Fire Prevention Tips

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Providing the Community With a Fire-Safe Environment Through...

Fires and burns continue to be a leading cause of unintentional injury and death at home. The very young and very old are particularly at risk. It is a well-known fact that fire prevention in the home as well as being prepared for possible disaster saves lives and property. The Building and Fire Safety Division encourages you to follow the safety tips listed below to protect yourself and your family.

Smoke Detectors

Every home should be equipped with smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should be placed in every bedroom, areas adjacent to bedrooms and on each level within the home.
Smoke detectors should be tested monthly and batteries replaced twice a year. Make it a habit to change smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks.

  • Encourage children to help test the smoke detectors. This will familiarize them with the sounds of the alarm.
  • Replace smoke detectors that are more than ten years old.

Fire Extinguishers

  • An all-purpose fire extinguisher should be kept in your kitchen.
  • It is also a good idea to keep additional fire extinguishers near the furnace, garage and water heater.
  • Make sure that all family members know how to use fire extinguishers.
  • If you must use a fire extinguisher, make sure you have a clear path of travel to an exterior door in the event the fire cannot be extinguished.


  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach and out of sight of children.
  • Avoid grease build-up in the kitchen and on appliances.
  • Do not leave food cooking on stovetops attended.
  • Consider using a "flame resistant" Christmas tree during the holidays. If you use a real tree, water it daily to keep it from drying out.
  • Dispose of materials from fireplaces/barbeques in non-flammable containers.
  • Never put children to sleep in "day" clothes. Fire-resistant sleepwear can make a difference in a fire.
  • Do not smoke in bed and extinguish cigarettes/cigars properly.

Electrical Safety and Heat Sources

  • Over burdened electrical systems can cause fires. Do your lights dim or flicker when extra appliances are plugged in? If you have concerns, consult a certified electrician immediately.
  • Inspect wires for worn or exposed wiring from appliances.
  • Consult the operating instructions carefully when using space heaters, gas fireplaces or other heat sources. Keep all flammable materials away form heat sources. Make sure heat sources are out of reach of small children.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
  • Keep appliances unplugged when not in use.

Escaping a Fire

  • Keep bedroom doors closed while sleeping. If you suspect a fire, feel the door and knob for heat before opening.
  • Have an escape route for each area of the home and a designated meeting place outside.
  • All children should be familiar with the idea of "crawling underneath the smoke" to escape a fire." Stop, drop and roll" is another safety rule that they must learn.
  • Homes with more than one story should have an emergency escape ladder.
  • Make sure every bedroom has at least two means of escape.
  • Never re-enter a burning building and call EMERGENCY 911 from your neighbor's house.
  • Practice escape plans with your family on a regular basis.

Please remember, preventing fires is everyone's business.