Look. Listen. Learn.

Puget Sound Fire celebrates Fire Prevention Week by holding a contest and creating two new forms of non-emergency contacts.

Oct. 7 until Oct. 13 is Fire Prevention Week. To celebrate, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority (RFA) has created two new sources of non-emergency contact and a contest for community members.

According to RFA Chief Matt Morris, the department was reorganized into a division called “Community Risk Reduction (CRR).”

He said during a press conference on Oct. 10, this group was created to “seek efficiency and to improve the outcomes in our community.”

“Our focus is to increase safety in the community and make it a better place to live and visit,” Morris said. “RFA believes in things like integrity and compassion and we believe in things like safety — those are the focus values that we bring forward.”

Morris said Deputy Chief Jon Napier is the leader of CRR.

Napier said the mission of CRR is to collaborate professional public trust through education, enforcement, engineering economic incentives and emergency response.

To succeed at this, Napier said the two new forms of non-emergency communication that were created are a phone number and an email address.

The phone number is 253-856-RISK and the email is CRR@pugetsoundfire.org, he said.

He also explained the campaign for this year’s Fire Prevention Week.

“This year’s campaign is titled ‘Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware, fire can happen anywhere.’ The importance of this campaign is to look around your surroundings to identify and potential hazards that you may have in your house or your work space. We want you to check your smoke alarms, and lastly we want to make sure you know you have two ways out of every space that you’re in,” Napier explained.

To spread this message, the RFA is hosting a contest for community members to participate in.

He said the contest is open to all residents within their service area — Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Hobart, Ravensdale, SeaTac and portions of unincorporated King County.

The first step of this contest is to create and practice an exit plan within your home, Napier explained. The next step, is to check fire alarms within your home and make sure they are working. Once those two steps are completed, the third step is to turn in one of the forms RFA has on their website that indicates you and your family have participated in the contest.

The forms will also be passed out to school aged children, he said.

Once the form in completed, Napier said to submit the form via the RFA website, to mail in it or to drop it off at one of the local schools.

All entries must be submitted before Nov. 5, according to the form. It also stated the winner will be announced by Dec. 19.

According to the form, you could win $50-$100 gift cards.

The RFA is also partnering with American Red Cross to install smoke alarms in people’s homes.

“So during the contest, if you find that you do not have working smoke alarm, you can call us at 253-856-RISK and schedule and appointment and we will partner with American Red Cross and the fire department will come out and install working smoke alarms in your home, free to you,” Napier said.

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Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com. To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.
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