The months of August and September tend to be time when we see increased wildfire activity here on the Olympic Peninsula. More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings - in or near forests, rural areas or remote sites. There, homeowners enjoy the beauty of the environment but face the very real danger of wildfire. Wildfires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. Reduce your risk by preparing now - before wildfire strikes. Meet with your family to decide what to do and where to go if wildfires threaten your area.


Practice Wildfire Safety

  • Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home.

  • Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.

  • Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.

  • Post fire emergency telephone numbers.

  • Plan several escape routes away from your home - by car and by foot.

  • Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a wildfire. Make a list of your neighbors' skills such as medical or technical. Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans to take care of children who may be on their own if parents can't get home.

Before Wildfire Threatens . . .

  • Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. Select materials and plants that can help contain fire rather than fuel it. Use fire resistant or non-combustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling. Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

  • Regularly clean roof and gutters.

  • Inspect chimneys at least twice a year. Clean them at least once a year.

  • Install a smoke alarm on each level of your home. Test monthly and change the batteries two times each year.

  • Teach family members how to use the fire extinguisher.

  • Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.

  • Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.

  • Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.

  • Ask the power company to clear branches from power lines.

  • Mow grass regularly.

  • Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans.

  • Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from your home.

  • Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire - resistant drapes.

  • Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools; a rake, axe, hand/chainsaw, bucket and shovel.

  • Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool or hydrant.

  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.

  • Install freeze-proof exterior water outlets on at least two sides of the home and near other structures on the property. Install additional outlets at least 50 feet from the home.

  • Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump in case electrical power is cut off.

When Wildfire Threatens . . .

  • If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information.

  • Follow the instructions of local officials.

  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape. Shut doors and roll up windows. Leave the key in the ignition. Close garage windows and doors, but leave them unlocked. Disconnect automatic garage door openers.

  • Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for your pets in case you must evacuate.

  • Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative's home outside the threatened area.

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

  • Wear protective clothing - sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face.

  • Take your disaster supply kit.

  • Lock your home.

  • Tell someone when you leave and where you are going.

  • Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.

Take steps to protect your home:

  • Close windows, vents, doors, venetian blinds and heavy drapes. Remove lightweight curtains.

  • Shut your gas off at the meter.

  • Open fireplace damper. Close fireplace screens.

  • Place lawn sprinklers on the roof.

  • Wet the roof.

  • Wet or remove shrubs within 15 feet of the home.

  • Gather fire tools.

Wildfire and other types of disasters can strike quickly and without warning. You can cope by preparing in advance and working with your family to devise a Family Disaster Plan which includes a Disaster Supplies Kit. Discuss with your family why it is important to have a plan and practice your plan frequently.


Please let your Fire & Rescue team know if you have any questions or concerns regarding wildfires by calling 437-2236.

Bicycle helmets prevent head injuries. Just a few minutes learning some bicycle safety rules and how to properly wear a helmet can make someone safer for life.

Bicycle Safety Tips

Make sure your bike is safe

  • The pedals, seat and handlebars let you control your bike. Make sure they are firmly attached.

  • Make sure the tires are in good condition and are properly inflated.

  • Inspect the braking system to ensure that it will function adequately when needed.

Wear a Helmet

The majority of bicycle vs. motor-vehicle collision deaths are caused by head injuries. Helmets can help reduce the frequency and severity of head injuries, but are only effective if properly fitted and adjusted. Always wear the helmet level on your head. The side buckles should be adjusted to fit snugly when the chin buckle is closed. Bicycle helmets are designed to withstand one crash only. Structural damage is not always visible, so never use a crashed or secondhand helmet.


Obey Traffic Laws

Traffic law violations cause the majority of bicycle/motor vehicle collisions. By following traffic laws, cyclists are predictable to other drivers.

  • Ride in the direction of traffic, on the road and not on the sidewalks - sidewalks are for pedestrians.

  • Obey traffic signs and signals.

  • Yield when entering a roadway.

  • Signal before turning or changing lanes.

  • Pass on the left.

  • Use proper lighting at night.

Road Hazards

  • Continually scan for hazards that could cause you to lose control.

  • Remember that having the right-of-way is less important than keeping yourself from a collision.

  • In wet conditions, give yourself extra room to stop.

  • Rainy conditions are usually low light conditions, too, so take steps to make yourself more visible.

  • When crossing slippery surfaces (pavement markings, utility covers, etc..) avoid braking or turning.

  • Cross train tracks at a right angle and stand up to absorb shock from uneven surfaces.

Bicycle Statistics

  • There are 85 million bicycle riders in the US.

  • 773 bicyclists died on US roads in 2006, down just 11 from the year before. 92% of them died in crashes with motor vehicles (720).

  • About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.

  • Bicycle crashes and injuries are under-reported, since the majority are not serious enough for emergency room visits. 44,000 cyclists were reported injured in traffic crashes in 2006.

  • 1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries has a brain injury.

  • Two-thirds of the deaths are from traumatic brain injury.

  • A very high percentage of cyclists' brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 percent.

  • About half of the deaths are children under 15 years old.

  • Direct costs of cyclists' injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $81 million each year.

  • Indirect costs of cyclists' injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $2.3 billion each year.

All of your emergency responders and staff at Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue want each of you to have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 310 Americans each year and injure 1,100 more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures, but many more are caused by incorrectly installed wiring and overloaded circuits and extension cords.

Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from electrical fires.


The Problem

During a typical year, home electrical problems account for 28,600 fires and $1.1 billion in property losses. 53% of residential electrical fires involve electrical wiring.

December and January are the most dangerous months for electrical fires. Fire deaths are highest in winter months which call for more indoor activities and increases in lighting, heating, and appliance use. The bedroom is the leading area of fire origin for residential building electrical fires. However, electrical fires that begin in the living room/family room/den areas result in the most deaths.


The Cause

  • Most electrical distribution fires result from problems with "fixed wiring" such as faulty electrical outlets and old wiring. Problems with cords (such as extension and appliance cords), plugs, receptacles, and switches also cause many home electrical fires.

  • Light fixtures and lamps/light bulbs are also leading causes of electrical fires.

  • Many avoidable electrical fires can be traced to misuse of electric cords, such as overloading circuits, poor maintenance, and running the cords under rugs or in high traffic areas.

Safety Precautions

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.

  • Use electrical extension cords wisely and don't overload them.

  • Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.

  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

  • Don't allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons, and hair dryers.

  • Keep clothes, curtains, and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.

  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

  • Never overload extension cords or wall sockets. Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker. Use safety closures to "child-proof" electrical outlets.

  • Check your electrical tools regularly for signs of wear. If the cords are frayed or cracked, replace them. Replace any tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out, or gives off smoke or sparks.

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.

HEADQUARTERS

Fire Station No. 31

7650 Oak Bay Road

Port Ludlow, WA 98365

BUSINESS HOURS

Monday through Friday, 
8:00 am – 4:30 pm

FIRE CHIEF

Brad Martin

PHONE

(360) 437-2236

GENERAL FAX

(360) 437-9184

CONFIDENTIAL FAX

(866) 367-2291

© 2021 Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue