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October 7 – 13 is Fire Prevention Week and there is no better time to go over these fire safety tips with the whole family!

1. Check Your Smoke Alarms

  • Smoke alarms are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years.  If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms that don’t have replaceable (long-life) batteries, replace batteries at least once a year.  If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.

2. In an Emergency, Leave Home Immediately

  • In the event of a fire, leave your home immediately. Once you’re out of the house, stay out.
  • Wait to call 911 until after you are out of the home.

3. If You Live in an Apartment, Pull the Alarm

  • If there is a fire and you don’t hear the building’s fire alarm, pull the nearest fire alarm “pull station” on your way out. 
  • Know all of your building’s fire escape exits and use the stairs to get out. Don’t use the elevator.

4. If You’re Stuck Inside, Cover the Areas Where Smoke Might Come In

  • If you cannot safely escape your home or apartment, keep smoke out of the room by covering vents and cracks around the door, and call 911 or your fire department as quickly as possible.
  • Then signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.

5. Keep Flammable Materials in Safe Areas

  • Remember to keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, and always closely supervise children and pets when the heater is turned on.
  • Make sure you turn space heaters off when you leave the room.

6. Don’t Over Plug

  • To prevent possible fires, avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.

7. Stay Focused Around the Kitchen

  • Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions when cooking and don’t leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.

8. Blow Out Candles and Store Matches Out of Reach

  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and always blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.
  • Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
  • Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.

To learn about more ways to keep your kids safe at home take a look at our Home Safety posts!

For access to basic fire prevention resources, please visit: and be sure to check out the Community Risk Reduction Guide

This post was adapted from Safe Kids Worldwide

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