fire and burn safety & prevention topics


  1. Home Fire Safety:  What Children Need to Know
  2. Home Fire Safety:  What Seniors Need to Know
  3. Some Fire Safety Do's and Don'ts

Home Fire Safety: What Children Need to Know

Fire is an important part of our lives. We use it to cook food and we use it as a source of warmth on a cold night. But, if uncontrolled, fire can bring injury - and even death - to those we love. Unwelcome fires can erupt from a cooking pot left on the stove.

Smart fire safety kids always remember:

  • Never play with matches or with a cigarette lighter; and keep them away from your sister, brother and friends.
  • Make sure your house has a smoke detector; ask the grown-ups in your house to check it often to make sure it's working.
  • Ask your family if they will help you come up with an escape plan to get everyone out of the house in case of a fire or other emergency.
  • If you see a fire breaking out, quickly tell an adult and leave right away.
  • If the smoke is bad, cover your mouth with a cloth; crawl low on the floor until you get to the door or window.
  • While trying to exit the house during a fire, always touch doors with the back of your hand to see if they are hot before you open them. If the door is hot, don't open it; go out the other way in your escape plan. If the door is cool, open it slowly and check to see whether it's safe and clear.
  • If your clothes are on fire, drop to the ground and roll until the flames go out.
  • Do not go back inside; wait outside at the spot where your family members will meet you.
  • Know how to call for emergency assistance.

From U.S. Fire Administration


Home Fire Safety: What Seniors Need To Know

Americans over the age of 65 are at the greatest risk of dying in a fire. Seventy-five percent of the 1,300 seniors who perish each year in fires do not have a working smoke detector in their homes.

 If you are a senior, remember to do the following:

  • Have a smoke detector installed in your home; make sure it is checked out at least monthly.
  • Have a licensed electrician examine the wiring in your home; also have the wiring on your appliances checked out.
  • Keep space heaters away from combustible materials.
  • Never cook in loose-fitting clothing that could catch fire over the stove.
  • Avoid smoking inside the house; if you must smoke, do not smoke in bed, around upholstered furniture or near anything that may ignite easily.
  • Keep your address and directions to your house next to your phone, in case you have to call to report an emergency.
  • If fire breaks out, put a cloth or towel over your mouth and nose, and crawl low on the floor to the nearest exit.
  • In case of a fire; get out of the house immediately; call for emergency assistance; and do not go back into the house for any reason.
  • Talk to other seniors about starting a fire prevention education group; invite a fire official to a meeting.

From U.S. Fire Administration

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Some Fire Safety Do's and Don'ts

What You Should and Shouldn't Do

Fires don't just happen. There are a lot of measures you can take to help ensure that a fire doesn't start. Here are a few important things you can do:

  • Install a smoke detector on every level of your home and in the garage. Check it monthly and replace batteries when necessary.
  • Have an electrician look at the wiring in your house. Make sure circuits are not overloaded.
  • Have all alternative heating units, such as wood stoves and space heaters, checked by an expert.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach and away from children.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Be aware of the dangers from smoking in overstuffed furniture.

No house can be 100 percent fire proof. Fire officials emphasize there are some basic things you should do to prepare for a fire:

  • Determine at least two ways to escape from every room in your home.
  • Purchase an approved chain ladder to use to climb out of rooms above the first floor, and practice using it.
  • Select a location where everyone could meet after escaping the house.
  • Discuss what you would do about family pets in the event of a fire
  • Know how to call for emergency assistance.

When a fire strikes:

  • Crawl low under the smoke to escape. This should be practiced beforehand to prepare you for an actual fire.
  • Close the door when you exit a room, and feel closed doors before you enter a room. A hot door or doorknob usually means the room is on fire.
  • If your clothes are on fire, drop to the floor and roll to smother and put out the flames.
  • Get everyone out quickly, and then call for emergency assistance.
  • Know how to give accurate directions to your house when you call for assistance.

From U.S. Fire Administration

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