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How Safe Is Your Home?

Each year, over 4,000 Americans perish and more than 20,000 others suffer serious injuries because of residential fires.

  

Dear Valued Citizen:

Please take a few moments to complete the self-inspection checklist listed on this page. While some items might not apply to your household, any items you answer "NO" could represent a potential hazard in your home that should be corrected. If you answer "YES" to all of the items, I congratulate you on your personal fire prevention efforts!

Thank you for your time and for your interest in fire safety.

Craig Bellamy - Fire Marshal

Home Self-Inspection Checklist

  All of my family members know to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  Every sleeping area and each level of my home is equipped with a working smoke detector and each sleeping area has a carbon monoxide (CO) detector.
  My house numbers can be seen from the street by emergency responders.
  Household chemicals, matches, and cigarette lighters are stored out of reach of children.
  Gasoline is kept in an approved safety container, preferably stored in a locked garage or storage shed.
  Electrical cords are not damaged and are properly used.
  I have a fire extinguisher in my kitchen and know how to use it.
  No combustible materials are stored near cooking areas or heating appliances.
  My fireplace is equipped with a proper screen and fireplace ashes are properly disposed of.
  The lint collector on my clothes dryer is inspected and cleaned before each use.
  I generally practice good housekeeping habits in keeping work areas, the garage, heater closets, etc. free of potential fire hazards.
  My kitchen vent-a-hood is clean and properly maintained.
  I test my smoke detectors once a month.
  I change the batteries in my smoke detectors every year, or sooner if necessary.
  Paints, thinners, and other flammable liquids are stored in their original containers, well away from heat, sparks, or flame.
  I never leave cooking food unattended.
  I never smoke when drowsy or when in bed.
  Each room in my home has two clear exits.
  My family developed and practices an Emergency Escape Plan.
      

Did You Know.........

most fire fatalities and injuries in the U.S. occur in the victim's own home?
two-thirds of all home-fire victims die of smoke inhalation, poisonous gases, or lack of oxygen; not severe burns?
cooking is the leading cause of all residential fires and fire injuries?
heating equipment is the second leading cause of residential fires?
more than 40% of fatal home cooking fires occur while the victims are asleep?
careless use of smoking materials is the leading cause of residential fires that result in death?

Survival Tips

  1. Make sure your family has an escape plan. Contact the Fire Prevention office or your neighborhood fire station for more information on developing a plan.
  2. Sleep with the bedroom door closed. Closed doors provide protection against heat and smoke.
  3. Teach everyone in your household to recognize the sound of your smoke alarm.
  4. Test doors before opening them. You can easily be overcome by heat, smoke or flames when you open a door to an area where a fire has spread.
  5. Use windows as alternate exits.
  6. Crawl low under smoke. During a fire, super heated air and toxic gases fill the room from the top down. This leaves a "safety zone" of breathable air about 12 to 24 inches above the floor.
  7. Call 9-1-1. Unless you are trapped inside, it's too dangerous to call from a burning home. Once you have escaped and reported to your meeting place, call 9-1-1 on a neighbor's telephone.
  8. If your clothes catch on fire: Stop, Drop, and Roll.

Learn Not To Burn! Fire Smart Equals Fire Safe!!!

Fire destroys more property and claims more lives annually than any natural disaster. It is also the most preventable disaster.

Please help us reduce the senseless loss of property and lives in our community by making a conscious effort to maintain a home free of fire hazards. Share this information with relatives and friends. Remember, fire prevention begins with education.

Should you have any questions regarding fire safety, or want more information on any of these topics, please call our Fire Prevention Bureau at (973) 543-7152 or E-Mail craig.bellamy@verizon.net.


Updated August 2004