Fire Prevention

Top Fire Safety Tips

  • Working smoke detectors can reduce the risk of death in a residential fire by 40 to 50%.
  • The best smoke detectors are those with lithium-powered batteries and hush buttons. A lithium-powered battery can last up to 10 years, and a hush button allows you to quickly stop nuisance alarms that are caused by oven smoke, burnt toast, prolonged cooking, etc.
  • If 10-year, long-life smoke detectors are not available, install smoke detectors that use regular batteries, preferably alkaline, and replace the batteries as necessary - and at least once a year. (A useful tip to help you remember: in the fall, when you change your clocks to standard time, change your batteries as well!)
  • Test smoke detectors every month to make sure they are in proper working condition.

Prevent a Fire from Starting in Your Home

  • The most common causes of residential fires are careless cooking and faulty heating equipment. When cooking, never leave food on a stove or in an oven unattended. Avoid wearing clothes with long, loose-fitting sleeves. Have your heating system checked annually, and follow manufacturer's instructions when using portable heaters.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths and the second most common cause of residential fires. If you are a smoker, do not smoke in bed, never leave burning cigarettes unattended, do not empty smoldering ashes in the trash, and keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children. Safely store flammable substances used throughout the home. Never leave burning candles unattended.

For more information about fire safety, call Fire Prevention at 609-989-4032.

Test Smoke Alarms Once a Month

  • Change smoke alarm batteries once a year - at an easy-to-remember time, such as when clocks are changed.
  • Replace a smoke alarm that's more than 10 years old.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher, mount it, and learn how to use it. Revisit the instructions every six months.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended or near combustible materials - home fires caused by candles have doubled in the past decade.
  • If a fire alarm sounds, or smoke is visible, evacuate first and then call the fire department.
  • Close doors behind you when leaving the room and building to slow the spread of fire and smoke.
  • Plan an escape route that shows two ways out of each room.
  • Identify a meeting place near the home.
  • Practice an escape plan - during the day and night - at least twice a year.
  • Talk to children frequently about preventing fires and escaping fires.
  • Do not leave a dryer on unattended.
  • Do not leave a stove or oven on unattended.
  • Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from all combustible materials and never leave them on unattended.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm.
  • Do not overload power strips.
  • Turn holiday lights off when not at home.