During the past week, Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One has received a number of requests for information about how to survive a fire in your home.
The first recommendation is to make sure your home has working smoke alarms on every level and in every bedroom.
There are many types of smoke alarms. The ones that will give you the best notification are those that are interconnected, so when one smoke alarm goes off, they all go off.
With new technology, families can install a wireless interconnected system, so you don’t even have to hire an electrician to get the added protection. Just search wireless interconnected smoke alarms on the web, and several well-known manufacturers will pop up.
It is also recommended by the National Fire Protection Association that, if your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, they should be replaced.
The other important piece to surviving a fire in your home is to have a fire escape plan that is practiced by all members of your family. It is important to make sure children know the sound of the smoke alarms in your home and that they know how to respond.
Your family needs to have a primary evacuation route and a secondary one, in case the first route is blocked by smoke or fire.
Remember: smoke is deadly. Just one breath can knock you unconscious and make it impossible to escape.
Crawl low and get out — fast.
Once a fire starts, you typically have only two minutes to get out safely. Teach your children they never should try to look for pets or toys before they exit.
Get down, get out and stay out!
For more information about smoke alarms, escape planning or fire safety, visit www.gigharborfire.org or call the Prevention Division at 253-851-5111.
Be a guest columnist
We’re looking for a couple of volunteer guest columnists for 2014. You must live in Gig Harbor or on the Key Peninsula, enjoy writing about our area or topics of general interest, and be able to submit a column up to 600 words once a month for the next calendar year.
In particular, we’ re looking for a few different voices who are willing to take on current events from their perspective. The more local, the better.
To apply, put together a cover letter than explains your interest and a few topics you’d like to write about. Write one original column that hasn’t been previously published. Submit your packet by Dec. 31 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Guest columnist” in the subject line. Your work can be attached as a document or sent in the body of the email. You can also drop by a hard copy or mail it to: The Peninsula Gateway, 3555 Erickson St., Gig Harbor, WA 98335.