House Fire Prevention Checklist

A fire can start in your home before you know it. In fact, a fire can graduate from a small flame to a burning blaze in less than 30 seconds, and it only takes a few minutes for smoke to fill a room. That’s why the best way to protect your family from a house fire is to prevent one. Tick each item in our Home Fire Prevention Checklist and make sure your loved ones stay as safe as possible.

  • Test all smoke alarms each month and change the batteries at least once per year. Working alarms can cut your risk of dying in a house fire by nearly one half.
  • Make sure all members of your household memorize two escape routes out of every room in your house and decide on a place outside where everyone can meet in case of an emergency.
  • Practice fire drills with your family twice a year to make sure all family members know what to do if a fire breaks out.
  • Teach your family to STOP, DROP, and ROLL in case their clothes catch fire.
  • Check with your local fire department about whether they offer training on fire extinguisher use and maintenance.
  • Replace frayed and damaged electrical cords.
  • Mark the windows of any bedrooms that might contain children, elderly people, or persons with disabilities. Many fire departments offer special window stickers that alert firefighters to the presence of vulnerable inhabitants.
  • Don’t use high-wattage bulbs in ceiling fixtures or recessed lights. These fixtures can overheat.
  • Have a dry fire extinguishing material on-hand in the kitchen or garage to smother small oil, grease, or petroleum fires. You can easily make one by mixing six pounds of fine sand with two pounds of baking soda.
  • Unplug all small appliances when they’re not in use.