Home Fire Safety Tips
Install Smoke Detectors
- Detectors should be placed on every level of your home and near all sleeping areas.
- Test every month.
- Replace batteries at least once annually and also whenever they “chirp.”
Know Your Home Escape Plan
- Make a home escape plan for your family before a fire ever starts.
- Practice the plan with the whole family twice a year.
- Knowing how to react in the event of a fire gives you a better chance of escaping.
Check Your Plan!
- Does everyone know two ways out of each room? The first way is probably a door, and the second way out might be a window or another door.
- Do all windows and doors needed for escape open easily?
- Where is the place where everyone will meet outside? You want to be able to tell the fire department that everyone is out safely.
In Case of a Fire
- Follow the escape plan.
- Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
- Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1! Don’t go back inside a burning building for anything or anyone. Firefighters have the training and the protective equipment to make rescues.
- If your exit routes are blocked by smoke, heat, or flames, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window, and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
Keep Your Kitchen Fire Safe and Stay Focused While Cooking
- Limit distractions when cooking.
- Never leave a hot oven or stovetop on unattended.
- Keep flammable objects away from heat sources.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency, and be sure you know how and when to use it.
Winter Seasonal Fire Safety Tips:
- Tree Safety
- Water natural trees every day to keep it from getting dry and going up in flames.
- Choose battery-operated candles as decorations.
- Keep trees away from heat sources, such as a fireplace of heat vent.
- A live tree should be taken down within two weeks, so don’t set it up too early.
- Use a “non-tip” tree stand.
- Use only nonflammable decorations.
- Never leave a lighted tree unattended.
- Do not dispose of your tree using a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Use recycling or pick-up services for safe disposal.
- Be sure your artificial tree has a fire retardant label.
- Light and Candle Safety
- Thoroughly check holiday lights every year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive crimping or wear.
- Do not overload outlets. Never link more than three strands on a single cord unless directions indicate differently.
- Never leave lights on or candles burning unattended.
- Only purchase lighting and electric decorations which are listed by an approved testing laboratory.
- Do not use candles on trees or near other live or flammable decorations.
- Avoid lighting candles in sleeping areas.
- Never hang lights on a metallic tree.
- Always use weatherproof lighting outdoors.
Fall Seasonal Fire Safety Tips:
Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery
Making sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have working batteries is one of the best ways to practice fire safety. An easy way to ensure your detectors will work when you need them is to change the batteries at least once per year. When you change your clocks at the end of daylight-saving time, change your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, too. A working smoke detector alerts you and your family during the early stage of a fire while you still have time to make a safe exit. So, the next time you Change your clock…Change your battery!
Summer Seasonal Fire Safety Tips:
- Fireworks Safety – It is best to never use fireworks at home.
- Only purchase fireworks that are legal in your area.
- Never point or throw fireworks at someone.
- Always supervise older children when handling fireworks. Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Be sure to immediately retreat to a safe distance after lighting a fireworks device.
- Do not attempt to relight a malfunctioning device. Soak in water and dispose instead.
- Keep a water bucket or hose nearby.
- Do not use metal or glass containers for lighting fireworks.
- Barbecue Safety
- Do not overfill a propane tank.
- Never add lighter fluid to a lit fire to prevent flashback flames and explosions.
- Dispose of used coals by dousing in water and stirring until fire is out.
- Do not grill indoors or in enclosed spaces.
- Be cautious of loose clothing while grilling.
- Campfire Safety
- Keep campfires contained, away from dry grass and leaves.
- Never leave your fire unattended.
- Extinguish the fire by dousing with water and then stirring. Douse with water again to ensure fire is out.
Prevent Dryer Fires
- Clothes dryers are a leading cause of fires in homes, hotels and motels, and hospitals.
- Clean the filter screen after every use. Accumulated lint in the screen will clog the vent and cause the dryer to overheat and catch fire.
- Don’t leave the dryer on unattended. Stay home while the dryer is in use, and turn it off before leaving the house.
- Every six months, clean the pipe that vents to the outside. Use a vacuum to remove lint and dust.
- Vacuum the motor area if you can access it; you may need to remove a panel to do this. This will clear the area of dust and lint that could ignite if heated.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- More than 150 people die every year in America from accidental CO poisoning unrelated to fires.
- Carbon monoxide is the product of the incomplete combustion. It is odorless and colorless and is highly toxic. It is known as “the silent killer” because it is undetectable by human senses and will starve oxygen from the body and become fatal.
- CO is a flammable, potentially explosive gas. The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning range from a mild headache to lethargy and confusion, nausea, unconsciousness, and death.
- Common causes of CO in a building include improper combustion or improper ventilation of natural gas and oil-fuled furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and even automobile fumes from running in a garage or close to a building. A blockage in a chimney or flue pipe can cause CO accumulation as well. CO will also be generated by the extremely dangerous practice of using barbecues, portable stoves, or portable heaters inside an enclosed space.
- Install a CO alarm on each level of the home and near all sleeping areas. You can interconnect the CO alarms so that they all sound when one is set off.
- If you suspect CO contamination, evacuate the building and area immediately. Call 9-1-1 and report any medical symptoms and the possibility of CO contamination. The Fire Department will respond to provide medical care as needed and to test the building for contamination using air sampling meters.
Caution When Storing Newspapers
Recycling newspapers is encouraged, but be careful where you store them. Keep them in a cool, dry place at least three feet away from heat sources. Newspapers can generate heat and ignite themselves, so never store them in a warm, damp area.
FOR ANY GAS LEAK OR EMERGENCY
- EVACUATE THE AREA
- CALL 9-1-1