How Fire Safe is YOUR Home?

Make fire safety "family business" by involving the entire family in a fire safety inspection. Here's a comprehensive checklist to use as a guide.


  • Matches stored out of the reach of children
  • No overloaded outlets, worn or frayed extension or appliance cords
  • No curtains or towel racks close to the range
  • Flammable liquids (cleaning fluids, contact adhesives, etc.) or aerosols stored away from the range or other heat source (Remember, even a pilot light can set vapors on fire.)
  • Don’t store items above the range where someone could get burned reaching for them (especially small children in search of cookies or other goodies)

Living room, family room, den, bedrooms

  • No extension cords run under rugs or carpets or looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray; Replace or fix overloaded or frayed extension cords
  • Fireplace kept screened and cleaned regularly
  • Use only large ashtrays and empty them frequently when there is no heat or burning left (Small ashtrays are too dangerous.)
  • Sufficient air space around TV, stereo and other electronic equipment to avoid overheating
  • Space Heaters kept three feet away from curtains, furniture and papers

Basement, garage, storage areas

  • No newspapers or other rubbish stored near furnace, water heater, or other heat source
  • No oily, greasy rags stored, except when kept in labeled and sealed non-glass containers (preferably metal)
  • No gasoline or other flammable liquids stored in the house, basement, or near a workbench or pilot light.
  • No overloaded outlets or extension cords and all electrical fuses should be the correct size

Safety measures: Do you have these safety items in your home?

  • Working smoke detectors on all levels and outside sleeping areas (each story or wing, basement, etc.) Have you tested the detector in the last month?
  • ABC or ABCD fire extinguisher in the kitchen and/or workshop? Emergency exit plan, with two ways out from each room and a meeting place outdoors?

Using unsafe habits? These guidelines may help your family become more safety aware.

  • Wear close-fitting sleeves while cooking. (No loose sleeves, shirts, blouses or skirts that may catch fire.)
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire in the grill or add lighter fluid to an already-started fire.
  • No smoking while fueling a vehicle or a boat or a gas powered tool like a lawn mower.
  • No smoking in bed, or in a chair or on the sofa when tired, drinking or taking medication.
  • Never spray aerosols while smoking or near a space heater, range or other ignition source.
  • No smoking while using a cleaning fluid, paint thinner or other flammable liquid.
  • Never use a cigarette lighter after spilling flammable fluid on your hands or clothing.
  • Never reach over a range or climb onto a range to get something stored above it.
  • Never lean against a range for warmth or stand too close to a heater or fireplace.
  • Never let a small child to blow out a match.
  • Never use a lighted match, lighter or candle to illuminate a dark area, such as a closet.