Preparedness Tips

August 2017- Prepare in a Year Focus- Fire Safety

House on right, then a tree, then a fire on the ground.

Make a Plan

Fire Safety at Home

When it comes to fire, be smart!  If the fire is too big for you to handle, immediately get out of the house. Do not stop to gather anything or to do anything. Once you are outside, stay outside. Intense heat and toxic fumes can kill you. Once you have gotten safely out of the house call 911 with your location as soon as possible.

Fire is a very good reason to practice getting out of your home in a quick safe manner. We recommend having copes of all important documents in a fire proof box or stored elsewhere.

Plan and practice fire safety:

Home Plan Evacuation Routes, Image of 1st and 2nd floor with directions
  • Choose a reunion place outside your home, the same as your primary meeting place in the event of an earthquake, etc. Have a way to remind family members of this location.
  • Draw the floor plan of your home and discuss two ways to exit each room.
  • Hold a fire drill at least twice a year. If able, blindfold yourself and crawl to your exit routes, to simulate a smoke-filled house.

The National Fire Protection Association provides a downloadable template to plan your escape routes from your home.  Search for the escape plan grid template.
Source: National Fire Protection Association

ABC and P.A.S.S.

Fire Extinguishers

Follow these tips for types of extinguishers  to purchase and storing extinguishers

  • Store your extinguisher in a quick to grab location
  • Putting put out a small fire can prevent severe damage or injury. i.e. kitchen, garage, bedroom, on each floor for a multiple floor home
  • Place or store several smaller extinguishers throughout the house for ease of use and quick access
  • A-B-C extinguishers are recommended :  
A- Ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth and many plastics   
B- Flammable liquids such as gasoline, paints, kitchen grease and oils  
C- Electrical equipment such as fires in wiring, motors and appliances
  • Check your extinguishers on a regular basis to ensure they are properly charged
How to operate fire extingusiher, Pull pin, Aim at base of fire, squeeze handle and sweep upwards at the fire

How to use a fire extinguisher: PASS

  • Citizen Emergency Response Team fire extinguisher training:
  • Try to keep calm. It is vital to keep an escape route open between you and the small fire you attempting to extinguish
  • Always point the extinguisher at the base of the fire rather than at the top of the flames.
  • If the fire is too big for you to handle, immediately get yourself and your family out of the house, gathering nothing!!!  
  • Contact your local Fire Station to inquire if they provide fire extinguisher training

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Gas, Electrical and Oil

Types of Fires

Natural Gas Fire Icon

Natural Gas

  • First, shut off gas
  • Second, put the fire out by using an extinguisher, dirt or water.
Electrical Fire Icon


  • First, shut off electricity
  • Second, put out the fire out by using an extinguisher, dirt or water.
  • CAUTION: If the electricity cannot be shut off, DO NOT use water on the fire!!!
Grease Fire Icon

Oil or Grease

  • Turn off source of heat if able.
  • Use baking soda, a pan lid, a bread board, or a fire extinguisher to smother the flames.
  • NEVER user water on a grease or an oil fire!!!

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Fire safety in communities

Wild Land Fires and Neighborhoods

If your neighborhood is near, adjacent to, or bumping into any woodland areas your homes can be subject to wild land fires, a common acronym "WUI" (Wild-land Urban Interface) describes your neighborhood.  FIREWISE USA has been assisting residents in reducing wildfire risks for years. 

Watch this video to learn about the FIREWISE program: Firewise Video YouTube link.
If your neighborhood is not at risk, please pass this on to those you know are at risk.  You do not have to be living in the forest for wild fire to impact your home.

The Firewise USA™ program provides a number of proven tools and resources for homeowners and other community residents who work tirelessly to help prepare for and reduce the risk of wildfire damage and loss in their neighborhoods. The FIREWISE website  has a great Toolkit and FIREWISE principles for a homeowner/landlord to follow.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources has some great local information at this website:

Fire Zones 1, 2 and 3 in a home landscape

Preparedness Academy

Information and Registration HERE

A neighborhood or community can request a course, call for attendance requirements and dates available.  For details call Peggy 253-798-2209

Psychological First Aid 

September 12, Tuesday 6:00 PM, University Place Library
October 10, Tuesday 6:00 PM Gig Harbor
November 7, Tuesday 6:00 PM Graham Fire Station, Graham

Disaster First Aid

October 28, Saturday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Chapel Hill Presbyterian - Gig Harbor
November 4, Saturday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, East Pierce Fire Station - Bonney Lake
November 18, Saturday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Our Savior Lutheran- Tacoma/Puyallup

Radio Communications in Neighborhoods

October 26, Thursday 6:00 PM  Gig Harbor

Upcoming courses:

  • Electrical hazards during accidents, storms and disasters will be addressed in presentations and demonstrations by Puget Sound Energy, sponsored by PSE and  Pierce County Emergency Management.
  • An evening presentation by Pacific Northwest Seismic Network Scientist- Bill Steele on October 11.Impacts of subduction,deep and crustal fault earthquakes in Pierce County will be discussed. Preparedness strategies will also be shared.
Citizen Corp

Citizen Corps Council of Pierce County - Meeting

Are you interested in volunteering?    
More information at CCC-PC.

Meetings are held first Thursday every even-numbered month.  
Location Pierce County EOC 2501 South 35th St, Tacoma

What is PC-NET?

Pierce County Neighborhood Emergency Teams
) provides neighbors with information and tools necessary to work together for an effective response following emergencies and disasters. Professional responders will not be available to assist your neighborhood after a major disaster—you become the first responder. If individuals and their neighbors are prepared to mutually assist one another, lives can be saved and property can be spared.

Pierce County Emergency Team logo  Houses, trees, community stores
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Phone: 253-798-6595


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