Many fires could be prevented.
It is Important to Learn About Fires in Order to Protect Yourself

Direct property loss due to fires is estimated at $8.6 billion a year.

According to FEMA, more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 20,000 are injured as a result of fires.

When there is a fire, DO NOT waste time gathering valuables or making a phone call. Fires can spread quickly, becoming life threatening in two minutes and engulfing a residence in as little as five minutes.

While flames are dangerous, heat and smoke can be more dangerous and can sear your lungs. As the fire burns, poisonous gases are emitted that can cause you to become disoriented or drowsy, which could put you into a heavy sleep.

The leading cause of fire-related deaths is asphyxiation, outnumbering burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Plan & Prepare: Step 1 - Step 2 - Step 3


Get an Emergency Supply Kit

which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio,extra flashlights and batteries.

You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car.

This kit should include:

  • Copies of medication prescriptions and medical supplies.
  • Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows.
  • Bottled water, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight.
  • Copies of important documents: driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

To-Go Bag

Make sure you have a “to-go bag” ready in case you need to evacuate, include:

  • Water and non-perishable food.
  • Battery operated radio and batteries so you can get important information from local officials.
  • First aid kit.
  • Flashlight.
  • Maps.
  • Important documents such as proof residence, pictures of your family including pets, insurance policies, and tax records.
  • Comfortable clothing and blankets.
  • Unique family needs such as prescription medications, pet supplies, infant supplies or any other unique need your family may have.
Canned Food Bottled Water Radio Batteries Medicines Kit Map Flashlight

Prepare Your Family

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighbourhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call throughout the territory, so an out-of-territory contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
  • Be sure to consider the specific needs of your family members: Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan, and make plans for your pets.
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class. Keep your training current.

Review escape routes with your family.

  • Practice escaping from each room.
  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.
  • Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
  • Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash such as old newspapers and magazines, accumulate.
In the Event of a Fire

Prepare Your Home

Install Smoke Alarms

  • According to FEMA, properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by 50 percent.
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence.
  • Place them outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall (4 to 12 inches from ceiling) at the top of open stairways or at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
  • Test and clean smoke alarms once a month.
  • Replace batteries at least once a year – a good way to remember to do this is to replace the batteries during National Preparedness Month which occurs every September. Or, as you set your clock back for daylights saving time, remember to check and replace your smoke detector batteries.
  • Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency by visiting

Tree on fire House and forest on fire House on fire Fire

Listen to Local Officials

Learn About the Emergency Plans that have been established in your area by local government.

In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.


For further information on how to plan and prepare for fires as well as what to do during and after a fire, visit: