Injury Prevention

Fire Safety

Smoke inhalation is one of the leading causes of death in children. Your baby is helpless in a fire emergency, so you’ll want to plan effectively and take all precautions.

  • Install smoke detectors where smoke is likely to travel (basement, kitchen and stairways). The alarm should be loud enough to cause your baby to wake up and cry.
  • Check smoke detector batteries monthly, and change them at least twice a year. An easy-to-remember plan is to change batteries when you turn the clocks ahead and back each year.
  • Put at least one fire extinguisher on every floor of your home and one in the kitchen.
  • Maintain all heating equipment. Have your furnace inspected regularly, and change the filter at least once a year.
  • Create a fire emergency plan. Decide in advance who will get the baby in case of an emergency.
  • Keep chain or rope ladders near windows.
  • Draw an escape floor plan with arrows from each room showing escape routes to at least two exits. Make the routes as short as possible.
  • Practice fire drills with the entire family and all babysitters.
  • Never leave a small child alone in your home for any reason or any length of time.
  • Use only fire-resistant sleepwear.
  • Do not use space heaters while your family is asleep.
  • Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected once each year.
  • Only burn logs in your fireplace. Never burn paper or garbage.
  • Teach children how to exit a burning building by staying close to the ground and feeling a door before entering another room (if the door feels hot, do not open).
  • Teach children to stop, drop and roll (drop to the ground and roll back and forth) if clothes are on fire. Explain that running could make the fire burn faster.
Last Update
February 11, 2008
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Last Update
February 11, 2008