South County Fire offers summer safety tips


As temperatures go up, a little extra caution can go a long way to help prevent fires and injuries associated with hot weather. South County Fire crews offer these safety tips from recent 911 call responses in south Snohomish County.

Window screens keeps bugs out, not children in

Window screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. South County Fire transported a 3-year-old boy to Harborview Medical Center after a screen gave way and he fell from a 3-story window on Wednesday at an apartment complex north of Lynnwood.

To prevent window falls:

  • Properly install window guards or stops so windows open no more than 4 inches. Make sure there is an emergency release device that can be easily opened by adults or older children in case of fire. Include this in your family’s fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
  • Keep windows locked and closed when they are not being used.
  • Move chairs, cribs and other furniture away from windows.

Be safe around water

With more people headed to beaches and lakes, water safety is also a concern. South County Fire responded to a near drowning last week at Martha Lake:  a 20-year-old man was unconscious and unresponsive when he was pulled the water. He regained consciousness shortly before firefighters arrived and was transported by medics to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

Real-life drowning is not as portrayed in the movies. It’s quick and silent.  There can be very little splashing, waiving or screaming. Once a child begins to struggle, you may have less than a minute to react.

For young children, drowning often happens in and around the home in bathtubs, pools, spas and backyard ponds. Watch children without distraction whenever they are in or around water.

Teens and young adults are higher risk-takers and overestimate their abilities, which can lead to trouble on the water. Young adults may also engage in even riskier behavior such as alcohol or drug use around water. Discuss expectations for behavior and consequences for breaking family rules.

For all ages, encourage the use of a life jacket and always have a swim buddy.  South County Fire and Safe Kids Snohomish County offer a cabinet stocked with life jackets of all sizes available for free day use at Martha Lake County Park.

Be careful with cigarettes

Discarded cigarettes were the likely cause of two recent residential fires in south Snohomish County. No one was injured, but these fires caused more than $950,000 damage to three homes.

Before you throw out cigarette butts or ashes, make sure they are all the way out. Dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that. Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table. Don’t discard cigarettes in flower pots or landscaping where they can smolder and ignite dry vegetation or bark.

South County Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to more than 250,000 residents in South Snohomish County, Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.


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