Protecting Your Home from Fire

HOME FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST (Simple changes that can save your life)

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Place them on the ceiling outside
    bedrooms, in stairways, and near (but not in) the kitchen.
  • Test and vacuum smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries every six months when
    the clocks change. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.
  • Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash and recycling materials stack up.
  • Plan & review escape routes with your family. Practise escaping from each room in the day
    time and in the dark.
  • Make sure windows can open and are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on
    windows have a fire safety opening feature that can easily be opened from the inside.
  • Consider escape ladders if your home has more than one level.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping
    from a fire.
  • Gather family at a safe meeting place and wait for the fire department.

Flammable Liquids (Gasoline, diesel, oil, benzene, naptha, etc.)

  • Never use indoors.
  • Never smoke near flammable liquids.
  • Store them in approved containers in well-ventilated storage areas.
  • Safely discard all rags or materials that have been soaked in flammable liquids outdoors in a metal


  • Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. The chimney should be at least 1 metre (~3 feet)
    higher than the roof. Remove branches hanging near the chimney.
  • Be sure to fill kerosene heaters outside, and be sure they have cooled before filling.
  • Keep portable and space heaters at least 1 metre (~3 feet) away from anything that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed.
  • Use only the proper fuel and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Store ashes in a metal container outside and away from your residence.
  • Keep a screen in front of the fireplace.
  • Have heating units inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist.


  • Have the electrical wiring in your residence checked by an electrician.
  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
  • Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
  • Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails or across high-traffic areas.
  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets. If you need to plug in two or three appliances, get a UL-approved unit with built-in circuit breakers to prevent sparks and short circuits.
  • Make sure insulation does not touch bare electrical wiring.
  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Install A-B-C-type fire extinguishers in your residence and teach family members how to use them. Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
  • Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

  • DO clean the lint screen/filter before or after drying EACH load of clothes.
  • DO clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically.
  • DO have a certified service technician clean and inspect the dryer and venting system regularly.
  • DO replace plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with rigid or flexible metal venting, which provides maximum airflow.
  • DO keep the area around the dryer clean and free from clutter.
  • DON’T leave the house when the dryer is running.
  • DON’T place clothing or fabrics stained with a flammable substance, such as alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers or motor oil, in the dryer.  Flammable substances give off vapors that could ignite or explode. Instead, dry the materials outdoors.
  • DON’T forget to read the manufacturer warnings in the user manual and on the inside of the dryer door.
  • DON’T dry any item containing foam, rubber or plastic, such as bathroom and non-slip rugs and athletic shoes.
  • DON’T dry any item that contains glass fiber materials, such as a blouse or sweater with glass buttons or decorations.
  • DON’T overload the dryer with wet clothes.

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