Fire Prevention

If a Fire Starts

Smother a grease fire. Never pour water on a grease or cooking fire. If a pan of food catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and turn off your stove burner. If necessary, use a fire extinguisher.

Learn First Aid for Burns

Run cool water over a burn for 10 to 15 minutes. This will minimize skin damage and ease the pain. Never apply butter or other grease to a burn; it can make it worse. If burned skin is blistered or changed, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Stop, Drop & Roll

If your clothing catches on fire, do not run. Stop where you are, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over until the flames have been smothered.

Smoke Detectors - Your First Line of Defense

Smoke detectors sound an automatic alarm when they sense smoke or heat, to warn you about a fire before it spreads. This warning gives you time to get out and away from the fire. Make sure you have smoke detectors, properly installed, throughout your home.
There are 2 kinds of smoke detectors: Ionization and photoelectric. Both offer good protection. If you are unsure about where to install your smoke detectors, call your local fire department. Some key tips to remember:
  • Make sure your detectors are UL (Underwriters Laboratory) tested.
  • Install at least one detector on each floor, including the basement.
  • Check your detectors once a month to make sure they are working.
  • Put a detector at the top of each stairway and at the ends of long hallways.
  • Mount smoke detectors on the ceiling or high on the walls.
  • Keep extra batteries of the correct size on hand for replacement. Change batteries at the start and end of Daylight Savings Time. Doing so will ensure that every 6 months you have batteries in your smoke detector.
Smoke Detector

Fire Extinguisher

Many small fires can be put out easily with a fire extinguisher. Class A (water) extinguishers are used for fires involving paper, wood, cloth, and trash. Class B (chemical) extinguishers are used for flammable liquid fires caused by gasoline, kerosene, cooking oils, etc. Class C (chemical) extinguishers are used for electrical fires. An extinguisher with a Class ABC rating is a good all around fire extinguisher for any type of fire. Some things to remember:
  • Get fire extinguishers that are large enough to put out small fires, but small enough for you to handle.
  • Inspect all extinguishers in your home once a year.
  • Make sure all occupants are out of the home before fighting the fire.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is approved by a testing lab like (Underwriter Laboratory) U.L.
  • Remember PASS: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the handle, use a Sweeping motion. Begin 6 to 8 feet from the fire and work your way to the seat of the flames.

Kitchen Fire Safety

Fire Prevention in the Kitchen

Most accidental fire in the kitchen can be prevented by following these basic fire safety tips.
  • Don't leave cooking unattended. Stay in the kitchen whenever anything is cooking, and never leave food cooking on your stove or in your oven when you leave home.
  • Keep appliances clean. Built-up grease catches fire easily. Wipe appliances surfaces after spills and clean stove surfaces and ovens regularly.
  • Be alert. Do not attempt to cook if you have been drinking alcohol or are drowsy. Studies show that 43% of the people who have died in cooking fires had fallen asleep.
  • Wear close-fitting sleeves. Loose sleeves can dangle too close to burners and catch fire. Protect yourself by wearing sleeves that fit snugly or rolling up your sleeves securely when you cook.
  • Keep flammable objects away from the stove. Pot holders, dish towels, paper towels and curtains catch fire easily. Keep these items a safe distance from your stove.

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets

Plugging in too many appliances - especially heat-producing appliances such as toasters, coffee pots, waffle irons, or electric frying pans - into the same electrical outlets or circuits could overload your circuit, overheat, or cause a fire. Keep heat-producing appliances out from under cabinets and away from walls or curtains. Replace any frayed or cracked electrical cords immediately. If an electrical appliance gets wet inside, have it serviced before using it again.

Microwave Safety

Microwave ovens stay cool, but what's cooked in them can be very hot! Use pot holders when removing food from microwave ovens. Remove lids from packaged microwave foods carefully to prevent steam burns, and test food temperatures before eating. If anything catches fire in your microwave, keep the door closed and turn off or unplug the microwave. Opening the door will only feed oxygen to the fire. Do not use the oven again until it is serviced.

Turn Pot Handles In

A pot handle sticking out over the edge of your stove can be bumped in passing or grabbed by a child. Prevent burns and stove-top fires by always turning handles in toward the back of the stove.

Holiday Fire Safety

4th of July Fireworks Safety

  • Adults should supervise the use of fireworks.
  • Always light fireworks one at a time.
  • Check to be sure local laws permit private fireworks celebrations.
  • Never use fireworks in neighborhood backyards or other crowded areas.
  • Sparks and smoldering embers from fire works can start fires. Have water nearby for emergencies.

Outdoor Cooking Safety

  • Keep grills a safe distance from houses and over hangs.
  • Never apply fire starter to a smoldering fire. Instead, add dry kindling and blow gently across the coals.
  • Never leave outdoor cooking unattended.
  • Use only properly labeled starter fluid, never substitute gasoline or kerosene.

Winter Fire Safety Tips for Your Home

Room Heating

Never use fuel burning appliances without proper vents to the outside. Burning fuel (kerosene, coal, or propane, for example) produces deadly fumes. Be sure your heater has proper line connections and is in good working condition. A dirty or neglected heater is a critical fire hazard.

Furnace Heating

  • Be sure all furnace automatic controls and emergency shutoffs are in good condition.
  • Check the flue pipes. Are they well supported, free of holes and clean?
  • Keep trash and combustible storage away from the heating system.


Frozen pipes? Don't try to thaw them with a blow torch or other open flames. Use hot water or a UL (Underwriter Laboratory) labeled device for thawing, otherwise a fire could be the result.