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What To Do In Case of Fire

Updated: May 8

Home Fire Safety Check List

Cooking Safety:

An adult always stays in the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove.

All pot handles are turned inward to prevent being bumped or knocked off.

Pot holders are within easy reach of the stove.

Curtains and other things that can burn are away from the stove.

There is a “kid free” zone of three feet around the stove when adults are cooking.

Electrical Safety:

Only qualified electricians install and extend home wiring.

There are enough electrical outlets in every room to avoid the need for multiple attachment plugs and long extension cords.

You have special circuits for heavy duty appliances such as kitchen ranges or clothes dryers.

All extension and appliance cords are check frequently to make sure they are not worn  or frayed and loose prongs or plugs are replaced if found defective.

All electrical cords are in the open, not run under rungs, through doorways or partitions, over hooks, radiators, heaters, pipes or ducts.

Housekeeping Safety:

Your basement, closets, and attic are clear of old rags, papers, mattresses, broken furniture and other combustible odds and ends.

Any stored paints, varnishes, and other flammable chemicals are stored in proper containers that are tightly closed in a well ventilated area.

All family members have been informed not to use gasoline or other flammable chemicals and liquids for cleaning indoors.

Irons, toasters, hair-dryers, curling irons or similar appliances are unplugged when no one is using them.

Safety Equipment:

You have at least one smoke detector on each level of your home. You change the battery at least once per year. You test and maintain your smoke detector regularly following the manufacturer's recommendations.

You have and maintained fire extinguishers in your home. You and everyone in your home have been taught how to operate a fire extinguisher. All fire extinguishers are located for quick and easy access.

Get Out Fast:

There is one primary rule of life safety to follow when there is a fire in your home—GET OUT QUICKLY.  In order to get everyone out of the house safely and quickly, YOU NEED AN ESCAPE PLAN. The escape plan is vital because everyone must know what to do and what not to do; it may save lives of your loved ones.


There are seven basic parts to the Escape Plan:

1.     Floor Plan with 2 Escape Routes

2.     Review Escape Procedures

3.     PRACTICE the Escape Plan

4.     GET OUT FAST!

5.     Help the Elderly, Disabled and Children

6.     Establish a Meeting Place

7.     Call the Fire Department

Draw a Floor plan:

Draw a floor plan for your home, indicate all doors and windows, as well as stairways, porches, and any roof that could serve as an escape.   

Figure out two ways to reach the ground or another safe location from each room, especially from each bedroom. Indicate both escape routes on your floor plan. If no alternate route is available, you need to be particularly careful to prevent fires; perhaps you could put an extension telephone in that room so you could call for fast help in case of fire.

Review Procedures:

Knowing procedures in case of fire can ensure your safe escape. Review the following procedures with your family:

Sleep with the bedroom doors closed. In case of fire, the doors will hold back deadly flames, heat, and smoke, allowing extra time to escape by an alternate route to obtain help.

If you awaken in your bed and think there may be a fire, don't jump out of bed—hot, poisonous fire gases may be in the room above your head. Roll out of bed and onto the floor.

Stay low when smoke or hot gases are present; air nearer the floor is cooler and contains less smoke. If possible, hold your breath and cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth as you escape.

Don't rush into other rooms or hallways if you think a fire may be present. Put the back of your hand against the door. If it feels cool, it should be safe to enter the room or hallway. Bracing the door with your foot, open slightly and place your hand across the opening to determine how hot the air is. If the adjacent room or hallway seems to be cool, and there are no flames or smoke, you may be able to use this regular route of escape.

Practice the Escape:

Practice the escape procedures regularly by actually going through the actions. Practice them nightly occasionally, too. Don't forget to practice alternative escape routes and make sure everyone participates so they all know what to do. And remember to tell the babysitter about the escape plan and procedures; have the babysitter participate in a drill.

Get Out Fast!

If the door feels hot, that room or hallway is already filled with deadly heated gases. Keep the door closed and use an alternate escape route. If you leave by the hallway, you may alert other family members by shouting or pounding on doors.

A window may be the only alternate escape route. Be sure these windows work easily, are large enough and low enough to be used. If there is a balcony or porch or garage roof outside the window, use it as an escape route or wait on it for help. You can alert neighbors or firemen by shouting. Sometimes an escape route ladder can be provided to reach the ground from a window.

If, when trying to escape, a window cannot be opened, use a shoe, chair, or other object to break the glass and to clear off the jagged edges. Blankets or other bedding can be thrown over the sill as a protection against cuts.

Help Others:

The elderly, disabled, and infants may need special help in getting out in case of fire. If necessary, assign someone to help them.

Meet at a Planned Location:

Arrange to meet at a preplanned location well away from the house; common meeting places are a street corner, a street light pole, a fire hydrant, a tree, etc. Once everyone has escaped from the building, do not reenter for any reason.

Call for Help:

Notify the fire department of the fire from a nearby telephone. If by telephone, be sure to give your street number. It may be possible to send a family member who has already arrived at the meeting place and been accounted for to notify the fire department. Let the fire department fight the fire; don't attempt to do it yourself.

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