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Emergency Shelter Fire Safety

Fire safety information for people living in hotels and other emergency shelters.
Family standing outdoors at safe meeting place.

Fire safety is vitally important for people and families living in hotels and other emergency shelters. A printable flyer on smoke alarms, cooking safety, and escape planning is available in eight languages. Fire safety educators are encouraged to share these flyers with those living in or operating these occupancies: 


Family escaping fire with smoke alarm sounding.

Smoke Alarms, Cooking, and Escape Planning

Smoke alarms are important, life-saving devices.

  • Smoke alarms do not have cameras and are not used for surveillance.

  • Smoke alarms warn people if there is a fire. If you hear the alarm, leave the building immediately.

  • Smoke alarms help keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe. Never disable a smoke alarm.


Red slash through picture of food cooking on hotplate between two beds.

Cooking in a bedroom is dangerous because it could start a fire.

  • Do not use hot plates, pressure cookers, slow cookers, or other electric cooking devices except in a kitchen. 

  • Bedding, clothing, and other materials can catch fire if they are too close to these items.

  • If you do not have a kitchen, you may use a microwave to heat food.

  • Plug the microwave directly into a wall outlet, not an extension cord or power strip.

  • Do not put anything made of metal into a microwave.


Smoke alarm sounding and smoke filling room with arrows pointing to two exits.

Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 if a fire starts.

  • You could have less than three minutes to escape a fire.

  • Have an exit plan for your building. Look for two ways out. One of these may be a window if you are on the ground floor. Set a family meeting place outside.

  • Everyone in your family should know both ways out of the building and where to meet.

  • If there is smoke, crawl on the ground where the air is clearer.

  • Once you are outside, call 9-1-1 for help.

Contact   for Emergency Shelter Fire Safety

Date published: November 7, 2023

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