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Be Fire Safe PA

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!

Spring Season Fire Prevention and Safety

Spring is here! As we enjoy the season, we also need to take a moment to think about how we can all be more fire safe.

With the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures, we’re sharing seasonal fire safety tips to help you with annual spring cleaning chores.

Inside the home, it is important to think about removing fire hazards:

  • 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.
  • Water often leaks into homes during the winter months; it is a good idea to check for water around electrical appliances as well.
  • Take a moment to inspect the lint trap and exhaust duct of the clothes dryer for debris.

It is also important to take extra safety precautions outside the home:

  • Remove dead leaves and other flammable debris from around foundations and from under decks, porches, or stairs.
  • Outdoor work areas such as garages and tool sheds should be kept organized, and flammable materials should be stored in fire-rated containers away from children.
  • Grills should be checked for rust, insects, 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.

Graphic of spring cleaning fire safety tips

Year-Round Fire Safety

Have a Plan and Practice It

Do you know what to do in the event your home catches fire? Does your family? This knowledge is critical to ensure everyone’s safety. From the moment a smoke alarm sounds, you and your loved ones may have just 2 minutes to respond, according to NFPA. 

Take the time to develop an evacuation plan. Families should have a designated meeting place a safe distance from their home, for instance, a mailbox. Everyone should be able to identify to points of escape from each room in the house. Its also a good idea to practice one’s emergency plan under challenging conditions, like when it is dark.

Make sure the kids understand how and when to dial 9-1-1. (They should also know their home’s physical address.) Teach them the stop, drop, and roll method for extinguishing fire, and when practicing one’s escape plan, teach them to crawl to avoid smoke.

Don’t forget about older adults. These individuals often have unique health challenges or mobility issues that make evacuation burdensome. Unsurprisingly, home fire fatalities disproportionately affect older adults.

Check Your Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers

Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are vital to ensuring your family’s safety. Test these devices frequently (at least once a month) and replace any batteries when needed. 

If you have fire extinguishers in your home, they should be routinely checked to make sure they’re fully charged, and within their expiration dates.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Homes should be equipped with CO detectors. Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed.

The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

Learn More

To learn more about fire prevention and safety, visit these websites: