Fire Safety Tips

Plan Your Home Fire Escape

  • Draw a map of your home. Include all windows and doors.
  • Find two ways out of every room.
  • Make sure you can use every way out.
  • Make sure doors and windows are not blocked.
  • Choose an outside meeting place in front of your home.
  • Go over your plan with everyone in your home.
  • Plan to assist anyone who needs help getting outside.
  • Test your smoke alarms to be sure they are working.

Installing and Maintaining Smoke Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • On levels without bedrooms, install smoke alarms in the living room/den/family room, near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations.
  • Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
  • Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Wall-mounted alarms should be installed no more than 12 inches away from the ceiling from the top of the alarm.
  • If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button on the alarm.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Replace batteries twice a year.

Cooking Safety

  • Stay in the kitchen when frying food or cooking with oil or grease.
  • Never cook when you are tired.
  • To put out a pan fire, slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the stove and let the pan cool.
  • Keep things that can burn away from the stove.
  • Keeps kids and pets at least 3 feet from the stove.
  • If you have a fire and it does not go out, get out of the home and call 911.

Heating Safety

  • Have your furnace cleaned every year.
  • Have your chimney cleaned every year.
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.
  • Turn space heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Have a sturdy screen covering your fireplace.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.

Electrical Safety

  • Keep things that can burn, like scarves or other clothes, off of lamps.
  • Keep curtains away from light bulbs. Bulbs can get hot and start a fire.
  • Do not place things on top of electrical cords. Heavy things can wear the cord and cause a fire.
  • Keep cords from under carpets where people can walk on them. They can wear and cause a fire.
  • Be sure that light bulbs match what is safe for the lamp. There should be a sticker with that information on the lamp.

Fire Safety Tips for Rural Residents

  • Create a defensible space of at least 30 feet around your house and outbuildings
  • Closely mow your lawn.
  • Ensure your trees are pruned and spaced widely apart.
  • Establish fuel breaks along roadways and between buildings and fields or woodlands.
  • Keep mufflers and spark arresters on agricultural equipment in proper working order
  • Watch out for rocks and metal when bush hogging or mowing.
  • Monitor hay-baling operations closely, dry hay can ignite within the baler.
  • Watch out for sparks when using welding equipment to build fences or repair equipment.
  • Avoid driving or parking vehicles in grassy areas where tall, dry grass comes into contact with hot pollution control equipment under vehicles.
  • Check with local fire department to determine if any bans on outdoor burning exist before doing any kind of outdoor burning.
  • When debris burning is allowed, establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil prior to lighting your fire. Burn trash in a burn barrel or other fire-safe receptacle covered with a wire mesh or gird that will help contain burning debris.
  • Stay with your fire until it is out.
  • If an outside burn gets out of control, call 911.