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Fire Safety Tips

                                                                            SMOKE DETECTORS

Every year people die because their smoke detectors didn't go off during a fire. That's usually because the batteries were dead (or had been removed to stop false alarms) or the detector was past its useful life or was located where occupants couldn't hear the alarm.
Smoke detectors should be placed in the vicinity of every bedroom and on each level of a house. State law requires that photoelectric smoke detectors only be installed if a house is being sold. If your looking to install new detectors or change existing one, you should use photoelectric detectors. If the house was built after 1994, the smoke detectors must be hardwired.
Helpful hints:

  • Put smoke alarms on all floor levels in your home and in the vicinity of all bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they are working, and so you’ll know what it sounds like when it goes off.
  • Replace old batteries with brand new ones at least twice a year.  Typically done when daylight-saving time begins and ends.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean from dust.  You can clean away the dust by running the vacuum cleaner attachment over and around them.
  • Interconnect detectors (one goes off, they all go off) are extremely helpful. Interconnected detectors connected by a radio signal instead of wires are now available and can be installed without the expense of a lot of wiring. 
  • Smoke detectors only have a service life of 10 years.  Any detectors over 10 years old should be replaced.  

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels. Carbon monoxide poisoning can mimic flu symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Higher levels of exposure result in disorientation, drowsiness, unconsciousness and death.

Common sources of carbon monoxide include heating appliances, water heaters, clothes dryers, emergency generators, temporary cooking appliances or space heaters and motor vehicles running in attached garages or adjacent to a building and even wood ashes left inside the house.   
A carbon monoxide detector should be placed in the vicinity of any bedrooms.  
Helpful hints:

  • Many of the same hints for smoke detectors apply to carbon monoxide detectors as well.  
  • Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 5-7 years. 
  • If your carbon monoxide detector activates, immediately evacuate to fresh air, call 911, do not ventilate the building.
                                                                                 IN THE KITCHEN

  • Never leave the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food
  • Always double check that the oven or stovetop is off before leaving the house
  • When frying on the stovetop, always keep a lid beside your pan in case of a fire. Never use water or a fire extinguisher on a grease fire.
  • Turn pot handles toward the center of the stove. They should never hang over the edge where someone could bump into them and knock them off the stove.


  • Never put anything over a lamp, like clothes or a blanket, 
  • Don’t stand too close to the fireplace or a wood stove.  You could get burned or your clothes could catch fire.
  • Never touch matches, lighters, or candles.  If you see matches or lighters in a room, tell an adult right away.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries at least twice a year.


  • Replace any damaged or loose electrical cords
  • Never stick anything into an electrical socket.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance in each outlet at a time


What would you do if there was a fire in your home?  It’s important to get out fast!  Never hide or take time to gather up your belongings. Fires can be loud, burn very fast, and their smoke can make a room or home very dark. It helps to have a plan so you’ll know what to do to get out of your home!

Good escape plans help you get out of your home quickly in case of a fire.  The best plans have two ways to get out of each room.  If the fire blocks one way, you can get out the other way. When escaping, stay low to the floor.  Smoke rises during a fire.  The safest air is down low.

 Make an escape plan with your family.  Here’s how:

  • Try to find two ways out from every room in your home.
  • The first way out should be a door.  Every way needs to be planned and practiced.
  • Before opening any door in a fire, feel it first.  If it is hot, there may be fire on the other side.  Try to get out another way.
  • Stay low to the floor when escaping a fire.
  • Pick a safe and easy-to-remember place outside the home to meet your family after you get out.
  • After you get out, call 911 or the fire department.
  • Stay outside no matter what.  Don’t go back for anything!
See the National Fire Protection Association or the Vermont Division of Fire Safety for more fire safety information