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Fire Safety

About Fire Safety & Prevention

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape?

The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.

Fire Safety Tips 
  • Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • ​Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • ​If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
  • ​Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

​Preparing and Preventing a Home Fire - Steps You Can Take Now

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • ​Never smoke in bed.
  • ​Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Download the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies mobile game to teach kids about fire safety and other disasters.
  • ​Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
Smoke Alarms 
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • ​Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • ​Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • ​Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
  • ​Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
Home Fire Escape Plan 

Unsure where to start? Use these guides to help begin your escape plan:

  • Single Family Home
  • Multi-Family Home
  • High-Rise Apartment Complex
  • Use this printable worksheet to plan and practice home fire drills.
Download the Home Fire Escape Plan
Fire Escape Planning 
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • ​ Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside in case of fire.
  • ​Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day.
  • ​Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • ​Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Cooking Safely 
  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • ​Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food. Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
  • ​Keep anything that can catch fire—like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing— away from the stove.
  • ​Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills 
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.
  • ​If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
  •  Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Respond
Follow Your Escape Plan 
  • During a home fire, remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
  • ​If closed doors or handles are warm, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  • ​Crawl low under smoke.
  • ​Go to your outside meeting place and then call for help.
  • ​If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
Use Caution with Fire Extinguishers 

Use a portable fire extinguisher ONLY if you have been trained by the fire department and in the following conditions:

  • ​The fire is confined to a small area, and is not growing.
  • ​The room is not filled with smoke.
  • ​Everyone has exited the building.
  • ​The fire department has been called.
Remember the word PASS when using a fire extinguisher: 
  1. Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
  2. Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  4. Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Immediately After a House Fire

  • Have injuries treated by a medical professional. Wash small wounds with soap and water. To help prevent infection of small wounds, use bandages and replace them if they become soiled, damaged or waterlogged.
  • ​Remain calm. Pace yourself. You may find yourself in the position of taking charge of other people. Listen carefully to what people are telling you, and deal patiently with urgent situations first.
  • ​Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter.
  • ​Anyone entering your damaged home should wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, closed-toed rubber-soled shoes or boots and work gloves, plus dust masks, safety goggles and/or a hard hat when necessary.