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Fire Prevention

Protect Your Family from Fire

Fire Safe Seniors Tool Kit

CDC has developed the Fire Safe Seniors Tool Kit to help you effectively implement a smoke alarm installation and fire safety education program targeting older adults. The tool kit includes:

  • An implementation guide with helpful information for planning and running a comprehensive fire safety program for seniors.
  • Three different training curricula.
  • Tools for conducting home assessments, education, smoke alarm installations, and process evaluation.

Place your order for a Fire Safe Seniors Tool Kit and additional items today.

The Risk is Real

The risk of injury and death from home fires is real. Consider that:

  • In 2011, fire departments across the country responded to 384,000 home fires.
    • These fires claimed the lives of 2,640 people and injured another 13,350.
    • Approximately 4 out of 10 home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms.
  • The main reason smoke alarms fail to operate during home fires is missing or disconnected batteries.

Keep Your Home Fire Safe

Your home should be a safe and comfortable place—and you can help keep it fire-safe by following these prevention tips.

Cook with care. When you cook, never leave cooking food unattended on the stove. Keep anything that can catch on fire, like potholders and towels, away from the cooking area. Avoid wearing clothes with long, loose-fitting sleeves that can catch on fire. Also, keep pot handles turned in.

If you smoke, attempt to quit. Don't smoke inside your home. If you do smoke in your home, never smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended. It is unsafe to smoke while drowsy or under the influence of alcohol or medications. Also, don't empty burning or hot ashes in a trash can, and keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains.

Stay warm—safely. If and when you use a space heater, keep it more than three feet away from anything that can catch on fire, like draperies.

Graphic: When it comes to protecting children against burns...In an effort to raise parents' awareness about the leading causes of child injury—including burns— in the United States and how they can be prevented, CDC launched the "Protect the Ones You Love" initiative. Parents can play a life-saving role in protecting children from injuries. Information is available in English and Spanish.

Learn more.

Be alarmed. Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including the basement, and make sure you have smoke alarms near all sleeping rooms. For better protection, install smoke alarms in sleeping rooms, especially if they are occupied by a smoker. Test all smoke alarms once a month using the test button.

Make and practice an escape plan. Create a home fire escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and have a meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan twice a year with everyone living in your home.

For more tips on protecting children from burns, visit CDC's Protect the Ones You Love.

More Information

Video screen capture: A Time To Act.An online video available through CDC-TV, "A Time to Act", explores one of the most common causes of unintentional injury deaths in the United States.

CDC Resources

External Resources

  • Page last reviewed: October 7, 2011
  • Page last updated: October 13, 2011
  • Content source:
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