The risk of injury and death from home fires is real. Consider that:
Your home should be a safe and comfortable place—and you can help keep it fire-safe by following these prevention tips.
Cook with care. When you cook, never leave cooking food unattended on the stove. Keep anything that can catch on fire, like potholders and towels, away from the cooking area. Avoid wearing clothes with long, loose-fitting sleeves that can catch on fire. Also, keep pot handles turned in.
If you smoke, attempt to quit. Don't smoke inside your home. If you do smoke in your home, never smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended. It is unsafe to smoke while drowsy or under the influence of alcohol or medications. Also, don't empty burning or hot ashes in a trash can, and keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains.
Stay warm—safely. If and when you use a space heater, keep it more than three feet away from anything that can catch on fire, like draperies.
Be alarmed. Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including the basement, and make sure you have smoke alarms near all sleeping rooms. For better protection, install smoke alarms in
sleeping rooms, especially if they are occupied by a smoker. Test all smoke alarms once a month using the test button.
Make and practice an escape plan. Create a home fire escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and have a meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan twice a year
with everyone living in your home.
For more tips on protecting children from burns, visit CDC's Protect the Ones You Love.
An online video available through CDC-TV, "A Time to Act", chronicles the experience of a family that escaped during a home fire after being alerted by recently installed smoke alarms. The video also reviews the main risk factors for home fires and steps viewers can take to reduce the risk of fire-related injury and death. These steps include installing and regularly testing smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan at least twice a year.
"A Time to Act" is available for viewing through a number of channels including mobile phone, or as a podcast, or for download (see "Download this Video" instructions on the CDC-TV page) thus allowing organizations to utilize our online video in any number of ways including as an instructional tool for parents, healthcare providers or teachers. Providing short, high-quality videos is part of CDC's goal to increase people's access to the information necessary to help prevent illness, injury and to protect their health and that of their families.