Preventing household fires is one way to prevent injury or death
General fire precautions
Teach children that only grown-ups use fire. Keep
lighters and matches out of reach of children.
Use at least one smoke alarm on
every level of your home. Be sure to put an alarm outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms. Test all smoke alarms monthly and change the
batteries at least once a year if they are not lithium batteries. It may help to schedule a regular date, such as the
first day of each month, to check alarms and to change batteries on the first
day of fall or the first day of spring every year (or when daylight savings
time begins and ends, if you live in a state where this applies). Replace smoke
alarms every 10 years.
If you live in an apartment building or
group living facility such as a dorm, make sure you know the number of doors
between your room and the nearest emergency exit.
multipurpose type of fire extinguishers in your kitchen, garage, and other
areas where hazardous materials may be stored or used. These extinguishers are
labeled with "ABC"—"A" is for wood, paper, and trash fires; "B" is for grease
fires and flammable liquids; "C" is for electrical fires.
Check and clean appliances regularly.
Replace cords when needed.
Ensure that space heaters, wood stoves,
and furnaces are regularly inspected and properly installed. Do not use space
heaters while you are asleep or when you are not in the room. Keep all heating
elements at least 3 feet away from items that can easily catch fire, such as
curtains or rugs. Only use electric space heaters that turn off automatically
if they tip over. Do not use an oven to heat a room.
fireplace and chimney inspected yearly and cleaned as needed.
careful with lit candles. Always monitor their use, and keep them out of
children's rooms. Use flashlights rather than candles if there is a power
If you smoke in the bedroom, be sure you have a smoke alarm there. It's safest if you do not smoke or allow smoking in your home. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines.
Fire survival skills
Also, teach your children about how to survive in a fire. Some
very young children will not understand these concepts. But start
discussing the issues early and repeat frequently.
Everyone needs to leave the home as fast as they can when a smoke alarm sounds.
Plan and periodically practice escape routes.
Make sure there are at least two escape routes from each area of your home,
including upper stories and the basement.
Firefighters in full gear
frighten some children. Explain to your child why firefighters need equipment
and show them pictures. Tell children not to hide from
Show your child how to stop, drop, and roll if any
part of his or her body or clothing catches on fire.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.