use only newspaper and kindling wood or fire starters to start a fire. Never use flammable liquids, such as lighter fluid, kerosene or gasoline to start a fire.
Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
East Jefferson Fire Rescue makes no specific recommendations regarding chimney sweeps or other private organizations. Chimney sweeps who service our area include:
Protec Chimney Service
The Right Choice Chimney Service (services Jefferson County)
Don’t forget that underrated element---common sense. If it seems risky or dangerous, it probably is. Be careful and have a happy and safe winter.
Permanent Burn Ban Now Includes Irondale/Port Hadlock Areas
A recent discovery by Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), that portions of Irondale and Port Hadlock had been designated Urban Growth Areas (UGA), has prompted the agency to ban all burning in those areas of Jefferson County permanently.
In a letter addressed to Jefferson County Fire District 1 (East Jefferson Fire Rescue) Chief Gordon Pomeroy, ORCAA stated that in 2006, they “notified residents and fire protection agencies” about the law “in the 17 known UGAs” within their jurisdiction. (Washington State Legislature enacted a law [2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 70.94.743 (1) (b)] that prohibits both residential yard waste burning and land clearing burning in all UGAs within the state as of January 1, 2007.
The letter goes on to state that “ORCAA only recently learned that the Irondale/Port Hadlock area is designated as an Urban Growth Area.”
“We are as surprised as anyone at this news,” said Chief Pomeroy.
The Jefferson County Department of Community Development’s website explains that “prior to the completion of the 2002 Comprehensive Plan amendment cycle, the only UGA in Jefferson County was the City of Port Townsend. Planning to accommodate growth in the Tri-Area of Jefferson County, which includes Chimacum, Port Hadlock and Irondale, has long been a topic of discussion.” The ordinance establishing Irondale/Port Hadlock as an Urban Growth Area was adopted in 2009.
For a map of the Irondale / Port Hadlock UGA, click here.
Effective July 1, outdoor yard debris burning has been prohibited in Jefferson County Fire Rescue District 1. No open burning is ever allowed within the city limits of Port Townsend.
The initial burn ban runs from July 1 until Sept. 30. Depending on weather conditions within District 1, the ban may be extended further.
During the period of the burn ban, violators may be assessed fines of up to $14,915 per day for each violation. They may also be held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire which can cost thousands of dollars.
Burn permits are not required within the boundaries of Fire District 1. Knowing and following the guidelines is, however, a requirement. The guidelines for burning in East Jefferson County can be found at every fire station in District 1. Stations are located at Lawrence & Harrison Streets in Port Townsend; Jacob Miller Road; Cape George, Marrowstone Island; Chimacum and Airport Road. Outdoor Burning Guidelines can also be found online at www.ejfr.org. Alternatives to outdoor burning are also listed in the guidelines. Maps of all Jefferson County no-burn areas can be found on ORCAA’s website at www.orcaa.org. Current burn ban status can be found at WaBurnBans.net.
ORCAA is planning to post signs in the county’s UGAs to create greater awareness about the outdoor burn ban. For more information about the permanent burn ban in the Irondale/Port Hadlock areas, contact ORCAA at 1-800-422-5623 or visit their website www.orcaa.org.