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Be Fire Safe PA

Summertime Fire Prevention and Safety graphic 

The Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) provides important year-round and seasonal fire prevention information to help Pennsylvanians stay safe and healthy.

Explore the below information to Be Fire Safe PA!

Summertime Fire Prevention and Safety

Summer is here as we journey outdoors to enjoy the season we need to take a moment to think about how we can all be more fire safe at home and during recreation activities.

Fire Hazards Inside Your Home

  • Test your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Discontinue the use of any electrical appliances with frayed cords, and make sure they are not extended under rugs or other flammable materials.
  • Take a moment to inspect the lint trap and exhaust duct of the clothes dryer for debris.
  • If you store gasoline for lawn maintenance equipment, do so using only approved tanks.

Celebrate Safely

  • Summer is the season of cookouts; grills should be checked for rust, insects, spiders, grease and other debris before use.
  • Worn gas hoses should be replaced.
  • Never grill indoors, in a garage, breezeway or carport.  Grills should only be used 10 feet away from your house or any building.
  • Likewise, firepits should be properly maintained and operated away from dead leaves and other flammable debris.

What to Know about Fireworks Safety

  • Even legal fireworks can cause injury and property damage if they’re not used properly.
  • Always have a sober adult in charge and never give fireworks to young children; even sparklers.
  • Only buy legal consumer fireworks from a licensed store, stand, or tent.  These products typically have brightly colored labels with the manufacturers name, directions and safety warning printed on them.
  • Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks and only light one at a time.
  • Under no circumstances should you aim or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Do not attempt to reignite fireworks that failed to light the first time; allow it to stand for 20 minutes and then submerge it in water.  Dispose outside in a covered trash can.

Additional Outdoor Fire Prevention Resources

Explore these resources for more outdoor-related fire safety tips:

General Fire Safety Quick Facts

  • Smoking has been the leading cause of home fire deaths for decades
  • Cooking is the leading case of home fires and the second leading cause of home fire deaths
  • Three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without a functional smoke alarm
  • Older adults are among the likeliest victims to die in home fires
  • Sprinklers have been shown to lower the fire death rate by 81 percent

Smoke Alarm Safety






  • Smoke alarms are widely available and affordable. However, there are some years that Pennsylvania leads the nation in fire-related deaths.
  • Smoke alarms save lives; it's just that simple.
  • At least one of these life-saving devices should be installed on each floor of your home. To reduce false alarms, a smoke alarm should be installed at least ten feet away from the kitchen.
  • Additionally, they should be tested monthly and batteries changed every six months. Learn more smoke alarm safety tips.

Home Escape Planning






  • Your entire family should be involved in making and practicing a home escape plan. It is important for all family members to be able to recognize two ways out of each room, such as windows and doors.
  • Choose an outside meeting place, like a neighbor's house, a street light or a mailbox.
  • Emergency numbers should be saved in cell phones or memorized. Alert the authorities once you are safely outside.
  • Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building. Learn more about home fire escape planning.

Recovery After a House Fire

Image of rubble after house fire 




  • It is always important to listen to your local authorities following a major event like a house fire.
  • Never try to re-enter a fire-damaged home until it has been declared safe to do so.
  • Taking care of your family often starts with reaching out to your local disaster relief service. This may include organizations like the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. They can help you find food, clothing, shelter, and medical treatment.
  • If you have pets, they are likely scared. Handle them carefully and calmly. Try to leave your pets with a family member, friend, or veterinarian if you are visiting or cleaning your damaged home. Additional information about making special emergency preparations for your pets is available from the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team.
  • Now is the time to contact your insurance company. Ask them what your next steps should be, and about the immediate needs of your home.