Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety Checklist

Following is a fire and carbon monoxide safety checklist which is intended to help you make your home fire safe.


Inside Your Home and Garage




___Keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.


___Maintain electric and gas stoves in good operating condition.


___Keep baking soda on hand to extinguish stove-top oil fires.


___Tum the handles of pots and pans containing hot liquids away from the front of the stove.


___Install curtains and towel holders away from the burners on the stove.


___Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.


___Make sure that your electrical service is designed to handle appliance loads.



Living Room


___Install a screen in front of fireplace or wood stove.


___Store the ashes from your fireplace (or barbeque) in a metal container and dispose of only when cold.


___Clean fireplace chimneys and flues at least once a year.






___Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors between living and sleeping areas.


___Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace batteries twice a year, when clocks are changed in the spring and fall.


___Install child safety plugs (caps) on all electrical outlets.


___Replace electrical cords that do not work properly, have loose connections, or if frayed.






___If you sleep with the door closed, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the bedroom.


___Turn off electric blankets and other electrical appliances when not in use.


___Do not smoke in bed.


___If you have security bars on your windows or doors, be sure they have an approved quick-release mechanism so you and your family can get out in the event of a fire.






___Disconnect appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers when done; store in a safe location until cool.


___Keep items such as towels away from wall and floor heaters.






___Mount a working fire extinguisher in the garage.


___Have tools such as a shovel, hoe, rake, and bucket available for use in a wildfire emergency.


___Install a solid door with self-closing hinges between living areas and the garage.


___Dispose of oily rags in approved (Underwriters Laboratories) metal containers.


___Store all combustibles away from ignition sources such as water heaters.


___Disconnect electrical tools and appliances when not in use.


___Allow hot tools such as glue guns and soldering irons to cool before storing.


___Properly store flammable liquids in approved containers and away from ignition sources such as pilot lights.




Disaster Preparedness



___Maintain at least a three-day supply of drinking water, and food that does not require refrigeration and generally does not need cooking.


___Maintain a portable radio, flashlight, emergency cooking equipment, portable lanterns and batteries.


___Maintain first aid supplies to treat the injured until help arrives.


___Keep a list of valuables to take with you in an emergency; if possible, store these valuables together.


___Make sure that all family members are ready to protect themselves with STOP, DROP and ROLL.


___For safety, securely attach all water heaters and furniture such as cabinets and bookshelves to walls.


___Have a contingency plan to enable family members to contact each other. Establish a family / friend phone tree.


___Designate an emergency meeting place outside your home.


___Practice emergency exit drills in the house regularly.


___Outdoor cooking appliances such as barbeques should never be taken indoors for use as heaters.









___Consider installing residential sprinklers.


___Build your home away from ridge tops, canyons and areas between high points on a ridge.


___Build your home at least 30 - 100 feet from your property line.


___Use fire resistant materials.


___Enclose the underside of eaves, balconies and above ground decks with fire resistant materials.


___Try to limit the size and number of windows in your home that face large areas of vegetation stall only dual-paned or triple-paned windows.


___Make sure that electric service lines, fuse boxes and circuit breaker panels are installed and maintained as prescribed by code.


___Contact qualified individuals to perform electrical maintenance and repairs.





___Identify at least two exit routes from your neighborhood.


___Construct roads that allow two-way traffic.


___Design road width, grade and curves to allow access for large emergency vehicles.


___Construct driveways to allow large emergency equipment to reach your house.


___Design bridges to carry heavy emergency vehicles, including bulldozers carried on large trucks.


___Post clear road signs to show traffic restrictions such as dead-end roads, and weight and height limitations.


___Make sure dead-end roads, and long driveways have turn-around areas wide enough for emergency vehicles.


___Construct turnouts along one-way roads.


___Clear flammable vegetation at least 10 feet from roads and five feet from driveways.


___Cut back overhanging tree branches above roads.


___Make sure that your street is named or numbered, and a sign is visibly posted at each street intersection.


___Make sure that your street name and house number are not duplicated elsewhere in the county.


___Post your houses address at the beginning of your driveway, or on your house if it is easily visible from the road.






___Remove branches within 10 feet of your chimney and dead branches overhanging your roof.


___Remove dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters.


___Install a fire resistant roof. Contact your local fire department for current roofing requirements.


___Cover your chimney outlet and stovepipe with a nonflammable screen of half inch or smaller mesh.





___Create a "defensible space" by removing all flammable vegetation at least 30 feet from all structures.


___Never prune near power lines. Call your local utility company first.


___Landscape with fire resistant plants.


___On slopes or in high fire hazard areas remove flammable vegetation out to 100 feet or more.


___Space native trees and shrubs at least 10 feet apart.


___For trees taller than 18 feet, remove lower branches within six feet of the ground.


___Maintain all plants by regularly watering, and by removing dead branches, leaves and needles.


___Before planting trees close to any power line, contact your local utility company to confirm the maximum tree height allowable for that location.





Yard Areas


___Stack woodpiles at least 30 feet from all structures and remove vegetation within 10 feet of woodpiles.


___Locate LPG tanks (butane and propane) at least 30 feet from any structure and maintain 10 feet of clearance.


___Remove all stacks of construction materials, pine needles, leaves and other debris from your yard.


___Contact your local fire department to see if open burning is allowed in your area; if so, obtain a burning permit.


___Where burn barrels are allowed, clear flammable materials at least 10 feet around the barrel; cover the open top with non-flammable screen mesh no larger than a quarter inch.




Emergency Water Supply


Maintain an emergency water supply that meets fire department standards through one of the following:


  • A community water I hydrant system
  • A cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors
  • A minimum storage supply of 2,500 gallons on your property


___Clearly mark all emergency water sources.


___Create easy firefighter access to your closest emergency water source.


___If your water comes from a well, consider an emergency generator to operate the pump during a power failure.


This fire safety checklist was developed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.