Home Fire Safety Checklist

Fire Safety Starts at Home

An average of 45 Oregonians lose their lives to fire each year. Almost all of these deaths and home fires could have been prevented had the residents known what hazards to look for and if a working smoke alarm was present. Working smoke alarms can double the chances of surviving a fire.  Are you and your family at risk?

Smoke Alarms

  • Install working smoke alarms near each sleeping area, on every level of your home and in each bedroom for optimum protection.
  • Clean and test your smoke alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions each month.  Make the first Tuesday of each month “test day”.
  • If your smoke alarm is ten years old or older, it’s time to replace it.

Family Fire Escape Plan

  • Plan two ways out of every room.
  • Plan a meeting place outside.
  • Practice your escape plan.

Smoking and Matches

  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays.
  • Dispose of smoking materials in a metal can.
  • Check furniture for smoldering cigarettes before going to bed.

Heating Equipment

  • Keep clothing, furnishings, electrical cords and combustibles 12 inches from wall heaters and 36 inches from portable heaters.
  • Service your furnace annually.
  • Set your water heater thermostat at 120 degrees to prevent scalds and burns.

Chimney and Woodstoves

  • Obtain a permit before installing a woodstove.
  • Clean and inspect your chimney or woodstove at least once a year, twice a year if wood is your main source of heat.
  • Dispose of ashes in a metal container away from things that can burn.
  • Use a fireplace screen.
  • Keep things that can burn three feet from the fireplace or woodstove.


  • Inspect electrical cords and plugs for fraying and cracking.  Replace damaged cords.
  • Use only proper heavy-duty extension cords that are UL listed.
  • Keep electrical cords on top of rugs or carpet.
  • Avoid overloaded circuits.
  • Equip the fuse box with the proper fuses.


  • Keep an eye on what’s cooking and stay in the kitchen.
  • Wear short or close-fitting sleeves that won’t brush against hot burners.
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean and free of food and grease build-up.

Clothes Dryer

  • Keep lint filter clean.
  • Keep the outside vent line clean.


  • Store gasoline and other flammable liquids in approved, labeled containers.
  • Keep garage clear of combustibles such as cartons, papers and old rags.
  • Store combustibles away from the furnace or water heater.