Prepare For Home Fires

Know what to do if you're caught in fire.

Home fire is the emergency that you – and your children – are most likely to face. But advance preparation can help eliminate the causes of many home fires or see you safely through one.

Five simple steps:

  • As a rule, install a quality smoke detector on every floor of your home and in every bedroom. Check the batteries at least twice per year (when you reset the clocks for and after Daylight Savings is a great way to remember) and test them often.
  • Develop a house-fire specific family communication plan and review at least TWO escape routes from each room. Conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year with all members of your household.
  • Teach your children how to STOP, DROP & ROLL. STOP where you are, DROP to the ground, cover your face with your hands and ROLL over and over to smother the flames.
  • Keep several home fire extinguishers in your house, preferably one on each floor. Make sure it is rated “A-B-C” (for paper, electrical and grease fires) to cover a broad-range of fires. Learn how to use it effectively.
  • If your bedrooms are on a second story, consider investing in escape ladders. Learn how to use them, and

Way to prevent a fire:

  • Do not smoke in bed or while sleepy.
  • Keep matches, lighters, lighter fluids and flammable liquids secure and away from children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure your home’s heating system is clean and in proper working order.
  • Annually inspect chimneys and wood stoves.
  • Use care when operating portable heaters. Make sure they are used in properly ventilated areas and are not near flammable items, including fabric or carpets.
  • Make sure all electrical outlets have approved cover plates and no exposed wires.
  • Do not overload outlets. Make sure you are using approved extension cords for what you need to power.
  • Keep the stove area clean and do not keep combustible materials on or near the stove…this includes towels, cleaning rags, etc.

If your smoke alarm goes off or if you see a fire:

  • Remain calm!
  • Use your fire extinguisher if you are able to do so, safely and quickly. Do not attempt to put out a fire that is quickly burning.
  • Get you and your family out of harm’s way.
  • Feel any doors with the back of your hand before opening them. If they are hot, find another way out.
  • Drop to the floor to avoid smoke and fumes. Crawl to safety.
  • If your clothes catch on fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe location. Do not attempt to call from your house. Stay on the line until the operator hangs up.
  • Do not go back into your home unless instructed that it is safe to do so. Do not attempt to rescue pets. Many times they will find their own ways to escape.