Home Self-inspection Checklist

For Residents

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.

Life Safety

  • 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.