Fire Safety Tips

Install and maintain smoke detectors

Install smoke detectors in the hallway outside of each bedroom, inside each bedroom and in stairwells. There should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of a structure. Test them monthly to make sure they work. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year.

Space heaters

Keep portable space heaters at least three feet from any combustibles. Never leave heaters on when you leave or go to sleep.

Matches and lighters

Store matches and lighters where children cannot access them, preferably in a locked area. Teach children that matches and lighters are tools and should only be used by adults. Novelty lighters are particularly dangerous as many children believe that they are toys.

Electrical fire safety

If an appliance emits smoke or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Don't overload extension cords by plugging in appliances that draw a total of more watts than the rating of the cord. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don't overload extension cords. Extension cords should never be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use improper size fuses.

Fire extinguisher

Every residence should have at least one fire extinguisher accessible at all times. When using a fire extinguisher, remember P.A.S.S.:

  1. Pull - Pull the pin.
  2. Aim - Aim the extinguisher at the fire.
  3. Squeeze - Squeeze the handle.
  4. Sweep - Sweep the contents from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out.

When to Fight a Fire

You should fight a fire with a fire extinguisher only when ALL of the following are true:

  • Everyone has left or is leaving the building,
  • The fire department has been called,
  • The fire is small and confined to the immediate area where it started such as a wastebasket, cushion, small appliance, stove, etc.,
  • You can fight the fire with your back to a safe escape route,
  • Your extinguisher is rated for the type of fire you are fighting and is in good working order, AND
  • You have had training in the use of the extinguisher and are confident that you can operate it effectively.


Remember! If you have the slightest doubt about whether or not to fight the fire, DON'T. Instead, get out, closing the door behind you to slow the spread of the fire.