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Safety Tips

Home Safety Checklist

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has developed a Home Fire Safety Self-Inspection Checklist. Go through each question and give home a safety check-up.

Every "No" answer on this list shows you where your family's safety precautions fall short. Take action now.

Smoking Habits

Are all matches and lighters kept out of children's reach?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Is "No Smoking In Bed" a rule of the house?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Is your family aware that ashtrays should never be emptied into wastebaskets?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Are there plenty of large, safe ashtrays throughout the house?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do you check for smoldering cigarettes butts in the furniture?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No

Electrical Hazards

Are appliances checked periodically to be sure they are in good operating condition?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Are you careful not to run extension cords under rugs or over hooks and nails?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
When using extension cords for appliances, does the gauge of both cords match?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No


Do you keep rubbish cleaned out of attics, garages and yards?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Is paint kept in tightly closed metal containers?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Are flammable liquids stored in safety cans and kept away from heat and children?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Have you made it a rule to never use flammable liquids for cleaning clothes or starting fires?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Are oily rags kept in a tightly sealed container?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Have all dried grass cuttings, tree trimmings and weeds been removed from your property?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No

Heating and Cooking

If you have a fireplace, is the screen always placed in front of it?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Is the filter for your forced air heater changed yearly and the venting cleaned?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Are furnaces and wood burning stoves in good repair and located away from combustible walls and ceiling?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do you have the fireplace chimney cleaned and checked periodically?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do you make sure combustibles are not stored near the stove, heater or fireplace?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do your children keep a safe distance from flame and heat sources?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Does your chimney have a "spark arrester" or spark catching cover?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No

Smoke Detectors

Have you installed a smoke detector inside each sleeping area and on each floor?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do you check you smoke detector(s) every month?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do you change your smoke detector battery twice every year? (Change your clock, change your battery).   ☐ Yes   ☐ No

Fire Escape Plan

Does your family have a fire escape plan prepared?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Is your escape plan posted and regularly practiced?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Does each bedroom have two exits?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do all family members know how to dial 9-1-1 for fire, police and medical emergencies?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Do you show your babysitter the escape routes from your home and review 9-1-1 with her or him?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No
Does your family (and babysitter) know the first rule in fire emergencies: GET EVERYONE OUT FAST AND DON'T GO BACK INSIDE?   ☐ Yes   ☐ No

For more information on Fire and Life Safety National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Consumer and Families Education website. NFPA, established in 1896, is committed to reducing fire and other hazards and improving quality of life by providing among other things research, training and education.

Download our free Home Safety Checklist. (PDF)