Monday, August 21, 2017

Carbon Monoxide Alarms/Smoke Alarms/Residential Fire Sprinklers

As of January 1, 2013, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms will be required in all residential dwelling units.  

Approximately 250 people in the United States die each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. This deadly gas is hard to detect because it is odorless, colorless and tasteless.

As of January 1, 2013, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms will be required in all residential dwelling units. This applies even for dwellings that don't have fireplaces or gas-fired appliances, because these are not the cause of the most severe incidents. Following a 2006 windstorm, 250 people were treated for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the Puget Sound area and eight died, all from either burning charcoal briquettes inside their homes or from improper use of gasoline-powered generators. In response to these tragedies, new state-wide law and building codes require CO alarms in most residential buildings, including single-family homes.

For more information about the new requirements and affected occupancy types, click here.


Smoke Alarm_PicAbout 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and about 18,300 are injured. Many of them might be alive today if they had only learned what to do if there is a fire. It is very important to have a working smoke alarms with a working batteries in your home. If you have that, it greatly lowers your chances of dying in a fire.

Gig Harbor Fire has 10 year lithium battery smoke alarms available for our community for families in need - Please contact the Prevention Division at 851-5111 for more information and to schedule installation.

 Additional Links / Information:

Learn about Smoke Alarms

Children & Smoke Alarms

Know Your Smoke Alarm! Know Your Battery!

In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms can save your life. Smoke alarms provide early detection of a fire to allow your family time to escape safely. There are many different types of smoke alarms on the market. How do you know which one to buy?

These are all common questions regarding a very important part of fire detection in your home.

Q: What types of alarms are out there?  
There are many brands of smoke alarms available for purchase, but there are two basic types: photoelectric and ionization alarms.

Ionization alarms sound quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs.
Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires.
Dual sensor smoke alarm combines ionization and photoelectric alarms in one.
Hearing Impaired smoke alarms meet the needs of those with hearing disabilities. These alarms can be equipped with strobes that flash and/or vibrate.

Q: Where should smoke alarms be installed?  
Inside and outside all sleeping areas, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Since smoke and poisonous gases rise, installing smoke alarms on the ceiling is ideal and will provide the earliest detection.

Q: How do I install smoke alarms?  
Interconnected Smoke Alarms provide notification throughout the home. When one alarm is activated they all sound. These type of alarms can be wired directly into the home and will need a certified electrician to install and/or maintain them. You can also purchase smoke alarms with wireless technology, which uses radio frequency to transmit and receive messages.
Battery operated smoke alarms can be installed with as little as a screwdriver. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install properly.

Q: How long do smoke alarms last?  
The entire smoke alarm needs to be replaced every 8-10 years.

Q: What kinds of batteries do they take?
Standard 9-volt batteries. Change your battery at least once a year during the time change in the spring or fall; it is an easy way to remember when to change the battery.
Lithium batteries: Designed to last as long as the smoke alarm, 8-10 years. However, you still need to test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work.

Smoke alarms that are hard wired into your home will need a battery backup. These are typically a 9-volt battery. Standard battery powered alarms can either use 9-volt batteries or long lasting batteries, all of which can be found in local hardware stores. 9-volt batteries need to be replaced once per year. Long lasting batteries are intended to be installed when the smoke alarm goes in, and the entire unit (including the battery) can be replaced after 8-10 years. No matter what kind of battery you have, they will need to be tested every month.

 There are many types and brands of smoke alarms on the market. Remember to… 

Know your alarm! Know your battery!


FRANKFORT, IL – For many, building a new home is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are a lot of details to consider, and many options to choose. Safety is at the forefront of those choices for most consumers, and fire safety should be among them. In every community, consumers need to know the facts about home fires as well as the benefits of home fire sprinklers. But if a homebuilder doesn’t offer fire sprinklers as an option, how will homebuyers know to ask for them? The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has launched new online content designed to help consumers learn about the life-saving benefits of fire sprinklers. And whether they’re simply interested, or are thinking of building or buying a home, they’ll quickly see why it’s so important to ask for fire sprinklers when moving to a new home.

To read more click here


Committee Information

Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One is considering the proposal of a General Fire Levy Lid-lift measure for the  November 7, 2017 General Election.  As such, we are seeking members for the “For” and “Against” Committees as required by RCW 29A.32.280. Interested parties should contact Executive Assistant Danette Weyn by July 28th at 5:00 PM.


Danette Weyn
10222 Bujacich Rd. NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
(253) 851-3111

 Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One | 10222 Bujacich Rd. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332 | Phone: (253) 851-3111 Fax: (253) 851-9606 facebook twitter