Get Prepared

Don’t wait until you hear the snap and crackle of a fire or smell smoke to realize you didn’t undertake any fire prep plans.

Here are our top 7 tasks to do now before fire strikes.

For more information, check our Home Fire – Resources section.

Tip 1: Download our Fire Safety Items Checklist to make sure you have enough fire safety items to cover your entire home, especially where people sleep.

Tip 2: Develop a family escape route and practice it until everyone – even the youngest member – knows what to do and where to go.

WHN Reader TIP – Pick a Tree! “Choose a favorite tree on the lawn and tell your children to stay there and wait for the firefighters to arrive. Choose a meeting place that’s away from the road and driveway – first responder vehicles might use these.” Sarah, Washington, DC

Tip 3: Make sure your house number is visible from the street — emergency personnel will need to find your house in a hurry. Some cities offer to paint your house number on the curb for a small fee. Ask your city or county administration officials about this option.

Tip 4: Make sure you have fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home and in each sleeping area or bedroom.

Tip 5: Know the rules for safe cooking and safe barbecuing so your dinner doesn’t become a fire-starter.

WHN TIP – Cooking With Care: Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. It is also the leading cause of home fire injuries. Educate yourself now on fire prevention and what to do if a fire does occur.

Tip 6: Have a professional inspect all heating sources — fireplaces, wood stoves, boilers and water heaters.

Tip 7: Create a household inventory now – before it all goes up in flames! Make a list, then take photos and/or a video, and store both off-site.