Family Fire Safety Checklist

Make Your Home Fire Safe

Download our Fire Safety Checklist (PDF).

Keep In Mind

  • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each level of your home.
  • If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping area.
  • Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
  • Vacuum away any cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarm monthly.
  • Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
  • Consider having a working fire extinguisher on every floor of your home. Get training from the fire department on how to use them.
  • Ensure there is an easy-to-use fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
  • Look at the fire extinguisher you have to ensure it is properly charged. Use the gauge or test button to check proper pressure. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded, replace it or have it professionally serviced.

Plan Your Escape Routes

  • Draw a floor plan of your home; determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
  • Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.

Escape Safety

  • Once you are out, stay out! Call the fire department (911) from a neighbor's home.
  • If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
  • If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second way out.
  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for
  • help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department (911) and tell them where you are.
  • If trapped in a room, seal it with duct tape, towels or sheets to slow the entry of deadly smoke into the room.