Spring 2010
Flash Point

Apartment Fire Safety E-Newsletter

 The Seattle Fire Department - Public Education Section
In This Issue
Workshop for Seattle Apartment Managers
Fire Prevention - Extension Cords and Power Strips
Fire Extinguisher Safety
Summer 2009


Seattle Fire Department
Education Section seattle.gov/fire

220 3rd Ave. South
Seattle, WA
Dear Apartment/Property Manager, 
Welcome to the Spring 2010 edition of Flash Point, the Apartment Fire Safety e-newsletter from the Seattle Fire Department.
Make sure you check out the Fire Safety and Disaster Preparedness Workshop on May 20, 2010. See below for more details.
I hope you find this information useful. For comments or suggestions, send me an email. To unsubscribe, scroll to the bottom of this email.
Public Education
Seattle Fire Department
Fire Safety and Disaster Preparedness --
Free Workshop for Seattle Apartment Managers May 20th, 2010
apartment fireThe Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Office of Emergency Management have teamed up to sponsor a workshop specifically designed for Seattle apartment managers and owners.
- Learn how to develop apartment evacuation and
disaster plans
- Learn about the most common fire and disaster hazards
found in multi-family housing
- Learn how to organize within your building to stay self-sufficient after a disaster
- Refreshments and door prizes provided
This workshop is free and will be held on May 20, 2010 from 8:30AM to 12:00 PM at the Emergency Operations Center (105 5th Ave S, Seattle). Register by phone (206.233.5076) or register online. Download the workshop flyer.
Fire Prevention Tips: Extension Cords and Power Strips
Earlier this spring, there were two fires which caused significant property damage in Seattle. The cause of both fires was overheated power cords.
Extension cords and power strips are designed to provide a temporary power source and should be unplugged when not in use. When shopping for an extension device, look for a power strip or surge protector with an internal circuit breaker that will trip the breaker when overloaded. Here are a few tips to keep residents safe when using these devices:
  • Never overload extension cords or wall sockets and never run cords under rugs or place in high traffic areas.
  • There should only be one surge protector or power strip plugged into a single duplex electrical outlet.
  • Power strips vary in their capacity but should only be used for items that require light loads such as computers, printers and clocks, for example. They are not made to handle refrigerators or portable heaters.
  • If the extension cord or power strip feels hot to the touch, replace it.
  • Do not connect one extension cord or power strip to another. Also known as "daisy chaining."
  • Make sure the power strip has been tested by an independent testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or the Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL).

      power strip
Fire Extinguisher Safety
Hopefully you will never have to use a fire extinguisher to put out a real fire, but would you know how to use one if you were to encounter a fire? It is important to know how and when to use a fire extinguisher before the real need arises.
The Seattle Fire Department has a training video and DVD that provides an overview of using a fire extinguisher. This training video/DVD does not replace doing hands on extinguisher training but does provide some good basic tips on using one. The DVD/video can be borrowed for up to a week to groups interested in training their staff or residents. To reserve a DVD/video call 206.386.1337 or email fireinfo@seattle.gov
Download a Fire Extinguisher Fact sheet.
Here is a list of reminders about fire extinguisher safety.
  • Don't force yourself to fight a fire that makes you uncomfortable or puts you at risk.
  • Always make certain 911 has been called before using an extinguisher on a fire.
  • Fire extinguishers are small quick fixes. If you are unable to put out the fire with one extinguisher, leave and close the door behind you.
  • A fire involving any portion of building structure is too big for a portable fire extinguisher.
  • While using a fire extinguisher stay low, the smoke is filled with carbon monoxide and many other toxic gases.
  • Don't let the fire come between you and your exit. Keep your back to the exit and the fire in front of you.
fire extinguisher 
Thank you for reading the Spring 2010 Edition of Flash Point.
Bill Mace