Protect, prepare and prevent: Safety tips for Fire Prevention Week

Are your smoke alarm batteries up to date? Do you know two ways out of your home in case of a fire? Is your kitchen organized for culinary success (and fire prevention)?

This week, the Overland Park Fire Department recognizes Fire Prevention Week as an additional step to help keep you, your family and the community safe.

Install and maintain smoke alarms

Smoke alarms play a pivotal role in safeguarding lives and property by providing early warning in the event of a fire. In your home they should be placed:

  • On every floor,
  • Inside and outside each sleeping area,
  • At least three feet away from air vents and exhaust fans,
  • And out of the path of steam or fumes from bathrooms or cooking areas.

Maintain your smoke alarms by testing them once a month and replacing the batteries twice a year. If your alarm is older than 10 years, it should be replaced.

Make a plan

An effective escape plan can save lives during a fire:

  • Walk through your home with your family, and determine two safe routes out of each room.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone will meet.
  • Assign someone in the home to assist infants or anyone with mobility issues in an emergency.
  • Practice your family’s escape plan twice a year.

Keep your kitchen safe

Cooking is the top cause of home fires and home fire injuries. To avoid a kitchen fire:

  • Be alert. Don’t cook if you’re tired or have been drinking.
  • Stay in the kitchen while food cooks.
  • Keep flammable materials like oven mitts, wood utensils, and food packaging away from the stove and oven.
  • Prevent electric appliance cords from dangling off the edge of the counter.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. If a small grease fire ignites, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stove.

If you have a kitchen fire:

  • Get out. Close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 911.
  • If a fire starts in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Find additional information and fire safety resources at opkansas.org/firesafety.