Every year, more than 350,000 homes in the United States are struck by fire. There are easy steps you can take to reduce the chance that your home will be damaged or anyone injured in a blaze—whether it starts inside or outside your home.
Practice Home Fire Safety
· Have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every level of your home.
· Test and clean smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries at least twice a year.
· Check fire extinguisher pressure gauges monthly.
· Store matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.
· Don't overload electrical outlets or run cords underneath rugs;
· Inspect electrical cords for damage and replace or repair them if needed.
· Keep space heaters at least three feet from furniture and drapes.
· Clean the lint screen on your clothes dryer before each use.
· Have your furnace inspected every year. Change filters several times each year.
· Store flammable materials and chemicals safely away from sources of heat.
· Clean fireplace, coal stove and wood stove chimneys every year.
· Thin bushes and trees within 30 feet of your home. Clear a wider area of dead wood and other fire fuels.
· Store firewood at least 30 feet from your home.
Know What to Do in a Fire
· Create a family fire escape plan that shows two ways out of every room and a family meeting place outside. Practice it at least twice a year.
· In a fire, get out fast and stay out. Crawl low under smoke.
· Telephone to report a fire only from outside of a burning building.
· If clothes catch fire, stop, drop to the floor or ground, and roll. Cover your face with your hands.
If a Wildfire Threatens Your Home
· Shut off the gas at the meter.
· Hook up a garden hose and place lawn sprinklers on the roof.
· Wet or pull up vegetation within 15 feet of your home.
· Submerge water-resistant valuables in a pool or pond.
· Move patio furniture inside.
· Close windows and doors.
· Prepare to evacuate immediately, if necessary. Park the car facing your escape route and leave the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition.