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Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires.

 

 

 



 

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Greasy or cluttered stovetops can lead to fires. Clean your stove’s surfaces routinely and keep towels, cooking utensils, food packaging, recipes and other flammable objects away from your burners. The oven and broiler should be clean. Greasy buildup or spilled food can catch fire.

 

 




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Using oven mitts prevents burns and spilled food that could catch fire.

 

 











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If a pan of food catches fire, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, then turn off the burner. Don’t try to carry or move the pan. Leave the lid in place until the pan is cool to the touch. If the fire spreads, leave and call the fire department from outside.

 

 








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Replace or service any appliance that shows warning signs: gives you a shock when you touch it, gets too hot, or gives off smoke or a smell when in use. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords.

 

 







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No more than one heat-producing appliance (toaster, coffeemaker, waffle iron) should be plugged into an outlet.

 

 








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Don’t just dump cigarette butts into a wastebasket. Wet the contents of ashtrays before you empty them. And check your furniture for smoldering buts if someone has been smoking.

 

 





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Turn space heaters off before you go to bed or leave home. Closely supervise children and pets around all heating equipment.

 

 








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A heavy metal screen or built-in glass doors help contain fireplace fires and keep sparks from flying into the room.

 

 







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Each year, have your chimney professionally inspected and clean out any creosote deposits. To minimize buildup, burn only dry, seasoned hardwood in fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. Never burn trash in either.

 







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Matches and lighters should be kept up high and out of sight in a drawer or cabinet, preferably locked away from the reach of curious children.

 

 






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Smoke alarms save lives by warning people about a fire in time to escape. Install smoke alarms on every floor (including the basement) and outside every sleeping area – inside as well if people sleep with their door closed.

 

 






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Test your smoke alarms once a month by pushing the "test" button and replace the batteries once a year (or sooner if an alarm "chirps" to tell you its battery is low). Never borrow batteries from a smoke alarm.

 

 

 






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Vacuum smoke alarms to remove dust so that air may circulate. Never paint smoke alarms.

 

 






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Nothing lasts forever. Smoke alarms lose their sensitivity over time and should be replaced after 10 years.

 

 

 




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Automatic fire sprinkler systems control or extinguish fires in less time than it takes for the fire department to arrive. Consider installing them in your home.

 

 






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Every household should have one and all members of the household should physically practice it twice a year.

 

 







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That includes windows. In a fire, the usual exits may be blocked by smoke or flame. Everyone must know how they would get out if the primary escape route is blocked.

 

 







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...but keep in mind that security devices can be an impediment in a fire. Make sure doors and door locks, security bars and storm windows can be opened quickly and easily from inside by all members of the household.

 

 









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Never use or bring gasoline inside the home. Store gasoline in an outside shed or detached garage – in small quantities in safety cans, labeled and approved for gasoline storage. Always store paint and other flammable liquids in their original, labeled containers with tight fitting lids. Use and store flammable liquids far away from appliances, heaters, pilot lights and other sources of heat or flame.

 

 









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Never replace a fuse or circuit breaker with one that exceeds the circuit’s amperage rating. Never replace a fuse with a penny or other conductive material.

 

 









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Outdoor receptacles should be weatherproof and protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

 

 








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Install your extinguisher on a wall away from your stove, near a door, and out of children’s reach. Check your extinguishers once a month, following manufacturer’s instructions.