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Springing Into Home Cleaning? Remember these Fire and Injury Prevention Tips!

Inside THE HOME Edition

Home Safety Check

Is your home fire safe?

  • If you have children in your home, make sure to lock up any items that can start a fire (matches, lighters, cigarettes, etc.) and make sure children (and pets) cannot reach candles.
image is a graphic of a yellow clipboard with a piece of paper with checkboxes and empty lines to the right.

Clear Your Home Clutter in Case of Emergencies

Ensure entrances and exits to your home are not blocked by storage or furniture; the locking mechanisms, if permitted, operate easily and everyone can use them. 

  • In the case of an emergency, firefighters need to access your home quickly and safely. Clutter, and other items in the way of exits and escape routes can slow down a firefighting crew’s ability to respond and rescue.
  • When possible, purge items that are no longer needed from your property (inside and outside). Please consider donating items that are in working and wearable condition.
  • Many things can also be recycled. Check Seattle Public Utilities for guidelines before disposing.
  • Always be kind to the environment and dispose flammable and combustible liquids such as paint, solvents, cleaners responsibly. See more information on how to do this here.
  • More information on single-family homes and multi-residential buildings access/egress can be found here.

Create and Practice Your Home Fire Escape Plan

Fire is fast, hot, dark and deadly.

If there is a fire, you may have less than three minutes to get out of your home safely. Talk about what you should do to be safe. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do if there is a fire.

  • Your plan should include a map of each home level with two escape routes in each room.
  • Discuss and practice the plan with everyone in the household, including children. Don’t forget to add your pets to the plan!
  • Practice drawing out your plan using our fun family activity sheet.

Clean and Clear the Kitchen

Clutter in the kitchen and on countertops can pose a risk of fire and injury.

  • Keep countertops and stovetops free of grease and clutter (e.g., paper towels, oil, pizza boxes, kitchen tools).
  • Excess grease on the drip pan or stovetop can easily catch fire. Clean oil and food spills immediately after they occur and wait until the stove is cool to wipe away the oil or grease spills.
  • Keep items that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, towels, or wooden utensils, away from your stovetop.
  • NEVER store any items in the oven or on top of the stove. Check out our cooking safety video for more tips.

Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

  • Test your smoke and CO alarms once a month.
  • Check expiration date on alarms and if expired, you need to replace the entire unit.
  • You may gently dust or clean the alarms, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions first.
  • Check out our safety videos here: Smoke Alarm Video and CO Alarm Video
Picture of a dryer that has been extinguished after it was on fire. It sits on a lawn in front of a building with several burnt pieces of clothing.

Clean Out Your Clothes Dryer

Lint produced by using the dryer should be cleaned out of the lint trap every cycle. Nation Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests the following:

  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe for your dryer is not restricted and that the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. This includes making sure the outdoor vent flap is not covered by protected from snow, rain and dirt.
  • Move things that can burn, such as boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing, away from the dryer.
  • Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual. Even massage oils can build up over time and cause dryer fires.

Interested in a fire safety presentation? You may request a presentation for your apartment building or senior housing unit. Fill out this presentation request form and our team will be in touch!

For more information about the Seattle Fire Department and educational resources, please visit: