Home Fire Safety Checklist
A residential fire occurs every half hour in Ohio. How safe is your home from fire? To determine the safety of your home from fire hazards, study these questions with your family. Place a check mark for each rule that applies to your family and work to correct the others.
Matches, Lighters, Candles & Smoking Hazards
- Keep matches & lighters out of children’s reach.
- Make sure matches & smoking materials are out before disposing of them.
- Use large, non-combustible ash trays.
- Never leave smoking material unattended.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Extinguish candles when you leave the room or area.
- Place candles on non combustible surfaces or containers.
- Do not leave children unattended in areas with lit candles.
- Have qualified electricians install or extend your home wiring and verify circuit breakers & fuses are properly sized.
- Purchase only Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed electrical devices and appliances.
- Do not overload extension cords or, better yet, use circuit breaker protected outlet strips.
- Do not place electrical cords under carpeting or run through doors or openings where they could become damaged from pinching or from being walked on.
- Replace frayed or damaged electrical cords.
- When using extension cords, ensure the rated capacity of the cord matches or is greater than the total capacity of all devices plugged into it.
- If you use oil or gas heat the equipment should be listed by the proper laboratories, such as UL or the American Gas Association.
- Have your heating system inspected and serviced before the heating season begins.
- Wood burning stoves should be properly installed according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Burn seasoned wood and store it safely away from heat sources.
- Ensure all vent connections and flue pipes that pass through attics, floors, ceilings and walls are properly installed.
- Have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year if you regularly use a fireplace or wood burner.
- All portable space heaters in your home should be UL listed.
- Portable space heaters should be placed well away from all combustible materials.
- Refill the fuel tank of kerosene heaters only with the recommended fuel, always outside and only when the heater is cool.
- Kerosene heaters use oxygen, so always provide adequate ventilation in the space that they are being used.
- Turn off all portable space heaters when you go to bed.
- Never use flammable or combustible liquids to start a fire in the fireplace or wood burning stove.
- Fireplaces should be equipped with a sturdy fire screen.
- Open the flue/damper before starting a fire in your fireplace or wood burning stove.
- Do not leave children unattended near fireplaces and space heaters.
- Never leave anything cooking on the stove top unattended.
- Extinguish a grease fire in a pan by covering it with the lid, a large skillet or cookie sheet.
- Keep the kitchen stove, broiler and oven clean of grease.
- Avoid loose fitting clothing while cooking.
- Turn pot handles in when cooking to avoid the pan being knocked or pulled off the stove.
- Store combustibles at least three feet away from all heat sources.
- Keep flammable and combustible liquid containers tightly closed.
- Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids for cleaning clothes, furnishings or floors.
- Clean the dryer lint filter after each load.
Yard and Garage Hazards
- Keep your yard cleaned of leaves, debris and combustible rubbish.
- Store gasoline for power tools in clearly labeled, approved red metal safety cans.
- Store kerosene in approved, clearly labeled, approved blue and white containers.
- Store propane cylinders outside of the house or in a detached garage or structure.
Before A Fire
- Install photoelectric smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside of every sleeping area and one in every bedroom.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms near sleeping areas.
Mount a minimum sized 1A10BC fire extinguisher in the kitchen near the exit and know how to use it.
- Keep basement and garage doors closed.
- Have and practice an escape plan and know at least two ways out of each room in your home.
- Have a family meeting place in the front yard.
- Consider purchasing chain escape ladders for upper story bedrooms.
- Share your fire safety plan with babysitters and caregivers.
In Case Of Fire
- Crawl low in smoke. Smoke rises and cleaner air is near the floor.
- Feel closed doors before opening them to ensure the fire isn’t on the other side.
- Leave immediately. Don’t stop for anything and once outside NEVER re-enter.
- Call the fire department (911) from a neighbor’s house or cell phone.
- Stop, Drop and Roll to extinguish a fire on your clothes or hair.
Download a copy of the checklist here: Home Fire Safety Checklist (213 downloads)