EJFR – PLFR

East Jefferson Fire Rescue & Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue To Formally Pursue a Merge

Jefferson County, WA – During the past year, Port Ludlow and East Jefferson Fire Districts have increased collaboration in an effort to get the most out of our available resources while continuing to deliver outstanding emergency services. In order to realize further efficiencies, the boards of commissioners at each district have decided to formally pursue full integration of our resources, and directed staff to develop a plan leading to a merger of the two districts.

“There is a lot of work ahead. The community and media can expect plenty of engagement as we capture input, gather information and put the steps in place to provide even better service by joining forces. Our collective goal is to be as efficient as possible with our resources while continuing to enhance the emergency services for our communities,” stated Chief Black

East Jefferson Fire Rescue has been providing management services to Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue since May 2021 via interlocal agreement – the agreement extends to September 1, 2022.

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PLFR Management Services ILA

150th Anniversary

EJFR officials set date for 150th anniversary celebration 

On this date…

On this date in 1900, an area spanning more than a block was leveled by fire in Port Townsend’s Uptown neighborhood. The man who first discovered the fire couldn’t use the nearest alarm box to report the blaze because, in those days when there were few telephones and no 9-1-1 system, that’s how alarms were reported.  However, the boxes were locked — perhaps, in an effort to reduce the number of false alarms — and although there was a key hidden in nearby Aldrich’s, but the man didn’t know where to find it.  He had to run to the bell tower to sound the alarm that summoned firefighters, resulting in a significant delay and much greater devastation.  At their next meeting, the city council voted to put alarm keys in boxes with glass doors to prevent another disastrous delay in firefighters’ response.

When fire strikes, it’s vital for both firefighters and community members to act fast.  Your job is to get out, stay out and call 9-1-1. Our job is to respond as quickly as possible with enough firefighters and equipment to safely and effectively do the work.

On this date, May 3rd in 1938, the Chimacum Hotel was destroyed in a fire. It appears that the hotel, built in 1888 -1889, stood on the northeast corner of the intersection of today’s Beaver Valley and Center Roads. According to records at the Jefferson County Historical Society, the hotel “prospered as a social hub” until the fire. The loss occurred ten years before Jefferson County Fire District #1 (JCFD#1) was founded in 1948. Prior to the advent of fire districts and fire departments, firefighting in most communities was limited to neighbors helping neighbors through bucket brigades. These efforts, while valiant, were often unsuccessful. As we look forward to the 150th anniversary, we’re also taking a look back at the history of the three agencies that came together to form today’s fire department.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the merger between JCFD #1 (Chimacum/Hadlock/Marrowstone) and Jefferson County Fire District #6 (Cape George) in November 2005. In January 2006, Port Townsend Fire Department joined via ILA to form East Jefferson Fire Rescue. The move improved levels of service across EJFR’s area by reducing administrative redundancies. Although the agencies now function as one, we remain proud of their histories and their accomplishments.

Photos courtesy of Jefferson County Historical Society.

On this date, April 6th in 1923, the W.H. Learned Opera House on Port Townsend’s Washington Avenue was destroyed in an arson fire. Despite intense heat from the blaze next door, the building housing today’s Bishop Hotel survived. The windows that faced the opera house were protected with metal shutters and the wall was constructed of non-combustible brick, likely preventing the flames from gaining a foothold. News reports credited these features and that era’s all-volunteer fire department with saving the Bishop. Today, firefighters’ work is much more diverse, complex and demanding. While dedicated volunteers continue to serve the district, paid staff is essential to meeting current response standards.

In this 1915 photo, a band is shown in front of the W.H Learned Opera House (left) and the Bishop Building (right).  The Bishop’s fire-resistant features — brick construction and metal window shutters — were key to its survival when an arson fire consumed the opera house, just a couple of feet away, in 1923. Photo courtesy of Jefferson County Historical Society.

Taken in 1890, this photo shows the stage and orchestra pit at the W.H. Learned Opera House before its 1923 destruction by arson fire. Photo courtesy of Jefferson County Historical Society.

Protecting our Community for 150 Years and Counting

Officials at East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR) are inviting everyone to mark their calendars for October 8, 2022 and a very special celebration at Port Townsend City Hall of the fire department’s 150th anniversary. While many of the details are still being refined, the date is set and so is the organizers’ commitment to putting together an event that celebrates the fire department as well as the communities it serves.  

The product of three separate fire departments — Jefferson County Fire Protection District #1 (Chimacum/Hadlock/Marrowstone Island), Jefferson County Fire Protection #6 (Cape George) and Port Townsend Fire Department — EJFR has proudly embraced their rich legacies.  The city’s fire department was founded in 1872; it’s not only the oldest of the agencies within EJFR, but also one of the oldest in the western U.S.   

Demonstrations and competitions as well as displays of fire equipment and apparatus, old and new, are among the activities being planned for October 8.  A commemorative patch has been created and, soon, will be added to EJFR firefighters’ uniforms. There will be more leading up to the celebration, too;  organizers are putting together activities for all ages, designed to generate excitement and increase knowledge of local history as well as emergency prevention and preparedness.  

In addition to bringing the community together to celebrate the benchmark anniversary, the October 8 event is also expected to attract fire buffs and history fans from across the region.  Officials chose the second weekend in October for its proximity to National Fire Prevention Week because protecting the community involves more than emergency response; it also involves preventing emergencies and preparing for them should they occur.  

Initial funding for the celebration comes from community engagement funds that EJFR couldn’t use during the pandemic when most public events were suspended. Organizers plan to raise additional monies from sponsorships, community donations and sales of commemorative items such as t-shirts and plaques.   

Check back throughout 2022 for updates or follow our progress on facebook, Instagram (@EastJeffFirePIO) or Twitter (@EastJeffFirePIO).

More on the history of East Jefferson Fire Rescue available here.

Important Updates

Burn Ban On as of July 1 – 6/29/22

The Fire Chiefs of East Jefferson County, have called for a county-wide ban on outdoor burning other than recreational fires, in the best interest, and safety of the public, fire fighters, and first responders. A countywide burn ban limiting all Land Clearing burns will begin July 1st and continue through September 30, 2022 or until further notice. The ban was recommended by the Jefferson County Board of Fire Chiefs, the Jefferson County Fire Marshal, and the Board of County Commissioners and established under Jefferson County Resolution No. 30-05. The burn ban does not apply to recreational fires at this time.

Current Burning Restrictions in Place

2022 Burn Ban

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Celebrate Safely – 6/28/22

Fireworks Safety Tips

Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as traditional as cookouts and parades. However, Independence Day celebrations also bring fires and injuries due to misuse of fireworks.

East Jefferson Fire Rescue, along with the Office of the State Fire Marshal and local law enforcement agencies urges Jefferson County residents and visitors to use caution when purchasing and using fireworks outside Port Townsend city limits. Use of fireworks within Port Townsend city limits is banned. Possession or discharge of any fireworks is illegal within city limits.

Washington State Legal Consumer Fireworks

Legal fireworks suitable for use in unrestricted areas of Jefferson County include the following: cylindrical fountains, helicopters and aerial spinners, cone fountains, smoke devices, Roman candles, parachutes, wheels, mine/shells/cakes, ground spinners, reloadable mortars, dipped sticks/sparklers and novelties.

Federally Legal Consumer Fireworks

These items are legal to purchase, possess and discharge only on a Native American Reservation. Possession and/or use off the reservation is illegal: firecrackers (generally ¼” x 1-1/2” or less), sky rockets and missiles and bottle rockets.

Illegal Explosive Devices

The possession, manufacturing or use of illegal explosive devices is a criminal offense. These include, but are not limited to: M-80s and M-100s, Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) which include pipe bombs and tennis ball bombs, and altered fireworks such as sparklers bound tightly together to create an explosion.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends that you only buy consumer fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand. Never buy fireworks from an individual’s house or from someone on the street. Such devices are likely to be illegal explosives or professional 1.3G fireworks that can seriously injure you.

RCW 70.77 states that the ignition of fireworks is allowable between the following dates and times:

June 28: Between noon and 11 p.m.
June 29 – July 3: Between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
July 4: Between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m.
July 5: Between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Please use care in the purchase and discharge of fireworks. Do not light them indoors or near dry grass. Always have a bucket of water and/or fire extinguisher nearby. Wear snug clothing while using fireworks. If a device fails to go off properly, do not stand over it to investigate it or try to relight it. Wait at least 15 minutes before placing it in a bucket of water.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

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East Jefferson Fire Rescue & Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue To Formally Pursue a Merge 6/17/22

Jefferson County, WA – During the past year, Port Ludlow and East Jefferson Fire Districts have increased collaboration in an effort to get the most out of our available resources while continuing to deliver outstanding emergency services. In order to realize further efficiencies, the boards of commissioners at each district have decided to formally pursue full integration of our resources, and directed staff to develop a plan leading to a merger of the two districts.

“There is a lot of work ahead. The community and media can expect plenty of engagement as we capture input, gather information and put the steps in place to provide even better service by joining forces. Our collective goal is to be as efficient as possible with our resources while continuing to enhance the emergency services for our communities,” stated Chief Black

East Jefferson Fire Rescue has been providing management services to Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue since May 2021 via interlocal agreement – the agreement extends to September 1, 2022.

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Strategic Plan Survey – We Need Your Input 2/22/22

EJFR is creating a strategic plan for the future and would like to include you in the process. Share with us what services matter most to your family and what you expect from your local fire District.
Please provide your feedback by responding to our short, 10-question survey located at bit.ly/EJFRSurvey. Share your voice and take the survey by Friday, March 11. The survey will take approximately five minutes. EJFR would also love to hear from those who matter most to you – help spread the word by sharing this survey with your friends and family.

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Board of Commissioner Vacancy 1/25/22

East Jefferson Fire Rescue is seeking Fire Commissioner Candidate applicants to represent Commissioner District #2.  The Board will appoint an individual in February 2022 to fill one commissioner vacancy. Applicants are required to submit a letter of interest, resume and application to the Board Secretary no later than February 11, 2022 at 4 PM. Letters of recommendation from local community leaders will be reviewed. Applications may be submitted via email, humanresources@ejfr.org or US Mail to the District administrative office located at 24 Seton Rd, Port Townsend WA 98368.

Commissioner Applicant Information

Commissioner Candidate Application

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Pfizer Vaccination Clinics for Ages 5-11 set for December 4 & 18 11/23/21

JEFFERSON COUNTY—Two Pfizer vaccination clinics for children ages 5-11 will happen in December. The clinics will provide first and second doses of vaccine. A second dose should occur at least three weeks after the first dose. Appointments are required. Details:

Parents of children receiving a second dose should bring proof of their child’s first dose.

Full information here

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Vaccination Clinics for Ages 5-11 Set for November 13 & 20 11/5/21

JEFFERSON COUNTY—Two Pfizer vaccination clinics exclusively for ages 5-11 will happen on the following dates:

Or call the Department of Emergency Management Call Center at 360-344-9791, M-F 9 AM-5 PM.

Full information here.

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Jefferson County COVID Vaccine Booster Clinic Announced 10/28/21

Two Moderna booster vaccination clinics are planned for people 65 years of age and older and those aged 18 to 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19.
  • Saturday, November 6, 1 PM-4 PM, Chimacum School, 91 West Valley Road, Chimacum. Enter the clinic off West Valley Road from Highway 19.
  • Saturday, November 13, 1 PM-4 PM, Blue Heron Middle School, 3939 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend.
Schedule by visiting the Jefferson County Public Health webpage at https://jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/1429/COVID-19 or by calling the Department of Emergency Management Call Center at 360-344-9791.
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ShakeOut Drill set for Oct. 21 at 10:21AM

The 2021 ShakeOut Drill is scheduled for October 21 at 10:21AM in our area.

The All Hazard sirens will go off at 10:21AM on Oct. 21.

It is important to drill the DROP, COVER and HOLD ON procedure for the simple reason that practice makes perfect.

Full Press Release Here

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Burn Ban Canceled 9/30/21

As of September 30, 2021, the Washington State Department of Natural Recourses here on the Olympic Peninsula advised the fire danger as low. In an effort to align with our neighbors and as agreed upon by the Jefferson County Fire Chief’s Association, the established 2021 countywide burn ban per county code 43-05 will be canceled, beginning October 1, 2021.

Land clearing burning will be allowed by permit only. Requirements for recreational fires remain the same, which are defined by the international fire code (2015 IFC – Section 307) and the Washington State Administrative code (173-425-050). Outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fire place, portable outdoor fire place, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purpose. Fires used for debris or rubbish disposal are not considered recreational fires and are illegal.

All county-wide burning is subject to immediate closure at any time, in the event air stagnation conditions or poor environmental conditions exists as determined by the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Olympic Region Clean Air Authority, the Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Jefferson County Fire Chiefs and the Jefferson County Fire Marshal.

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Burn Ban Reduced 9/20/21

RECREATIONAL FIRE AND THE USE OF BRIQUETTES ALLOWED

The Jefferson County Fire Chiefs and the Jefferson County Fire Marshal agree to reduce the established burn ban related to recreational fires and the use of briquettes established on July 1, 2021.

The Chiefs are basing their decision in conjunction with our State and Federal partners. Though there has been some precipitation, the County has not seen any significant wetting recovery. The majority of Jefferson County has received under two inches of rain over the last three months. Currently we are experiencing cooler than usual temperatures and higher relative humidity. The current “Fire Danger Rating” shows the majority of the county on the low end of moderate. Jefferson County is still within the moderate draught category. The amended burn ban now allows for campfires and the use of charcoal briquettes within Jefferson County.

Per County ordinance, a burn ban is still in effect for all land clearing / debris burring within Jefferson County. Current atmospheric conditions will be evaluated on September 30, 2021 to determine if the burn ban will be extended.

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Fire Danger Moves from Moderate to High 7/22/21

Effective 7/23/2021 at 0001 the fire danger for Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor Counties will be going from Moderate to High.

Fire Danger information is available on the DNR Website.

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Weekend Incident Highlights Importance of Adhering to the Burn Ban 7/10/21

On July 10th, units of Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue, East Jefferson Fire Rescue and other local emergency partners responded to a small bush fire outside of a home in the Shine area. The resident was doing yard maintenance when a small ember blew into the shrubs and immediately took off causing heavy flames and thick smoke. Even the mulch burned. At the time the wind was 5-7 mph gusting to 10 mph, fanning the blaze. Luckily the resident and neighbors were able to contain the fire with garden hoses until the fire department arrived and fully extinguished the flames.

EJFR Chief, Bret Black noted: “This was a close call that could have been a major fire. It highlights why we have a total burn ban in Jefferson County that prohibits any type of outdoor burning. If that shrub had been touching the house, it likely would have been a different outcome.

“We want the public to be aware that a flying ember can be caused by any number of outside activities, including grilling on a wood or charcoal BBQ, a campfire in a fire pit, or even tossing a lit cigarette butt or flicking an ash. For the next few months our area will continue to have low fuel moisture and relative humidity. Plants that look green and healthy are receptive fuel beds for ignition…. nature is ready to burn this time of year. Please help us keep you and your neighbors safe.”

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2021 Burn Ban Update – 7/2/21

BURN BAN IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF JEFFERSON COUNTY *ALL OUTDOOR BURNING*
All outdoor burning to include campfires, pits and use of charcoal briquettes, is now banned in all areas within Jefferson County. Any outdoor burning is illegal.
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Hot weather pushing wildfire danger toward an early start 7/2/21

Residents should prepare for wildfire smoke before the need

With the above-average temperatures we are experiencing, wildfire season is now here.

Wildfire season typically runs from July through September however, the National Weather Service shows this year’s season will likely ramp up quickly and could last longer because of the warmer, dryer weather.

Now is the time to begin preparing for the possibility of wildfire smoke to invade Jefferson County in the coming weeks and months.

Creating a clean air space inside your home is the best way to get relief from wildfire smoke. More information can be found here.

You can also create your own low-cost air filter using a box fan and air filter to improve air quality in a single room in your home.

Have several days of water, groceries, and family needs on hand so you don’t have to go out when it’s smoky.

Don’t forget your pets: If the air quality is forecasted to be poor while you’re away from home, plan ahead to keep your pets inside or with a caregiver.

Wildfire smoke may increase the severity of symptoms for people with COVID-19. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may be more vulnerable to wildfire smoke due to potential long-term damage from COVID in the lungs.

Stay informed about Washington Smoke Information

Local burn ban information can be found here.

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Fireworks are Dangerous – Celebrate Safely 7/1/21

Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as traditional as cookouts and parades. However, Independence Day celebrations also bring fires and injuries due to misuse of fireworks.

East Jefferson Fire Rescue, along with the Office of the State Fire Marshal and local law enforcement agencies urges Jefferson County residents and visitors to use caution when purchasing and using fireworks outside Port Townsend city limits. Use of fireworks within Port Townsend city limits is banned. Possession or discharge of any fireworks is illegal within city limits.

Full Safety Message

2021 Land Clearing Burn Ban Established 6/25/21

Due to the anticipated above average temperatures and extreme natural fuels available, the Fire Chiefs of East Jefferson County, in the best interest and safety of the public, have set into effect a countywide burn ban limiting all land clearing burning beginning June 25 through September 30, 2021 or until further notice. The burn ban does not currently apply to recreational fires or barbeques.

The burn ban will be in effect for all land clearing burns within Jefferson County, as recommended by the Jefferson County Board of Fire Chiefs and the Jefferson County Fire Marshal, established under Jefferson County Resolutions No. 42-05 and 43-05. Establishing the burn ban earlier than July 1st brings Jefferson County into alignment with Kitsap County, and Clallam County. In addition, as of June 23, 2021 DNR Olympic upgraded fire danger to moderate, meaning all land clearing burning on State Lands is banned.

Full Burn Ban Notice

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Single-Role EMT – 6/18/21

Next Assessment Center opportunity: July 28th, 2021

East Jefferson Fire Rescue is establishing an eligibility list for the position of Single Role EMT (SR-EMT.)

The SR-EMT is a non-firefighter (non-combatant) position that provides BLS care and transport of patients as part of the inter-facility transport service agreement with Jefferson Healthcare.  In addition to inter-facility transports, an SR-EMT may deliver expanded role emergency medical services such as emergency incident rehabilitation, mobile integrated healthcare, and injury reduction/prevention programs.

EMT Announcement 7-21

Single-Role EMT Job Description

Application

IAFF Local 2032 Collective Bargaining Agreement

2020 Schedule MOU

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Smoke Alarm Recall – 5/27/21

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, about 226,000 alarm units are being recalled due to a possible failure to alert consumers to a fire.  The recalled units are the Kidde Model Series 2040, 2050, 2060, and 2070 Smoke and Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarms.  Only alarms with the TruSense logo or “AMBER=FAULT” printed on the front of the alarm are included in this recall.  The model number is printed on the back of the alarm.

While there have been no incidents or injuries reported, consumers are advised to immediately contact Kidde for a free replacement alarm.  Kidde Support can be reached at toll-free (844) 796-9972 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Saturday or online at www.kiddetsalarmrecall.rsvpcomm.com or www.kidde.com and click on “Support” and then “Product Alerts” for more information.  Consumers are advised to keep using the recalled alarms until they install replacement alarms.

For more information, visit the Recall Announcement on the CPSC website or call the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3929.

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Earth Day Call to Action

East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR) is using Earth Day to raise awareness and disseminate the lessons learned from recent wildfire tragedies. We are seeing the impacts of climate change in real time with increasingly dangerous wildfire conditions. EJFR recommends three films which document the visceral shock, fear and grief felt by the impacted communities.  These films can be viewed on your streaming video provider.

Fire in Paradise on Netflix
Wilder than Wild: Fire, Forest, and the Future
Rebuilding Paradise

*These films are NOT recommended for children.

EJFR wants our community to view and hear these tragedies as a call to action. One of EJFR’s core objectives is to ensure the resilience of our community. Here in Jefferson County, as well as regionally, we experience weather conditions similar to those being felt in neighboring states. Although our peak season for elevated wildfire risk is shorter, we do experience dangerously low humidity and high wind. The risk to our community is very real. As of mid-April 2021 the National Interagency Fire Center is already issuing Red Flag Warning’s for portions of northwest Oregon.

On this Earth Day we encourage you to reflect on what you can do individually to make our community more resistant to wildfire. Deliberate preparation around the immediate perimeter of your home may dramatically increase the survivability profile during a wildfire. Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety concludes the area immediately adjacent to your home needs special attention and regular upkeep. As Wildfire Season approaches, take time to make fire safety improvements following these standards from the National Fire Protection Association.

To be sure your family is prepared to act in the event of a wildfire or possible evacuation we recommend having conversations now using resources such as Ready.gov.

EJFR welcomes community volunteer involvement on this topic and more – for information and an application visit the Volunteer section of our site.

 

2021 Board Meetings

2021 EJFR Board Meetings

January 2021 Agenda Minutes
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2020 EJFR Board Meetings

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2019 Board Meetings

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Toys for Tots

EJFR will be collecting new, unwrapped gifts for children with Toys for Tots!

Due to station closures we will be open to receive donations by appointment during business hours. Please email info@ejfr.org or call 360.385.2626 for available drop off times and locations. On Saturday, December 4th there will be a “Fill the Bus” collection event at the Safeway in Port Townsend from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

Visit https://bit.ly/EJFRToysforTotsPT to make a monetary donation or sign up to receive a toy. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to bring joy and provide hope for children during Christmas.

Thank you to our fantastic community for coming together each year and supporting this mission!

Fire Prevention Week

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries – the leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
  • Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 metre) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

*Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. More tips, videos and fire safety activities available at fpw.org.