Safety Tips from the Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council
Home Safety Checklist
Use this checklist to see how safe your home really is. If you can answer "yes" to every question, congratulations. If you answer "no" to any question, get busy and correct the condition.
- Do you have a smoke detector?
- Do you test your smoke detector each month?
- Have you replaced the smoke detector battery in the last year?
- Are there enough electrical outlets in every room to avoid the need for multiple attachment plugs and extension cords?
- Are there proper controls on all electrical appliances?
- Do you have special electrical circuits for heavy duty appliances?
- Do you use 15 amp fuses for your household lighting circuits?
- Are all extension cords in the open (not running under rugs, over hooks or through partitions or door openings)?
- Do you keep your basement, closets, and attics cleared of old rags, paper, mattresses, furniture and other combustibles?
- If you store paint, varnish, etc., do you keep the containers closed
- If you burn wood, do you put the ashes into metal containers?
- Has the entire household been warned never to use gasoline or other flammable fluids for cleaning clothes, furnishings or floors?
- Before the heating season begins, do you have your heating system inspected and serviced?
- Are all the flue vent connectors, gas vents and chimneys inspected each fall and cleaned and repaired as necessary?
- Are wood floors under stoves and heaters protected by insulation or ventilated air space?
Heating and cooking hazards
- Is your stove, including oven and broiler, kept clean of grease?
- Are all heaters set level, and placed out and away from traffic?
- Do you always turn off portable heaters when you go to bed?
- Since oil and gas heaters use up oxygen as they burn, do you keep a window slightly open where heaters are being used?
- Do you always refill the fuel tank of your heaters and oil stoves outside and during daylight?
- Do you see that any portable heater is placed well away from curtains, bedding, furniture and other combustible materials?
- Are the gas connections for portable heaters and other gas appliances made of metal?
- Has everyone in your home been warned never to use flammable liquids to start a fire in the stove, fireplace or furnace?
- Is the fireplace equipped with a sturdy metal screen?
Special for Parents
- Do you keep matches and lighters, especially disposable ones, out of the reach of children?
- Do you leave a responsible person with your children when you go out, even for a little while?
- When you hire baby-sitters, do you instruct them carefully on what to do in case of fire?
IMPORTANT: A child learns by example as well as by instruction. Do you always set a good example when it comes to safety?
In Case of Fire
- Do you know how to turn on a fire alarm?
- Have you worked out a plan of escape from every room in your home, especially from the bedroom?
- Have you practiced your home escape plan by holding fire drills?
- Have you designated a meeting place outside to account for everyone during an emergency?
- Have you notified the fire department of anyone needing special attention (i.e. bed-ridden, wheelchair, blind, hearing impaired, elderly)?
Floyd Peoples, Chief Fire Marshal, Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department, 816-784-9100
Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council, 9550 W. 95th St., Overland Park, Kan. 66212