Fire, Fire Safety|

About 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and about 20,000 are injured. You can stop the fire before it starts. Use this fact sheet to learn how to prevent a fire in your home and know what to do if you have a fire. Stop a fire caused by careless smoking, before it starts.


  • The safest place to smoke is outside of the home. Use a sturdy ashtray or a can filled with sand to collect ashes.
  • Use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. If it wobbles, it won’t work.
  • Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like a table.
  • Put It Out. All the Way. Every Time. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away NEVER toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
  • Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Don’t put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
  • NEVER smoke while using oxygen or anywhere near an oxygen source, even if the source is turned off. Oxygen makes any fire bum hotter and faster.
  • If you smoke, use reduced ignition strength cigarettes, commonly referred to as “fire-safe cigarettes.”
  • If you are drowsy or falling asleep, put it out. Smoking in bed is just plain wrong.
  • Close a matchbook before striking and hold it away from your body. Set your lighter on “low” flame.
  • One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a “Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm.” A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire.
  • Prepare an escape plan and practice it often. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two (2) escape routes from their bedrooms.

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