Protecting your home against fire involves planning. Here are some precautions you can take to help you protect you and your family.
- Never leave small children alone in the home, even for a minute.
- Install smoke alarms in furnace and sleeping areas. Check batteries once a month. It is best to use alarms with long-life batteries, but if these are not available, change the batteries at least yearly.
- Plan several escape routes from each room in the house. Plan a place to meet right after leaving the house.
- Conduct home fire drills so everyone knows how to get out in an emergency.
- Do not smoke in bed.
- Dispose of cigarette butts, matches, and ashes with care.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children.
- Be sure your gas water heater is off the ground. Spilled flammable liquids will be ignited by the pilot light.
- When using candles, place them on a sturdy surface out of reach of children. Never leave a candle burning unattended.
- Place a barrier around open flames.
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothing near a stove, fireplace, or open space heater.
- Have your heating system checked and cleaned yearly.
- Check electric appliances and cords regularly for wear or loose connections.
- Use only 15-ampere fuses for lighting circuits. Never use a substitute for a fuse.
- Place fire extinguishers around the home where the risk of fire is greatest—in the kitchen and furnace room and near the fireplace.
In case of fire
- Get everyone outside right away. Go to your planned meeting place.
- Do not stop to dress or put out the fire. (Most deaths occur from suffocation due to hot fumes and smoke, not from direct burning.)
- Call the fire department from a neighbor’s house or mobile phone.