Fire

A Fire fighter walking in front of a burning homeBeing aware and prepared can save your life and reduce property damage during a fire. Learn tips for keeping your home safe, how to make a plan, an what to do when a fire occurs, and always, when in doubt, dial 911.

For Additional Information:

Prepare

  • Create at least 100 feet of defensible space
  • If you live in a designated fire hazard zone, sign-up for a free chipping service.
  • Follow all local building, fire and hazard abatement codes
  • Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home
  • If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside those sleeping areas too
  • Test each smoke alarm once a month and when needed, replace batteries immediately
  • Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms weekly
  • Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time so replace your smoke alarms every ten years
  • Keep one or more working fire extinguishers in your home and know how to use them

Plan

Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home

  • Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor
  • Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping
  • Practice your escape plan and evacuation plan
  • Sign-up and/know where to receive emergency communication
  • Communicate with neighbors about a neighborhood plan. 

If a Fire Occurs:

  • Call 911 immediately and get everyone out of the house
  • If the situation allows, place your disaster kits for you and your animals along with valuables and other essentials in your vehicle
  • Do not try to put out a fire that is getting out of control. If you're not sure you can control it, get out of the house
  • If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished. Running only makes the fire burn faster
  • If you are in a high rise do not use elevators
  • Be prepared to crawl - smoke and heat rise, so the air is clearer and cooler near the floor
  • When exiting the house, if the doorknob is hot, escape through a window
  • If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If you have an operating telephone in the room, call 911 and tell them where you are
  • Have your family meet at a pre-designated area outside the house. If any members of the family are missing, notify firefighters
  • If you don't have a set plan for exiting your home in an emergency, create one, practice it
  • Once you are out of the home, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor' s home
  • Communication: Refer to local media, radio, government alerts and community websites.

After a fire:

  • Have injuries examined and treated by a medical professional
  • Remain calm. Pace yourself. You may find yourself in the position of taking charge of other people. Listen carefully to what people are telling you, and deal patiently with urgent situations first
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Do not remove or cross colored tape that was placed over doors or windows to mark damaged areas unless local authorities advise that it is safe to do so
  • If a building inspector has placed a color-coded sign on the home, do not enter it until you get more information, advice and instructions about what the sign means and whether it is safe to enter your home