Fire Prevention & Safety Tips

Fire Escape Plan

  • Have a plan of escape with two ways out of each room in your home.
  • Make sure windows can be opened quickly and easily from inside by all members of your household.
  • If you see smoke, try another way out. If you cannot avoid the smoke, crawl on your hands and knees.
  • Do not stop or go back for possessions.
  • Pick a meeting place outside, well away from the building and do a head count.
  • Once outside, stay outside.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Have at least one smoke and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and in each bedroom.
  • Test alarms every month.
  • Change batteries every year.
  • Make sure all members of the household know the sound of the alarms and how to react.

Kitchen Fire Safety

  • Turn the handles of pots and pans away from the front of the stove.
  • Wear close-fitting clothing and tie long hair back when cooking.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and avoid cooking when potentially impaired.
  • Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

Exterior Fire Safety

  • Ensure your house number is visible from the street with at least 3 inch high reflective numbers on both sides of your mailbox.
  • Make your driveway accessible for emergency vehicles.
  • Use grills well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Dispose of hot coals and ashes properly: douse with plenty of water and place in a non-flammable container such as a metal bucket.

Electrical Fire Safety

  • Refrain from extension cords and outlet adapters.
  • If you must use extension cords, only use the kind with built-in circuit breakers and do not tack them to walls or run them through doorways or under rugs.
  • Check appliances regularly for loose or frayed cords.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.

Fire Extinguishers

There are five different types of extinguishing agents:

  • Class A - ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
  • Class B - flammable liquids such as grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints.
  • Class C - appliance, tools or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
  • Class D - flammable metals (often specific for the type of metal in question).
  • Class K - vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances.

There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers that can be used on two or more of the above type fires, such as "B-C" or "A-B-C." Call 911 immediately!

Only use a fire extinguisher if:

  • You are physically capable of properly operating a fire extinguisher.
  • You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
  • The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
  • You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
  • You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route.
  • Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

  • Follow the fire extinguisher manufacturer's maintenance schedule.
  • Check pressure gauges and make sure hoses and nozzles are free of debris.
  • Remove any oil or grease that might accumulate on the exterior and check for damage such as dents or rust.
  • Shake dry chemical extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from settling or packing.
  • Pressure test (hydrostatic test) the extinguisher according to the manufacturer's schedule to ensure the cylinder is still safe.
  • Immediately replace the extinguisher if it needs recharging or is damaged.