Home Fire Safety

Fire Safety Checklist

  • Install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher in the kitchen and understand its operating principles
  • Designate two exits from your home
  • Ensure that everyone in your home understands to stay low and crawl in smoke
  • If a fire breaks out, "get out and stay out." Call 911 from a neighbor's home
  • If your clothes catch fire, "stop, drop, and roll" to extinguish the flames
  • Never re-enter a burning home unless the fire department gives you the okay

Outside Your Home

  • Store flammable liquids such as gasoline in a tight, properly labeled, fire safe container away from any heat source and small children.
  • Turn off outdoor power equipment such as lawn mowers and allow them to cool before storage or adding gasoline.
  • Keep weeds and underbrush clear from the structure of your home.
  • Clear pine needles and leaves from the roof, eaves, and gutters.
  • Trim all tree limbs within 10 feet of a structure.
  • Keep your grill at least five feet away from any structure.

Inside Your Home

  • Wear short or snug fitting clothes while cooking.
  • Do not leave the food preparation area while cooking.
  • Use a low flame on gas stoves to protect against grease fires.
  • Always turn pot handles and utensils to the middle of the stove to prevent children from grabbing them.
  • Keep your cooking area clean.
  • Do not store pot holders, towels, or napkins near the cooking area.
  • Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scald burns

If You Smoke

  • Use large heavy ashtrays that won't tip over.
  • Extinguish all smoking materials completely.
  • Empty used ashtrays only after the contents have cooled.
  • Do not smoke on or around furniture or in the bedroom.
  • Store matches, and lighters out of the reach of children.


  • Only purchase and use UL-approved or tested appliances.
  • Plug only one appliance into an outlet or extension cord.
  • Unplug a cord from the plug and do not pull from the cord.
  • Use only safety-tested extension cords or surge protection devices.
  • Provide appliances with adequate ventilation.
  • Keep all appliances away from water.
  • Replace broken plugs and frayed cords.
  • Call a licensed electrician if you experience any of the following in your home; frequently blown fuses, tripped circuit breakers, flickering lights.
  • Do not run extension cords under any carpet or like material.
  • Do not run extension cords over door frames.
  • Do not plug more than one extension cord in a line.
  • Keep clothes dryer vents clean and do not operate the dryer while it is unattended.

Heating Systems

  • Do not place or maintain any home heating device less than 3 feet away from drapes, clothing, linens, furniture, etc.
  • Check and replace filters according to the manufacturer recommendations.
  • Use electrical heating appliances designed for your home's electricity capability.
  • Do not plug more than one heater into the same circuit.

Woodstoves and Fireplaces

  • Have chimneys and fireplaces cleaned once a year
  • Your chimney should have a cap on the top outside.
  • Keep the damper open when in use.
  • Use a glass cover or screen to cover the opening of the fireplace when in use.
  • Before disposing of ashes make sure they are cooled for several hours even if you are dumping them outside. Ashes should be contained in a metal container with a lid.

Smoke Detectors

  • Install and maintain at least one smoke detector on each level of your home.
  • At minimum, there should be one detector outside each sleeping area; preferably one in each sleeping area.
  • Test smoke detectors monthly.
  • Replace the batteries in all detectors when you change your clocks.
  • Keep the detectors clean.

Exit Drills for Your Home

  • Design an escape plan for your family.
  • Have two ways out of every room.
  • Establish a place outside where everyone can meet.
  • Practice your fire drill every 6 months (at minimum).