Prepare Now for a Safe Commute This Winter

The unpredictable northwest winter weather will soon be upon us.  Here are a few things you can do to help make your commutes safer.
 
Driving Tips:
•    Decrease your speed and increase your following distance.  
•    Avoid unnecessary lane changes.  
•    Warm your vehicle prior to driving to allow windows to defrost.  
•    Drive with your headlights on to increase visibility.
•    If you are involved in a collision, STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE with your seat belt on, that’s the safest place to be.

Check vehicle equipment:
•    Check tires for adequate tread depth and proper inflation.
•    Replace worn windshield wiper blades.  
•    Fill windshield washer with a nonfreezing cleaning fluid.
•    Check and replace defective lights.
•    Check fluid levels including oil and anti freeze.  
•    Check and replace worn hoses and belts.

Plan trips:
•    Pay attention to weather and traffic reports; use social media sites like Twitter to get up to the minute traffic, roadway, and collision information.
•    Allow extra travel time.
•    Avoid unnecessary trips.

What to bring:  
•    During winter months consider carrying additional equipment in your vehicle such as tire chains, a shovel, first aid supplies, gloves, a flashlight, blankets, and an ice scraper.

The Washington State Patrol (WSP), along with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), will be working hard to ensure safe travel to your destination. You, too, can maximize your safety this winter by following these simple tips.     

November 22, 2013/Washington State Patrol Press Release

Mason 4 Budget Workshop

The Board of Commissioners for Mason County Fire District 4 will hold a workshop to discuss & take action on the 2014 budget on Tuesday, November 26th at 2970 SE Arcadia Road. The budge workshop will take place following their regular meeting that begins at 8:00 a.m.

Nov. 22, 2013

Public invited to comment on Regional Transportation Plan

The Peninsula Regional Transportation Planning Organization invites the public to attend any of four public meetings to learn more about a Regional Transportation Plan and to comment on the future vision of transportation for the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas.

The Regional Transportation Plan is designed to promote and guide efficient and sustainable transportation systems on the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas. It was developed as a shared vision of how strategic transportation planning can create a better future for residents and businesses on the peninsulas.

Anyone can participate by visiting one of the following public meetings or by electronically submitting comments by Dec. 31 to Patrick Babineau.  The same materials will be presented at all locations.

Read more...

Turkey Fryers

The holidays are right around the corner with Thanksgiving on the 28th of November.  State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy wants to provide a reminder to please think twice about fire safety while celebrating the holidays.  The State Fire Marshal’s Office shares the following information from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) regarding Turkey Fryers:
UL considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to use as they present numerous safety hazards to consumers. "We're worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use," says John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager of UL. "Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark."
Turkey Fryer Hazards
•    Many units easily tip over, spilling hot oil from the cooking pot.
•    If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
•    Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too may result in an extensive fire.
•    With no thermostat controls, the units have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
•    The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.
Important Safety Information
If you use a turkey fryer, please consider the following tips:
•    Turkey fryers should ONLY be used outdoors at a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
•    Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
•    Make sure the fryer is used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
•    Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil may continue to heat until it catches fire.
•    Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
•    To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
•    Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
•    Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
•    The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
•    Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.
For additional information, please visit the Underwriters Laboratory website.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, and training Washington State’s firefighters.