Fires can spread quickly, becoming life-threatening within 2 minutes and engulfing an entire home with 5 minutes. It is important to be prepared for home fires.
- Create and practice a fire escape plan
- Have multiple exits that are not blocked by furniture or other items
- Ensure windows can be easily opened and screens can be quickly removed
- Have children practice and teach them not to hide from firefighters (Find more kids activities at Sparky’s Firehouse)
- Smoke alarms save lives
- Test batteries in smoke alarms monthly
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least yearly
- Smoke alarms should be on every level of the home, including basements, and be both inside and outside of sleeping areas
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 8-10 years
- DO NOT DISABLE SMOKE ALARMS WHILE COOKING
- Smoke alarms are available for the visually or hearing impaired
- Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it
- Small home fire extinguishers can be purchased at local hardware stores
- Familiarize yourself with how to use your fire extinguisher
- Replace after use or follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- General Safety Tips
- Have digital copies of important files
- Sleep with your door closed
- Consider installing a fire sprinkler system
What Should I do if there is a fire in my home?
- Crawl low underneath smoke
- Feel doorknobs and doors before opening. If it is hot, find another way out.
- If you can’t get to someone needing help, leave the home and call 911.
- If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape. Call 911. Say where you are and signal for help at the window.
- If your clothes catch fire- STOP, DROP, and ROLL. Stop immediately, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands, roll over until the fire is out. You can also smother flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately and get medical help right away.
What do I do after a fire in my home?
- Contact an organization such as the Red Cross if you need temporary housing, food, or medicine.
- Contact your insurance company (and mortgage company if applicable)
- Check with the fire department to ensure your home is safe for re-entry
- DO NOT try to reconnect utilities yourself
For more information and prevention tips, visit Ready.gov/home-fires.