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Fire Safety in the Home

Here you'll find fire and smoke alarm safety checklists as well as information about escaping from fire. For more information about fire safety, check out these Fire Safety Tips from the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Fire Safety Checklist 

  • Never leave the kitchen while you’re cooking, or leave unattended items on a heated stove, especially when cooking at a high temperature.
  • Never leave children alone in the kitchen. If you leave, take children with you.
  • When children are in the kitchen with you, keep them away from cooking and heating appliances.
  • Teach kids never to play with fire. Don’t entertain kids with matches or lighters because they may imitate you. Keep matches, candles, gasoline and lighters locked up and out of children’s reach.
  • Place space heaters at least three feet from things that can catch fire. Make sure they won’t tip over.
  • Don’t plug several electrical cords into one outlet. Replace old or frayed cords, and keep all cords on top of rugs. Cover outlets you’re not using with safety devices or tape.
  • Never leave the room when a candle is burning. Place candles away from things that can catch fire and where children or pets cannot tip them over.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Put out all cigarettes and candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.

Smoke Alarm Safety Checklist

  • Install smoke alarms in your home on every level and in every sleeping area. People living in homes with working smoke alarms are much less likely to die in a fire.
  • If you live in an apartment building, insist that smoke alarms are installed and check that they are functional.
  • Replace the batteries at least two times a year, such as when daylight savings time starts and ends. 10-year lithium alarms do not need battery changes.
  • Replace alarms every 10 years.
  • For the best protection against different types of fires, consider installing both “ionization” alarms (better at sensing flames) and “photoelectric” alarms (better at sensing smoke).

Escaping From Fire

  • While security bars may help keep your family safe from intruders, they also can keep you from getting outside if there is a fire! Make sure windows and doors with security bars have working devices that allow them to be opened immediately if there is an emergency.
  • Make sure children recognize the sound of your smoke alarm. Let them listen when you test the alarm each month.
  • Plan and practice at least two escape routes from every room. Practice helps, as children can get very scared and will rely on their instincts and what you teach them.
  • Find a safe meeting place outside. Call 911 or the fire department only from a neighbor’s home or a cell phone outside.
  • Teach children the safe way to get out.
  • Leave right away if you hear the smoke alarm, smell smoke or see flames
    • Do not hide
    • Stay low and crawl
    • Feel doors with the back of your hand before opening them. If a door is hot, don’t open it and find another way out
    • Do not stop or go back for toys, pets or anything else.
  • When firefighters arrive, tell them right away if someone is inside or missing.
  • Sleep with bedroom doors closed to prevent smoke, gas or heat from entering the rooms.
  • Keep furniture and heavy objects away from doors and windows so escape routes aren’t
    blocked. Also, keep hallways clean and free of clutter so everyone can get outside safely.

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