Regarding all safety equipment and hazard detection devices, make sure that all equipment is approved and certified by a nationally recognized testing institute, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).  Always follow the manufacture’s instructions for proper use, installation, maintenance and testing procedures.


  • Have a minimum of one (1) smoke detector for each level of your home (including the cellar) and outside each sleeping area.
  • Test each detector on a monthly basis.
  • Replace all batteries twice a year or sooner if power is low.  Develop a schedule, choosing the same days, such as New Years Day/4th of July, the days we move the clocks forward/backward, etc.


  • Have at least one (1) Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector in your home, preferably near sleeping areas.
  • Do not place a CO detector in a garage, furnace room, near a stove or fireplace.
  • They should be kept away from open windows or doors, excessively hot, cold, or damp areas and ‘dead-air spaces’ such as corners of rooms and peaks of ceilings.
  • Be able to differentiate between the alarm sounds of your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors.
  • Set up a power detection schedule, as with your smoke detectors.


  • Have at least (1) multi-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher located near an escape path.
  • Ensure that the fire extinguisher is cared for and maintained properly.
  • Ensure everyone understands how to properly and safely use it. Even though extinguishers come in a number of shapes and sizes, they all operate in a similar manner.  Here's an easy acronym for fire extinguisher use: PASS (Pull, aim, squeeze and sweep).
  • Recharge all fire extinguishers immediately after use, regardless of how much they were used.


  • Have at lease two (2) escape paths from each room, a primary and an alternate.  Never use an elevator in case of a fire.
  • Practice your plan at least twice a year.
  • Make sure everyone can easily unlock and open doors utilized in the escape plan.
  • If you must go through a smoky area, crawl.  The coolest, cleanest air will be about 18” off the ground
  • Designate a family meeting area located a safe distance from the house.
  • Safely leave the building before contacting the fire department. Never return into a burning structure.