House fire (photo)The best way to prevent fire is to make sure you and your family are prepared.

Cooking hazards

  • Don't leave food that is cooking or grills unattended.
  • Keep things that can burn away from your stove top. Things like towels, plastic bag, napkins, and food packaging.
  • Keep grills at least ten feet away from other objects.
  • Be careful with loose fitting clothing and synthetics. Especially around open flames. Some synthetic materials are highly flammable.

Prevent fires caused by heating

  • Keep matches and lighters in a secure location, away from little ones and open flames.
  • Keep a radius of at least 3 feet clear from space heaters and fireplaces.
  • Have your fireplaces, chimneys, and central heating units inspected and services every year by a qualified contractor.

Prevent fires caused by candles

  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Use stable candle holders that are not flammable.

Prevent fires caused by flammable products

  • Store gasoline and solvent in a garage or shed, in the appropriate containers.
  • Do not use, store, or bring gasoline indoors.

Other tips

  • Don't plug in too many appliances into one outlet.
  • Don't overload a circuit.
  • Don't use frayed or damaged cords.
  • Make a fire escape plan for your family.
  • Find two exits out of every room. Pick a meeting place outside. Practice makes perfect – hold a family fire drill at least twice each year.
  • Make sure all know to "Stop, Drop, Roll, and Cool" if your clothing catches fire.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Test them monthly to make sure they work.
  • Put in new batteries once a year. Set a date as a reminder, such as your birthday or new years.
  • Replace the smoke detectors every 8-10 years.
  • Learn how and when to use a fire extinguisher.

In the event of a fire

  • Priority #1 – get you and your family out safe. Your property can be replaced, your family cannot.
  • Stay as low as you can as you try to exit. Smoke and fumes will fill the house from the top down.
  • If a closed door or door knob is hot to the touch, flames are probably engulfing the next room. Select another route if possible.
  • Try to stay calm and do not take unnecessary risks.
  • Be sure to meet up with your family at the designated meeting place, and then call 911.

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