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The Official Website of the Chandler Arizona Fire Department

Fire Prevention Tips and Programs

Each year in the United States, more than 4,000 people die in fires, and more than 25,000 are injured in fires. More than 80 percent of all fire deaths occur in residences. In addition, more than 100 firefighters are killed while on duty each year. Direct loss due to fires is estimated at nearly $8.6 billion annually. An additional $664 million in property damage is estimated to be lost each year due to intentionally set structure fires or arson. Many of these fires could have been prevented.

To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire.

  • Fire is FAST. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is DARK. Fire produces gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being
    awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three- to- one ratio.
  • Fire is HOT. Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the superhot air can sear your lungs.

Fire prevention and safety information is available on numerous Web sites from a variety of organizations. Many of the links on this page direct you to the National Fire Protection Association, the U.S. Fire Administration, and other agencies.

Below you will find information on what to do to protect yourself, your family, and your property before, during and after a fire.

Fire Prevention & Safety Tips

Before a Fire Tips

  • Install Smoke Alarms
    Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half. Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement. Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.
  • Escape Planning
    Have an escape plan. Review home escape routes with your family. Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire. Have a meet-up spot for the family to gather after escaping the house. Read more about E.D.I.T.H.
  • Fire Extinguishers
    Keep an ABC rated fire extinguisher readily accessible.
  • Cooking and Grill Safely
    Never leave cooking unattended. Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames. Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  • Smoking
    If you must smoke, do it responsibly. Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated. Keep matches/lighters away from children.
  • Heaters & Fireplaces
    Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable and/or combustible materials. Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater. Perform regular cleaning and maintenance of your fireplace. Do not dispose of improper materials in your fireplace. Keep a fireplace screen in place. Have a spark arrestor on your chimney to prevent hot embers from landing on your roof.
  • Candles
    Candles are used for many fun and positive reasons, such as religious and national celebrations, holidays, birthdays, even for socializing and relaxation purposes. Unfortunately, candle fires have been rising dramatically over the past few years. More than one-third of the fires started because candles were left unattended, abandoned, or poorly controlled. Follow these simple instructions when dealing when handling candles in your home or business. In addition, use flashlights for temporary lighting during power outages – not candles. Keep plenty of batteries on hand during storm seasons.
  • Electrical Wiring
    Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs. Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring. Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas. Do not overload extension cords or outlets.
  • Hazardous Materials
    No open containers of paints and flammable solvents. All gasoline should be stored in safety bin or cans. Combustible oily rags should be stored in metals cans with lids. No flammable materials should be within 3 feet of water heater or furnace. Keep an ABC rated fire extinguisher readily accessible.
  • Landscaping Maintenance
    Eliminate dried grass, weeds, or rubbish near the home. Trim trees and vegetation to keep branches clear from electrical lines and chimneys.
  • Maintain Appliances Properly
    Dryer should be vented outside and free of lint accumulation. Hood fan and broiler pan should be free of grease buildup. 

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Tips for During a Fire

  • Do not panic.
  • Close the door to stop the spread of fire.
  • Sound an alarm and alert others to the fire danger.
  • Do not assume someone else already called the fire department get out of the house quickly then call the Fire
  • If your clothes catch on fire, you should stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished.
  • Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.

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  • Check closed doors with the back of your hand to feel for heat before you open them.
  • If the door is hot do not open it. Find a second way out, such as a window. If you cannot escape through a window, hang a white sheet outside the window to alert firefighters to your presence.
  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out. 
  • If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again and tell them exactly where you are.
  • If the door is cold slowly open it and ensure that fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route. If your escape route is blocked, shut the door and use another escape route.
  • If clear, leave immediately and close the door behind you. Be prepared to crawl.
  • Always stay as low to the floor as possible. If present, cool clean air will be found at the lowest part of the building.
  • Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.

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After a Fire tips

  • Tell the fire department if you know of anyone trapped in the building.
  • If you are with a burn victim or are a burn victim yourself call 9-1-1, cool and cover your burns until emergency units arrive.
  • If you are a tenant contact the landlord.
  • Only enter when the fire department tells you it is safe to do so.
  • Some fires start small, and people attempt to fight them without calling the fire department. However, do not assume that a fire is out because you can no longer see flames. Fire can smolder for a long period of time without being noticed. If you have a fire in you home or business that you extinguish, call 9-1-1 to have firefighters check to make sure it is out.

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Helpful Links to additional resources

More Injury Prevention Tips for You and Your Family

Strategies for Fire-related Injury Prevention 

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