Fire Safety Tips

Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms: A working smoke alarm can double the chance of survival in a house fire by warning residents when there's still time to escape. Install a smoke detector on each level of your home near stairwells and bedrooms to maximize protection. Change the batteries on smoke detectors when you change your clocks to or from Daylight Savings Time, and test them once a month. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and never take the battery out for other uses.

Practice Your Escape Plan: Have a family meeting to discuss what to do if fire breaks out in your home. Plan two ways out of every room and make sure every member of the family knows the routes and can get out fast. Check your windows to see if they operate properly. Choose a safe meeting place outside the house where everyone knows to meet in a fire emergency. Have the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year. Once you are out of the house, stay out!

Sound the Alarm: Call 9-1-1 from a cell phone or a neighbor's house to report a fire after you have escaped.

Stop, Drop and Roll: If your clothes catch fire, don't run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground and roll over and over to smother the flames, making sure to cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs.

Feel the Door: Feel the door with the back of your hand. If it is hot, do not open it. Find another way out. If the door is not hot, open it slowly and peek to see if the path is clear of fire and smoke. Close the door behind you to slow the spread of fire.

Stay Low and Go: If there's smoke, escape by staying low to the ground. If you must exit through smoke, you will find the cleanest air several inches off the floor. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit.

Walk Quickly, Don't Panic: Leave the building immediately when you hear an alarm.

Never Hide: Firefighters and other potential rescuers can't find you in an emergency if you hide. While your instinct might be to hide from flames, get out of the house as fast as possible.

Don't Go Back: Do not go back into a fire for anything. Possessions can be replaced, your life cannot.

Cool a Burn: If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain. Never use butter on a burn, as it could prolong the heat and further damage the skin. If a burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately.

Be Careful Cooking: Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles such as paper towels, cereal boxes and dish towels. Never leave cooking unattended. Keep pot handles turned inward so children can't pull them over the edge of the stove or knock them off. If grease catches fire, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, then turn off the burner.

Use Appliances Wisely: If an appliance smokes or begins to smell unusual, unplug it and have it repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety caps to cover unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the house.

Use Electricity Safely: Check all your electrical cords, and replace any that are frayed or cracked. Replace frayed or cracked extension cords and don't overload them or run them under rugs. Fuses and circuit breakers protect you from fire, so don't tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of an improper size.

Practice Candle Safety: Never leave a lit candle unattended in the house; Never leave candles burning when you go to bed; and never use candles near combustible materials such as curtains, drapes, bedding or cabinets.

Children and Fire Safety: Teach children that firefighters will help them in a fire emergency. Make sure children know how to call for emergency assistance. Teach children how to stop, drop and roll if their clothes catch fire. Keep matches and lighters away from children.