It’s never too early in the fall to begin to think about cooler days and nights that are sure to come. Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue encourages everyone to think about good fire safety practices to keep you and your loved ones safe and sound.

Fireplace and Home Fire Safety

More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels.

Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility ...Fire Stops With You!

Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.

  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.

  • Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces. Leave glass doors open while burning a fire.

  • Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.

  • Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces, otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.

  • Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.

Safely Burn Fuels

  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.

  • Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.

  • Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.

  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove

  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.

  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.

  • Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.

Protect the Outside of Your Home

  • Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.

  • Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.

  • Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.

  • Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.

Protect the Inside of Your Home

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms. Remember to call us when you need help checking your detector in those high ceilings.

  • Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.

  • Extend all vent pipes at least three feet above the roof.

Once a child touches a hot stove, as the cliché goes-he learns his lesson, stay away from a hot stove. This cliché does not take into account the pain and suffering from burns and burns should not be part of the learning process.

That's why Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for Fire Prevention Week 2009 - October 4-10 - to urge Port Ludlow residents to "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned." This year's campaign focuses on ways to keep homes fire safe and prevent painful burns.

The statistics are staggering. Each year roughly 3,000 people dies as a result of home fires and burns, and more than 200,000 individuals are seen in the nation's emergency rooms for burn injuries.

The most common types of burn injuries result from fire or flame burns, scalds and contact burns. Burns are painful and can result in serious scarring and even death. When we take extra caution in our homes to ensure that the curling iron is out of children's reach or pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove, such injuries are entirely preventable. Keeping our homes safe from fire and preventing devastating burn injuries is a healthy change we can make happen.

By following simple safety rules, you can "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned."

  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.

  • Have a 3-foot "kid-free" zone around the stove.

  • Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.

  • Be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.

  • Install tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in the outlet.

  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, portable heater, lit fireplace or stove, or where a hot appliance might be in use.

  • Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.

  • Set your hot water temperature no higher than 120 degrees.

  • Install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. For 85 years fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record. Please remember that you can call Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue at 437-2236 if you have any questions relating to fire safety.

Disasters can occur any where at any time. After a disaster strikes, traditional 9-1-1 and first responder capabilities such as fire, medics, police, and utility personnel will be overwhelmed and unable to immediately assist residents. Preparing your family, your home, and your neighborhood is key to survival.

Neighbors will likely be the first ones to offer you assistance. Here in Port Ludlow we have active neighborhood groups organized and willing to help.

Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management (DEM) offers Nixle alerts. These are text messages (on your cell phone or via email) with important public safety information that can include road closures, severe weather advisories, and other public safety information.

  • Navigate to at

  • Follow the simple steps to sign up. When you receive a text message from 888777, reply to complete the sign-up process.

  • This is a free service from Jefferson County Emergency Management however if you chose text alerts and have a phone plan that charges for text messages, normal text message fees by your phone service charges may apply.

In the event of a major power outage, officials recommend getting information by listening to your car radio.

Other helpful websites include:

  • Washington State Emergency Management:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency:

  • If you want to get notified when the Hood Canal Bridge closes, sign up for the Washington State Department of Transportations website at Hood Canal Bridge.