Three of the leading causes of home fires are:
- Solid fuel heating equipment (wood stoves, chimneys, etc.)
- Cooking equipment
- Electrical wiring
Install working smoke detectors.
- Place smoke detectors on every level of your home. Detectors should be installed on the ceiling, outside each bedroom and near (not in) the kitchen.
- Check your smoke detectors each month by pressing the test buttons. If the alarm does not sound change the battery immediately. Batteries should be replaced twice a year. It's recommended that you change your batteries in the fall and spring when you change your clocks.
Plan your escape.
- Choose two exits from every room in your home.
- Agree on one safe place outside where all family members will meet.
- Remind everyone to exit quickly, call 9-1-1 from a location away from the burning home, and then go to your family’s established meeting spot.
- Practice crawling out of your home with your eyes shut. Heavy smoke and poisonous gases make it difficult to see and breathe. Staying low increases your chances of escape.
- Purchase an A-B-C rated fire extinguisher and teach all responsible family members how to use it.
A fire extinguisher is designed to put out small fires only. When using a fire extinguisher stand a comfortable distance away from the fire, keep your back to the best exit for a quick escape if necessary, and remember the word PASS:
P - Pull the pin out.
A - Aim the extinguisher
S - Squeeze or press the handle.
S - Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire.
Buy Fire Insurance.
It’s important and affordable. Make sure you have adequate coverage on your home and possessions. Renters need fire insurance on their possessions, too.
- If you are in a building and smell smoke or see fire, get out quickly. Leave a burning building and then call the fire department.
- Sleep with the bedroom doors closed. If the smoke detector sounds, crawl to the door. Fresh air will be closer to the floor.
- Before opening a door in a burning building, kneel down and check the air coming under the door. If the air is cool and you don’t smell smoke, kneel behind the door while you open it just a little with your face turned away from the opening. Listen and smell for fire and smoke. If smoke is present, use another exit.
- Close doors behind you as you leave.
- Use a stairway, not an elevator, to escape from a burning building.
If you're trapped by fire and heavy smoke:
- Place a wet towel across the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from entering the room.
- Open the window slightly and hang something out of it (like a shirt or towel) to attract attention. Leave the window open an inch or two for ventilation and stay down low.
- If your clothes catch on fire, stop right where you are. Drop to the ground. Roll back and forth to put out the flames. Stop, Drop and Roll!
Contact your local fire department if you have any questions about smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or fire safety.