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Fire Safety

Fire is a very real and present danger. In 2018, fire departments in the U.S. responded to a fire every 24 seconds. That same year, firefighters responded to more than 1.31 million fires that resulted in 3,655 civilian fire fatalities and an estimated $25 billion in property damage, including $12 billion in losses from wildfires. 

Prevention Tips

With proper preparedness, you can help keep your family safe from fire. Two easy steps you can take are: Testing the smoke alarms in your house, and creating and practicing a fire escape plan.


Escape Plans

  • Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on many factors.

  • Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.

  • Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.

  • Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds.


Smoke Alarms

  • Install a smoke alarm on every floor of your home, even the basement.

  • Install a smoke alarm outside every sleeping area. Ideally, install smoke alarms in every sleeping area, too.

  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.

  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.

  • Replace smoke alarms after 10 years.

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Fire Extinguishers

  • Before trying to fight a fire, make sure that everyone is leaving the house, someone is calling 9-1-1, the extinguisher is mounted on the wall close to your way out, the fire is not bigger than a small wastepaper can and you can get out.

  • Inspect portable extinguishers monthly and have them serviced annually.

  • As a general rule, portable fire extinguishers for the home should have a rating of at least 2-A:10-B:C.




Most fire-related injuries are burns. In fact, approximately every 60 seconds someone in the U.S. sustains a burn injury serious enough to require treatment.*

* Source: American Burn Association. (2016). Burn incident and treatment in the United States: 2016 fact sheet. Chicago: American Burn Association.

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