Home Fire Preparedness

Today's homes burn faster than ever.  You may have less than 2 minute from the time the smoke alarm sounds to get out of your home safely! Follow this home safety action plan to ensure you, and your family, get out of the house safely during a home fire.

  • Test smoke alarms monthly

  • Practice your home escape plan when you test the alarms

  • Change the batteries when you hear the alarm "chirp"

Fire Safety During the Winter

Did you know the top three days of the year for home candle fires in the U.S. are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve?

Decorations, Christmas lights, live trees and the use of alternate heating sources are the leading causes of holiday fires during our Winter Holidays.  Adding simple fire safety steps into our daily routines significantly reduces risk of fire in your home.

  1. Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
  2. Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  3. Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.
  4. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
  5. Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources and room exits.
  6. Water your live Christmas tree DAILY to keep it from becoming dry.

Home fires occur more in the winter months, but holiday decorations are not the only reason for that.  During winter weather, households often use alternate heating sources to keep warm.  Here are a few things to remember during winter months:

  • It is critical that we never use an oven to warm a home.
  • If using a heater, make sure to keep it at least 3 feet from anything flammable, turn it off when you leave the room and only have 1 heat-producing appliance plugged into an outlet at a time.
  • Check your vents outside to ensure that there is not snow or ice covering them as this could prevent Carbon Monoxide from venting out of the home.

  During severe weather, you should take extra precautions to prevent a fire:

  • Never use candles for emergency lighting.
  • Use flashlights for emergency lighting and stock up on batteries.
  • If using a portable generators keep it outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your home.

Despite the weather, you should also make sure that you have a smoke alarm in each room and a carbon monoxide alarm outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home.  These alarms should be tested monthly.  While you are testing the alarms, we also recommend that you use this time to test your family’s response to the alarm, ensure everyone knows what to do and where to go.