Home Fire Safety Checklist

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Simple changes that could save your life.

As part of the “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” annual home-fire safety campaign, Energizer® brand Batteries, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and your local fire department urge you to adopt a simple, potentially lifesaving habit: change the batteries in your smoke alarms when your change your clocks back to standard time this fall.

Consider the following:

  • Each day, an average of three kids die in home fires – 1,100 children each year. About 3,600 children are injured in house fires each year. 90 percent of child fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
  • Although smoke alarms are in 92% of American homes, nearly one-third don’t work because of old or missing batteries.
  • A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.

“Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign sponsors encourage you to arm yourself against home fires by taking some basic home fire safety precautions, including installing fresh batteries in smoke alarms. The following is a checklist of activities to help you prepare for a home fire and protect yourself and your loved ones.

Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries
The IAFC and fire experts nationwide encourage people to change smoke alarm batteries at least twice a year. Change your batteries is when you set your clock in the spring and fall. Replace old batteries with fresh, high quality alkaline batteries to keep your smoke alarm going year-long.

Check Your Smoke Alarms
After inserting a fresh battery in your smoke alarm, check to make sure the smoke alarm itself is working by pushing the safety test button.

Count Your Smoke Alarms
Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, including one in every bedroom and one outside each sleeping area.

Vacuum Your Smoke Alarms
Each month, clean your smoke alarm of dust and cobwebs to ensure their sensitivity.

Change Your Flashlight Batteries
To make sure your emergency flashlights work when you need them, use high-quality alkaline batteries. NOTE: Keep a working flashlight near your bed, in the kitchen, basement and family room, and use it to signal for help in the event of a fire.

Install Fire Extinguishers
Install a fire extinguisher in or near your kitchen and know how to use it. Should you need to purchase one, the IAFC recommends a multi- or all-purpose fire extinguisher that is listed by an accredited testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory.

Plan and Practice Your Escape
Create at least two different escape routes and practice them with the entire family. Children are at double the risk of dying in a home fire because they often become scared and confused during fires. Make sure your children understand that a smoke alarm signals a home fire and that they recognize its alarm.