Safety Tips

Kitchen Safety

Cooking is the leading cause of apartment fires and the second most frequent cause of single-family residential fires and fire injuries. Following these safety precautions may help keep you and your family safe in the kitchen.

General Safety:

  • Select a stove having control knobs to the side or front of the burners.
  • Avoid storing items above the stove.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Turn off the stove burner before removing the pot or pan.
  • Use a pot holder, NOT a towel to lift hot items from the stove and oven.
  • Beware of scalding steam when draining foods.
  • DO NOT use your oven or stove top to heat your kitchen.

Child Safety:

  • Keep small children out of the kitchen cooking area.
  • Keep hot cookware out of children's reach.
  • Do not use a tablecloth when small children are present.
  • Do not leave matches or lighters where children can reach them.

Living Room Safety

Smoking: Careless smoking is the leading cause of residential fires and residential fire deaths. Following these safety precautions may help keep you and your family safe in the kitchen.

  • Always check furniture for fallen cigarette butts.
  • Wet ashtray contents before disposing of them.
  • Put lighters and matches out of reach of children.
  • Teach children to give any matches or lighters they find to adults.
  • Never spray aerosols while smoking.
  • Prohibit or discourage smoking in your home.

Home Heating: Home heating is the third leading cause of residential fire deaths.

Fireplace/Wood Burning Stoves:

  • Make sure that the area around the fireplace is free of combustible materials.
  • Burn only small loads of wood.
  • Follow instructions when using artificial logs.
  • Use a metal fireplace screen or tempered glass door enclosure.
  • Be sure the fire is out before going to bed or leaving the home.
  • Never close the damper completely before the fire is out or while ashes are still hot.
  • Empty ashes regularly into a covered metal container outside.
  • Have the chimney checked/cleaned regularly at the beginning of every burning season.
  • Never burn newspapers or gift wrappings in the fireplace.
  • Avoid burning green wood.
  • Make sure that the top of your chimney is covered with a spark arrestor.

Space Heaters:

  • Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet away from people and combustibles.
  • Unplug space heaters after use or when leaving the room.
  • With fuel-burning space heaters:
    • use the correct fuel (never gasoline)
    • don't overfill
    • never fill while heater is hot or burning
    • provide adequate ventilation
  • Never spray aerosols near a space heater.

Bedroom Safety

  • Install smoke detectors between sleeping areas and other parts of the home.
  • Plan two fire exits from each bedroom.
  • Ensure that no one smokes in bed.
  • Don't overload outlets.
  • Keep combustible items away from light bulbs and space heaters.
  • Don't leave electric rollers or curling irons unattended.


Basement Safety

  • Store gas and other flammables outside your home.
  • Store oily, greasy rags in sealed and labeled metal containers.
  • Never use an open flame after spilling flammable fluid on your hands or clothing.
  • Keep the area around the furnace and hot water heater free of clutter.
  • If a fuse or breaker blows, find the cause.
  • Clean lint from the dryer before each load.


Outdoor Safety

  • Before starting your lawnmower, be sure that it is clear of gas fumes.
  • Never use a charcoal grill inside the home.
  • Use only barbecue starter to light a charcoal fire. NEVER gas.
  • Set grills away from buildings, fences and combustible items.