Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

The recent occurrence of house fires in New York City is a reminder of the importance of fire safety rules, regulations and best habits. Often a potential disaster can be prevented by accessing the correct information and implementing good practices.

Here are some pro tips to prevent fires from occurring:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from bedding, curtains, and other flammable materials, and always plug your heater directly into the wall. Learn more here.
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
  • Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they can't find one another.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
  • Always close the door when escaping a fire. Closing the door saves lives.

Frigid winter temperatures can be difficult to tolerate, and many families turn to space heaters for relief. In addition to keeping space heaters at least 3 feet away from any flammable materials, please make sure to:

  • Avoid using electric space heaters in the bathroom or other areas where they may come in contact with water.
  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater.
  • Turn off/unplug the heater when you leave the room.
  • Purchase a space heater with a thermostat and automatic shut-off, and make sure it includes the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Mark.

Additionally, the use of kerosene or propane space heaters is illegal in New York City, and the use of these types of space heaters poses a high risk of injury or death.

Daylight Saving Time starts the weekend of March 12. The NYC Fire Department reminds you to be #FDNYSmart: when you change your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.

Find more #FDNYSmart tips on Twitter or visit

For more resources in multiple languages, please click here.