Fire Safety

Safety Tips

  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and car. Read the directions and know how to use them.
  • Dial 911 or the local emergency number before attempting to attack the fire yourself, no matter how small the fire seems.
  • Remember that lives are much more valuable than property. If you’re out of the building, STAY OUT!
  • Don’t leave your cigarettes or other lit smoking materials unattended.
  • Remember that smoke, heat and toxic gases from fires can kill you long before flames get to your part of the structure. KEEP LOW when evacuating.

Around the House

  • Set up evacuation drills in your home; practice evacuating your house, and meeting at the designated point outside.
  • Get out of your house if you have a fire – call 911 or the local emergency number from your neighbor’s house.
  • Replace frayed or cracked electrical wiring.
  • Don’t run electric power cords under rugs.
  • Keep ashtrays away from curtains, upholstered furniture, and other combustibles.

In the Kitchen

  • All electrical appliances and tools should have a testing agency label: Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).
  • Have appliances repaired if they aren’t working right.
  • Don’t overload the outlets.
  • Don’t store things over the stove. People get burned reaching.
  • Don’t leave food unattended on the stove.
  • Keep dangling clothing away from burners.
  • Turn handles on pots and pans so that they can’t be knocked off the stove accidentally.
  • Keep appliances clean and free of grease and crumbs.
  • Make sure your stove is turned off and small appliances unplugged before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Never “Barbecue” or grill indoors on a smoker or barbecue grill. These devices are intended for outdoor use only.
  • Make sure that everything you put in the dishwasher is safe for dishwasher use – plastic can burn from contacting the heating element.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

In the Living Room

  • Before going to bed, check for burning cigarettes around furniture.
  • Keep lighters and matches where small children won’t find them.
  • Use a metal fireplace screen. Check and clean fireplace and chimney regularly.
  • Keep portable heaters away from combustible materials.

In the Bedroom

  • Have smoke detectors in each bedroom and one in the hall.
  • Have two escape routes from each bedroom.
  • Don’t smoke in bed.

In the Basement, Garage, and Utility Areas

  • Store gasoline and other flammables in the proper container. Do not use flammables near heat, flame, sparks or while smoking.
  • Have heating equipment checked yearly by a qualified technician.
  • Do not store anything near the furnace or any other heat source.
  • Find the cause of a blown fuse. Replace fuse with one of the correct size.
  • Properly discard any soiled cleaning rags or towels. Soiled material can spontaneously combust under certain conditions.
  • Clean your clothes dryer’s filter between each load.
  • Pull your dryer out from the wall, and ensure that there isn’t a dangerous buildup of lint behind the dryer or in the exhaust hose.
  • Plug electric space heaters directly into the wall socket, not into extension cords.
  • Place heaters where they will not be knocked over easily.
  • Unplug heaters when they are not being used.
  • Do not use heaters to dry clothing or other items.

Outside the Home

  • Keep your grill at least 30 feet from any structures.
  • Take a walk around your house, shed, garage and property. Repair or discard any unsafe items, and make sure you have any flammable materials stored safely.

In the Car

  • Don’t fill your portable gasoline cans in your vehicle – remove the can from the vehicle.
  • When transporting portable gasoline cans, ensure that the container: is approved for gasoline storage, is sealed tightly, is not left in the vehicle for longer than absolutely necessary.
  • If you smell gasoline or suspect a gasoline leak, don’t operate the car until the leak is repaired.
  • If you smell smoke or see flames, pull over well off the traveled roadway as soon as safely possible to do so. Don’t attempt to drive any further.

For Children

  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Teach your children never to play with matches, lighters, or fireworks.
  • Teach your children how to call 911 or the local emergency number, as well as their address and telephone number.
  • Teach your children the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” method to extinguish flames on themselves.
  • Make sure your children know two ways to get out of their bedroom in case of fire and where their safe meeting place is outside of the house.

Fire Safety Links – A great resource of tips, activities, and games for your family from the NFPA. – Tips to be ready for any disaster.

U.S. Fire Administration – Topics covering school and home safety for citizens and a resource for fire personnel.

Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal – Building codes, regulations, and policies for the state of Illinois.

Call 911 in McDonough County