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Fire Prevention Tips
In order to protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire.

  • Fire is FAST. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. 
  • Fire is DARK. Fire produces gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation from smoke is the leading cause of fire deaths, not burns. 
  • Fire is HOT. Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling these into your lungs could cause burns to your airway passage to your lungs.

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a fire:

  • Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half. If you cannot install the alarms, contact the Fire Department and we will install them for you. 
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence. 
  • Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms. 
  • Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries twice a year – when you change your clocks, change your batteries. 
  • Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years. 
  • Contact the Fire Department for further information.

  • Never leave cooking unattended. 
  • Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. 
  • Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames 
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home. 
  • Do not attempt to extinguish a cooking fire with water. 
  • Do not pick-up burning items from the stove and attempt to remove them – you will spread the fire and burn yourself.

  • Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family. 
  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. 
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire. 
  • If you have children, plan with them and make sure they understand what to do!

  • Place portable heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials. 
  • Use only the type of fuel designated for your portable heater.

  • Keep matches/lighters away from children. 
  • Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated. 
  • Smoke responsibly.

  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs 
  • Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring. 
  • Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas. 
  • Never overload extension cords or outlets. 
  • Make sure that your panel box has a cover and that breakers are marked as to what they control.


If your clothes catch on fire, you should: 
  • Stop, drop, cover your face with your hands and roll until the fire is extinguished.
  • Seek medical attention, you may be burned worse then you think.

  • Do not assume someone else already called the fire department. 
  • Get out of the house and then call the Fire Department.

  • Check closed doors with the back of your hand to feel for heat before you open them. 
  • If the door is hot, do not open it. Find a second way out, such as a window. If you cannot escape through a window, wave a sheet/pillowcase/etc outside the window to alert firefighters to your presence. Scream and yell for help. 
  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out. 
  • If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again and tell them exactly where you are. 
  • If the door is cold slowly open it and ensure that fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route. If your escape route is blocked, shut the door and use another escape route. 
  • If clear, leave immediately and close the door behind you. Be prepared to crawl.


  • Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason. 
  • If you are with a burn victim or are a burn victim yourself call 911, cool and cover your burns until emergency units arrive. When firefighters arrive, tell them that you are burned. 
  • Tell the fire department if you know of anyone trapped in the building. 
  • Only enter when the fire department tells you it is safe to do so. 
  • If you are a tenant contact the landlord.