Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Smoke detectors save lives. The 39th District happens to be the home of two “heroes” for fire safety and awareness, Gerry and Bonnie Gibson of Sultan, Washington. Tragically, Gerry and Bonnie lost their son, Greg “Gibby” Gibson, in a house fire in January 2016. The rental house he was staying in did not have smoke alarms.
The Gibson's set out to change state law. After more than three years of hard work, their dream became a reality. Senate Bill 5284, was approved and signed into law in May 2019.
I was proud to sponsor the companion bill in the House for this legislation, inspired by the Gibsons, requiring property owners to install at least one smoke detection device before new residents occupy the property. Property owners face a $5,000 fine if they do not install a smoke alarm and a fire causes property damage, injury or death to a tenant or a member of a tenant's household.
Money collected from the fines will be deposited in a new Smoke Detection Device Awareness account managed by the state fire marshal. It will be used for projects that help raise fire safety and prevention awareness.
Do you need a smoke detector?
Too many people have old smoke alarms, smoke alarms without batteries or worse yet, no smoke alarms at all. Check yours today! Don't have a smoke detector in your home? Contact the Northwest Regional Red Cross. Here are some resources that can help:
The Home Fire Campaign installs free smoke alarms in homes that don't have them and educates people about home fire safety. Sound the Alarm plans to install 100,000 free smoke alarms in at-risk communities. Sign-up locally at Get a Smoke Alarm.
One of the best aspects of my job is the time I get to spend meeting with people in the 39th District. For the past several months, I've been attending community meetings—listening and learning about public policy topics important to the people in our region.
Needless to say, it's been busy but very worthwhile work. Topics have included our region's transportation needs, such as improvements required to mitigate US 2 traffic, K-12 education, elk management efforts, agriculture, behavioral and mental health facility investments, and new ways business owners can help employees that may suffer from domestic abuse.
As always, my focus remains on how to help our district, people and communities thrive with job opportunities and healthy economic growth for us and future generations.
Set up a time for us to meet!
If you would like to meet with me to talk about your concerns or ideas for state government-related issues, call me. I'm always happy to meet with you. Working together, we can make our region and state a better place to live, work and raise a family.
It's an honor to serve you.