Fire Safety

Your room-by-room fire hazard checklist should include:

Living Room

  • Open the flue or damper before starting a fire in your fireplace, every time.
  • Keep all flammables at least three feet away from the fireplace.
  • Place a sturdy fireplace screen in front of the fireplace.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once a year.
  • Keep candles and lamps at least one foot away from your curtains.
  • Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays. Never leave a burning cigarette unattended.


  • Never use candles in your bedroom.
  • Keep all lamps free of flammable materials.
  • Don’t run electrical cords under rugs.
  • Replace and repair loose or frayed electrical cords.
  • Don’t allow permanent use of extension cords.
  • Don’t staple or nail electrical cords.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Never leave heavy objects on the bed when an electric blanket is in use.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm near bedrooms.


  • Don’t overload outlets with cords from too many appliances. Plug them in one at a time.
  • If an outlet or switch feels unusually warm, stop using it and call an electrician.
  • Never set hot appliances on flammable materials.
  • Unplug all appliances when done using them.
  • Make sure cords from appliances are not getting pinched in drawers.
  • Keep towels and other flammables at least three feet away from space heaters.


  • Install ceiling-mounted smoke alarms that are at least four inches away from the walls on every level of your home.
  • Ensure smoke alarms are UL listed.
  • Wall-mounted smoke alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  • Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts.
  • Test your smoke alarms once a month.
  • Vacuum your smoke alarms every six months.
  • Change your smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Make sure batteries are always in smoke alarms.


  • If you have a fire extinguisher, be sure you are properly trained to use it.
  • Make sure the fire extinguisher is for multi-purpose use.
  • Keep the fire extinguisher in a place where it is easy to access.
  • Never leave anything on the stove or under the broiler unattended.
  • Keep the cooking area clear of items that can burn.
  • Maintain a three-foot kid-free and pet-free zone around the stove.
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing while you are cooking.


  • Have your heating system serviced once a year before cold weather begins.
  • When buying a new unit, have a qualified technician install it or check that it was installed properly.
  • Choose a heating device with an automatic shutoff feature.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Have a gas-powered dryer inspected by a professional at least once a year to check flexible gas lines for damage and proper connection, and to ensure all piping is free of leaks.
  • Keep areas around heating sources clear of debris and insulated from the heating source.
  • Be sure to clean the lint tray in your dryer before each use and check around the drum for any accumulated lint.
  • Do not store clothing or other combustibles any closer than one foot from the dryer.
  • Do not let your dryer continue running when you leave your home.

For additional information and resources to help you learn more and stay safe in and around your home, please visit

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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