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Fire Safety Checklist

Following is a fire safety checklist which is intended to help you make your home fire safe.

Inside

 

1.

Kitchen

   
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Keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen

   
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Maintain electric and gas stoves in good operating condition

   
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Keep baking soda on hand to extinguish stove-top grease fires

   
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Turn the handles of pots and pans containing hot liquids away from the front of the stove

   
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Install curtains and towel holders away from the burners on the stove

   
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Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children

   
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Make sure that electrical are designed to handle appliance loads

   
   
2.

Living Room

   
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Install a screen in front of fireplace or wood stove

   
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Store the ashes from your fireplace (or barbeque) in a metal container and dispose of only when cold

   
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Clean fireplace chimneys and flues at least once a year

   
   
3.

Hallway

   
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Install smoke detectors between living and sleeping areas

   
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Test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries twice a year, when clocks are changed in the spring and fall

   
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Install child safety plugs (caps) on all electrical outlets

   
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Replace electrical cords that do not work properly, have loose connections, or are frayed

   
   
4.

Bedroom

   
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If you sleep with the door closed, install a smoke detector in the bedroom

   
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Turn off electric blankets and other electrical appliances when not in use

   
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Do not smoke in bed

   
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If you have security bars on your windows or doors, be sure they have an approved quick-release mechanism so you and your family can get out in the event of a fire

   
   
5.

Bathroom

   
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Disconnect appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers when done; store in a safe location until cool

   
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Keep items such as towels away from wall and floor heaters

   
   
6.

Garage

   
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Mount a working fire extinguisher in the garage

   
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Have tools such as a shovel, hoe, rake, and bucket available for use in a wildfire emergency

   
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Install a solid door with self-closing hinges between living areas and the garage

   
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Dispose of oily rags in approved (Underwriters Laboratories) metal containers

   
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Store all combustibles away from ignition sources such as water heaters

   
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Disconnect electrical tools and appliances when not in use

   
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Allow hot tools such as glue guns and soldering irons to cool before storing

   
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Properly store flammable liquids in approved containers and away from ignition sources such as pilot lights

   
   

Disaster Preparedness

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Maintain at least a three-day supply of drinking water, and food that does not require refrigeration and generally does not need cooking

   
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Maintain a portable radio, flashlight, emergency cooking equipment, portable lanterns and batteries

   
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Maintain first aid supplies to treat the injured until help arrives

   
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Keep a list of valuables to take with you in an emergency; if possible, store these valuables together

   
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Make sure that all family members are ready to protect themselves with STOP, DROP and ROLL

   
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For safety, securely attach all water heaters and furniture such as cabinets and bookshelves to walls

   
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Have a contingency plan to enable family members to contact each other. Establish a family / friend phone tree

   
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Designate an emergency meeting place outside your home

   
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Practice emergency exit drills in the house regularly

   
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Outdoor cooking appliances such as barbeques should never be taken indoors for use as heaters

   
   
 

Outside

   
1. Design / Construction
   
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Consider installing residential sprinklers

   
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Build your home away from ridge tops, canyons and areas between high points on a ridge

   
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Build your home at least 30 100 feet from your property line

   
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Use fire resistant materials

   
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Enclose the underside of eaves, balconies and above ground decks with fire resistant materials

   
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Try to limit the size and number of windows in your home that face large areas of vegetation

   
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Install only dual-paned or triple-paned windows

   
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Make sure that electric service lines, fuse boxes and circuit breaker panels are installed and maintained as prescribed by code

   
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Contact qualified individuals to perform electrical maintenance and repairs

   
   
2. Access
   
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Identify at least two exit routes from your neighborhood

   
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Construct roads that allow two-way traffic

   
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Design road width, grade and curves to allow access for large emergency vehicles

   
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Construct driveways to allow large emergency equipment to reach your house

   
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Design bridges to carry heavy emergency vehicles, including bulldozers carried on large trucks

   
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Post clear road signs to show traffic restrictions such as dead-end roads, and weight and height limitations

   
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Make sure dead-end roads, and long driveways have turn-around areas wide enough for emergency vehicles

   
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Construct turnouts along one-way roads

   
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Clear flammable vegetation at least 10 feet from roads and five feet from driveways

   
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Cut back overhanging tree branches above roads

   
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Make sure that your street is named or numbered, and a sign is visibly posted at each street intersection

   
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Make sure that your street name and house number are not duplicated elsewhere in the county

   
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Post your houses address at the beginning of your driveway, or on your house if it is easily visible from the road

   
   
3. Roof
   
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Remove branches within 10 feet of your chimney and dead branches overhanging your roof

   
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Remove dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters

   
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Install a fire resistant roof. Contact your local fire department for current roofing requirements

   
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Cover your chimney outlet and stovepipe with a nonflammable screen of half inch or smaller mesh

   
   
4.

Landscape

   
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Create a "defensible space" by removing all flammable vegetation at least 30 feet from all structures

   
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Never prune near power lines. Call your local utility company first

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Landscape with fire resistant plants

   
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On slopes or in high fire hazard areas remove flammable vegetation out to 100 feet or more

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Space native trees and shrubs at least 10 feet apart

   
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For trees taller than 18 feet, remove lower branches within six feet of the ground

   
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Maintain all plants by regularly watering, and by removing dead branches, leaves and needles

   
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Before planting trees close to any power line, contact your local utility company to confirm the maximum tree height allowable for that location

   
   
5. Yard
   
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Stack woodpiles at least 30 feet from all structures and remove vegetation within 10 feet of woodpiles

   
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Locate LPG tanks (butane and propane) at least 30 feet from any structure and maintain 10 feet of clearance

   
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Remove all stacks of construction materials, pine needles, leaves and other debris from your yard

   
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Contact your local fire department to see if open burning is allowed in your area; if so, obtain a burning permit

   
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Where burn barrels are allowed, clear flammable materials at least 10 feet around the barrel; cover the open top with non-flammable screen mesh no larger than a quarter inch

   
   
6.

Emergency Water Supply

   
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Maintain an emergency water supply that meets fire department standards through one of the following:

   

A community water / hydrant system

A cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors

A minimum storage supply of 2,500 gallons on your property

   
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Clearly mark all emergency water sources

   
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Create easy firefighter access to your closest emergency water source

   
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If your water comes from a well, consider an emergency generator to operate the pump during a power failure

   

This fire safety checklist was developed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

 



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