Home Self-inspection Checklist
When people are hurt or killed in a fire it is usually at home. Fires at home are usually the result of a lack of knowledge. We encourage you to review the below Home Self-inspection Checklist and use it a couple of times per year. It's a great family activity that is both educational and potentially life saving.
- Address and unit number visible for emergency responders.
- Only non-combustible candle holders used.
- Candles always extinguished before leaving the room.
- Electric generators never used inside the garage, only outdoors. (CO poisoning)
- Lighters and matches kept out of reach of children.
- Inspect around the outside of the home for evidence of juvenile fire play.
- Fireworks only used in the direct control and supervision of adults.
- Bathroom fan not slowing down due to dust build-up.
- No holes in walls or ceilings that could allow fire smoke to spread.
- Leftover fireworks not accessible to children.
- No home-heating with the stove or oven, especially gas appliances.
- Propane heaters never used inside. (CO2 poisoning)
- Portable heaters equipped with tip-over switches or thermal cutoff switches.
- Never penetrate a ceiling or floor that is equipped with built-in radiant heat.
- Combustible materials not stored on or near heaters or equipment.
- Newspaper, kindling and wood not stored near a fire place or wood stove.
- Protective screen in place to stop embers from entering the room.
- Furniture kept a minimum of 18 inches from fire places, wood stoves and heaters.
- Kids not allowed to smoke at home (they often lack the maturity to be responsible and dispose of them in a safe manner).
- Never smoke near propane, natural gas or gasoline.
- Never throw a cigarette on the ground even if you think it is out.
- Fully extinguish in water prior to putting cigarettes in regular trash.
- Use only on-combustible containers for cigarettes.
- No smoking in bed or while on medications that might make you drowsy.
- Light bulbs not a higher wattage than recommended for the fixture.
- Compact florescent bulbs, if used outside are listed for outside use.
- Halogen light fixtures have protective wire covers in place.
- Light fixtures cannot fall over in the house or garage.
- Candle lighting using only non-tip-over non-combustible holders.
- A portable fire extinguisher is accessible from the kitchen and garage.
- Apartment sprinkler and fire alarm systems are maintained annually by the owner.
- If applicable, an escape rope ladder is installed at 2nd-story windows.
- All children know how and when to call 911.
- All family members practice a fire drill in the home at least twice per year.
- All family members know the emergency exit plan including a meeting place.
- All stairs exit doors and pathways to them kept clear.
- Address posted on or near the telephone.
- Carbon monoxide detector in place and working.
- Smoke detector not more than 10 years old.
- Smoke detector tested with real smoke (blow out a candle) twice per year.
- Never hang anything from sprinkler heads.
Outdoor Fireplaces & Barbecues
- Used charcoal not stored near the house even if you're sure it is out.
- Barbecues kept far enough from the house that the walls do not get heated.
- Ensure barbecues are turned off after use.
- Fire pits kept not greater than 3 feet wide and flames not higher than 2 feet.
- Decks protected from the heat of portable fire pits.
- Only fire wood in a fire pit. no trash or yard debris.
- Fire pits have a screen cover to hold back embers.
- A hose or extinguisher is nearby at all times
- Limit extension cord use to temporary only.
- Limit extension cord use to one appliance per cord (to prevent over heating)
- Extension cords not passing through doorways, in the path of foot traffic or covered with insulating materials.
- Electrical appliances, heaters & equipment checked for recall status.
- Only a professional electrician doing electrical work under a city permit.
- No damaged or hot-to-the-touch extension cords.
- No oversized fuses in the fuse box.
- No unexplained fading in & out of power or "popping" sounds of an electrical short.
- No hot electrical wall switches or outlets.
- No problems with frequent circuit breaker tripping.
- Branches kept clear of overhead power lines.
- Keep combustibles away from the stove top.
- Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Put a lid on it.
- Close the oven door and turn of the power for oven fires and call 911.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Double check the stove burners after dinner to ensure they are off.
- Outdoor deep frying of turkeys only on a driveway or concrete patio.
- Turn pot handles so they are not reachable by small children.
- Unplug portable cooking equipment when not in use.