Fire Safety Tips

Why Seconds Count

Video demonstrating the rapid development of fire in a typical room and contents fire in a home. A Special Thanks to Reno Firefighters Association.


A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that 85% of candle fires could be avoided if consumers followed the following three basic rules:

  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended

See Candle Safety Tips (PDF).

Cooking Fires

Many kitchen fires are caused by cooking on the stove or grease fires. If a fire occurs, remember to call 911, turn off the power or flames, and cover the pan with a pad or lid to smother the fire. You can use baking soda, but never use water or flour to put the fire out.

See Cooking Safety Tips (PDF).

Heating Fire Safety

Turning on the stove for heat is not safe.

If power is lost, have at least one of the following heat sources available:

  • Extra blankets, sleeping bags, and/or warm winter coats
  • Fireplace with plenty of dry firewood or a gas log fireplace
    • Use a glass or metal screen in front of a fireplace to prevent sparks igniting carpets or furniture nearby
    • Dispose of hot ashes in metal containers placed away from the house or building
  • Never use charcoal grills or portable gas camp stoves indoors. The fumes are deadly
  • If you choose to use a space heaters, use with care and inspect electric heaters for damaged cords
    • Follow all manufacturers' guidelines especially in using the recommended fuel for that space heater
    • If applicable, be sure to refuel the space heater outside, away from the house and never refill it while it is operating or still hot
    • Verify electric space heaters are equipped with automatic shut-off switches
    • Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water
    • Keep heaters at least 3 feet away from all combustibles, such as, furniture and drapes
    • Do not leave a space heater on when leaving the house or when going to bed
  • Have a minimum of three-foot "kid-free area" around heat sources
  • Do not overload any electrical outlet or power strip. Be sure to make sure all cords or not frayed or stripped
  • Make sure wood stoves are properly installed and away from combustible surfaces. They need to have proper floor support and adequate ventilation
  • Never use flammable liquids (such as gasoline) to start or accelerate the fire
  • Do not store gasoline indoors where the fumes could ignite.
  • Remember, unattended candles can lead to a house fire

Consider the following safety equipment:

  • Fire extinguisher (preferably an ordinary combustible or ABC extinguisher)
  • Very your life-saving Smoke alarm(s) are in working order
  • Carbon monoxide detector