This article is part of the Journal’s special section “Women in Business,” which celebrates modern career women on the island.
For island fire safety, Julie Curley has the cure.
Sea-Cure Extinguisher Services, that is, which is the over 30-year-old local business Curley has owned for the last roughly three years. She sells and services portable fire extinguishers throughout the San Juans.
The local service is crucial, she said.
“I give immediate, first-day response for what is your first protection to get you to safety,” said Curley. “For home or business, everyone should have a fire extinguisher.”
While Curley was working at Roche Harbor Resort, the previous owner of Sea-Cure, Bill LaPorte, suggested he needed a man to help install extinguishers as he aged.
“I told him, ‘I’m your man,’ and he laughed and said, ‘You’re hired’; we had a great relationship from then on,” recalled Curley about LaPorte, a former Town of Friday Harbor mayor.
Since taking over, Curley has upgraded the business to offer annual extinguisher inspections and maintenance, which run from $9 to $13, each. She can also recharge extinguishers.
According to regulations by the National Fire Protection Association, Curley recommends a five-pound extinguisher with a hose for $55, plus tax. She uses the brand Amerex, because “it’s the best.”
Curley arrived on San Juan about 35 years ago to visit Roche Harbor, but plans quickly changed.
“We decided to go for a look and never left,” she said about herself and her husband Mike, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force.
They lived at the marina, where she became the winter harbor master, then managed employee housing. Curley still organizes children events on the resort’s lawn near the pool on holidays like Easter and Fourth of July.
With her new business, Curley can meet new people throughout the islands, she said, where she has the one, if not only company selling portable fire extinguishers and services. She also offers free services to nonprofits, like the islands’ family resource centers and daycares.
“It’s a way to give back to the community that has been so wonderful to me over the years,” she said.
Like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, said Curley, fire extinguishers must be inspected annually. If not, chemicals in fire extinguishers can harden and they are unable to be used.
In the wake of two local deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning last spring, Curley continues to remind customers about inspections, though she only sells fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers have tags to remember service dates, but other detectors do not, she said. Curley suggests using an important, personal date, like birthdays or anniversaries.
“Connect this day to check your alarm,” she advised.
For Curley, helping others doesn’t feel like a job.
“Everywhere I go, I run into wonderful people,” she said. “I’m paid to go out and visit and, at the same time, give people security and safety.”
For info on the business, which does not have a storefront, contact 360-378-3135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.