More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and
approximately 20,000 are injured. An overwhelming number of fires
occur in the home. There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive
a fire. It's not a question of luck. It's a matter of planning
Should Have at Least One Working Smoke Alarm
Buy a smoke alarm at any hardware or discount store.
It's inexpensive protection for you and your family. Install a smoke
alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm can double
your chances of survival. Test it monthly, keep it free of dust and
replace the battery at least once a year. Smoke alarms themselves
should be replaced after ten years of service, or as recommended by
Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not
place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic
areas. Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter,
spark or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or
When using appliances follow the manufacturer's
safety precautions. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks
are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then
replaced or repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety
caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small
children in the home.
Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything
combustible at least three feet away.
Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney
cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire
that could easily spread.
Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities.
Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only after
the heater has cooled.
Home Fire Safety Sprinklers
When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke
alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased.
Sprinklers are affordable - they can increase property value and
lower insurance rates.
Practice an escape plan from every room in the house.
Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire
and never to open doors that are hot. Select a location where
everyone can meet after escaping the house. Get out then call for
Children under five are naturally curious about fire.
Many play with matches and lighters. Tragically, children set over
20,000 house fires every year. Take the mystery out of fire play by
teaching your children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
Every year over 1,200 senior citizens die in fires.
Many of these fire deaths could have been prevented. Seniors are
especially vulnerable because many live alone and can't respond
*Fire prevention tips are
courtesy of the U.S. Fire Administration.*