- Install smoke alarms outside bedrooms on each level of your home. Make sure they are located away from air vents.
- Test the alarms regularly, and change batteries at least once a year. Never disable or remove smoke alarm batteries.
- Develop a fire escape plan, and practice it with your children. Walk through your home together to identify exits, and hold yearly fire drills as a family to practice. The National Fire Protection Association has created a comprehensive guide and developed materials to help get you started.
- If you have installed safety bars on windows in your home, make sure they can be opened from the inside for a potential escape route.
- Maintain trees, shrubs and landscaping to prevent overgrowth or conditions that may prevent you from escaping your home.
- Regularly check all fire extinguishers in your home. If the nozzle is cracked, ripped or clogged, the locking pin is missing or unsealed, the handle broken or inspection tag removed, we recommend replacing with a new extinguisher.
Practice Prevention Measures
- If possible, avoid using space heaters; if you must use a space heater, ensure they are turned off whenever you leave your house and do not leave them running for prolonged periods in unoccupied rooms.
- Never leave the kitchen unattended when using the stove or burners.
- When leaving your home, make sure all appliances are unplugged.
- Keep your property well-maintained. This includes keeping gutters free of debris, cleaning up any fallen leaves or tree needles, and regularly mowing your lawn.
- Never leave burning items, such as cigarettes, candles or fireplaces, unattended. Cigarette fires cause close to 1,000 deaths and 3,000 injuries each year in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.