Self-Guided Home Fire Safety Inspections
IntroductionEven though fire is preventable, it is responsible for American deaths than all natural disasters combined. Although some fires like forest fires seem uncontrollable, there are several precautionary actions you can take to prevent a fire in your home.
An overloaded outlet with too many cords plugged into it can quickly develop into a house fire. A spark that flies from a fireplace not protected by a screen or glass doors can ignite flooring materials like carpet, vinyl, or wood. Cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires in the U.S. Do not leave your kitchen while you are cooking. Keep a lid nearby to cover a fire if it occurs.
We recommend using the checklist below as part of a self-guided fire safety inspection of your home.
- Address is visible from the street during the day and at night.
- For long driveways, house number is posted where driveway meets the street.
- A safe family meeting place outside has been established.
- NO double key-locking dead bolts.
- No clutter around the door, making it hard to get out.
- One in each bedroom and on each level of the home in the hallway.
- Tested monthly.
- Batteries are changed annually.
- Vacuumed monthly.
- Replaced every ten years.
- Chirping smoke alarms need new batteries.
- If you have tried new batteries and cleaning it, and it still does not work – REPLACE IT!
- Clean lint trap after every use.
- Vacuum back of dryer, lint trap and exhaust vent twice yearly.
- Use appropriate electrical outlets for your washer and dryer.
- No clutter on the stove.
- Small appliances are turned off and unplugged when not in use.
- Toasters are kept away from clutter.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking, never leave cooking unattended.
- Pot handles are turned inward.
- Put a lid on stovetop fires.
- Oven fires are stopped by closing the door and turning off the heat.
- Halls are clear of debris.
- Door closed when sleeping.
- No smoking in bed. Escape ladder if on second or third floor.
- Combustibles are kept away from heaters.
- Electrical items are unplugged.
- Rags stored away from flammable liquids.
- No more than 5 gallons of gas stored in a proper container.
- No clutter lying around to catch fire.
- Screen or glass doors are installed and used in front of the fireplace.
- 911 stickers and home address are placed on or near all telephones.
- Electrical cords are in good condition with no cracks or frays.
- Electrical outlets are not overloaded.
- Matches, lighters, and smoking material are kept out of reach of children.
- A working fire extinguisher is kept on hand and occupants know how to use it.
- Always call 911 if there is a fire.