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Learn what you can do to prevent and prepare for a fire.

Reviewed 9/29/2023

Fire Safety

Learn about some of the steps you can take to prepare for or prevent fire

Heat safely:

Have your chimney and furnace professionally inspected and cleaned each year. Cover the fireplace with a screen. And keep flammable items at least 3 feet from space heaters, fireplaces and other heating equipment.

Make an escape plan:

Develop an escape plan showing two ways out of every room. Make sure the plan includes a designated meeting place outside the home. Give every family member a copy of the plan and practice fire drills.

Install smoke alarms:

Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, on every level of your home (including the basement) and outside all sleeping areas. Test each smoke alarm once a month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

Keep fire extinguishers handy:

Mount fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage and workshop and near the furnace. Learn how to use the extinguishers before there is an emergency.

Cook safely:

Keep a lid or a baking sheet nearby when cooking. Use it to cover a pan that catches fire.

If you leave the kitchen, turn the burners off. Also, turn burners off if you see smoke or if grease starts to boil.

Avoid electrical hazards:

Never overload outlets or extension cords. Check appliance cords regularly. Replace cords that are cracked or frayed. Have a professional replace light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flickers. Use GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets, especially in areas with water sources, like the kitchen.

Sources: National Safety Council; U.S. Fire Administration

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