Home > Tips/Resources > Fact Sheet Library > Fact Sheets: Safety How-Tos
Printer Friendly Version


Fire is one of the most common disasters and one of the deadliest. By creating a fire emergency plan, you and your family can greatly reduce your chances of being injured in a fire.
  • Use Smoke Detectors
    • Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home, in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
    • Keep smoke detectors away from cooking vapors to prevent false or nuisance alarms.
    • Proper placement is on the ceiling. However, if a wall must be used, install the detector(s) at a minimum distance of 4" and a maximum distance of 12" from the ceiling.
    • Be sure that any unit you purchase is UL listed.
    • Smoke detectors should be routinely replaced every 10 years.

  • Test Your Smoke Detectors
    • Test each smoke detector in your home at least monthly by pushing the test button.
    • Replace the batteries twice a year.

  • Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen
    • Regularly check the fire extinguisher to ensure that it is properly charged.
    • Use the test button or gauge to check proper pressure level.
    • If the extinguisher is damaged, corroded or low on pressure, have it professionally serviced.
    • Your local fire department may be able to provide you with additional fire extinguisher training.

Plan Your Escape Paths
  • Identify Two Escape Paths From Each Room in Your Home
    • If there is smoke in your first path, use your second option.
    • If you must exit through smoke, stay low where the air is fresher and easier to breathe.
    • If you must open a closed door, feel it before opening. If it is hot, use your second option.
    • If heat, flames or smoke block your escape paths, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help at the window using a bright-colored cloth. If there is a phone in the room call 911 and give your location.
    • Determine whether a ladder is needed for your plan. If it is, make sure everyone knows how to set it up and use it.
    • Designate a family meeting place outside the home
    • Once you are out, stay out
    • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.

Acknowledgments:
American Red Cross
National Fire Protection Association