This page provides a variety of safety tips for dealing with indoor structural fires for residential occupants, business owners, and employees so you can minimize physical harm to yourself or others and avoid as much property damage as possible if a fire should occur. Please use the following checklist to make your home, business, or workspace more firesafe. A printable version of this page can be found on the Resources page of this website.
For winter heating safety tips, please click here.
Firesafe Checklist For Your Home or Office
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Maintain electric and gas stoves in good operating condition.
- Keep baking soda on hand to stop grease fires.
- Move the handles of pots and pans containing hot liquids away from the front of the stove.
- Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
Click here to watch video of how to extinguish a kitchen grease fire.
- Disconnect hot appliances such as curling irons and electric irons when done; store in a safe location until cool.
- Keep flammable items, such as towels, away from wall and floor heaters.
Bedroom or Office
- If you sleep or work with the door closed, install a smoke detector in the bedroom or office.
- Turn off electric blankets and other electric appliances such as computers or electronics when not in use.
- Do not smoke in bed.
- Install a screen on your fireplace.
- Store the ashes from your fireplace (and barbecue) in a noncombustible container and dispose of when cold.
- Clean fireplace chimneys and flues at least once a year.
- Install smoke detectors between living and sleeping or office areas.
- Test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries twice a year when clocks are changed in the spring and fall.
- Make sure that electrical outlets are designed to handle appliance loads.
- Install child safety plugs (caps) on electrical outlets.
- Replace electrical cords that do not work properly, have loose connections, or are frayed.
- Properly store flammable liquids in approved containers and away from ignition sources such as pilot lights.
Garage or Workshop
- Mount a fire extinguisher in the garage.
- Have tools such as a shovel, hoe, rake, and bucket available for use in a wildland fire emergency.
- Install a solid fire-resistant door with self-closing hinges between living areas and the garage.
- Dispose of oily rags in metal containers.
- Store all combustibles away from ignition sources, such as water heaters.
- Disconnect electrical tools and appliances when not in use.
- Allow hot tools such as glue guns and smoldering irons to cool before storing.
General Disaster Preparedness
- Store at least a three-day supply of food that does not require refrigeration and generally does not need cooking.
- Store at least a three-day supply of drinking water.
- Store a portable radio, flashlight, emergency cooking equipment, portable lanterns, and batteries.
- Maintain first aid supplies to treat the injured until help arrives.
- Keep a list of valuables to take with you in an emergency; if possible, store these valuables together to save time later.
- Consider a portable generator to supply power to lights and cooking appliances.
- Have an emergency plan to enable family members or fellow employees to contact each other.
- Make sure that all family members or coworkers are ready to protect themselves with Stop, Drop and Roll.
- For earthquake safety, securely attach all water heaters and large pieces of furniture (such as cabinets and bookshelves) to a wall.