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Fire Safety & Prevention


Protect the people who depend on you. Make fire safety and prevention a regular part of your maintenance and renovation plans.

Single-Family Fire Safety

• Check the manufacture date on existing smoke alarms, and replace them if they are more than 10 years old 

• Replace smoke alarm batteries every 6 months
     - Hardwired smoke alarms also have a battery backup that should be replaced every 6 months

• Install smoke alarms that use ionization and photoelectric detection technologies 

• Place smoke alarms in the kitchen, each bedroom and on every level of the home 

• Install CO detectors outside sleeping areas on every level of the home
     - Choose combo smoke and CO detectors to improve safety and reduce maintenance needs

Pro Tip
Pro Tip:

Save time and reduce long-term costs with 10-year sealed battery detectors. These alarms can reduce total lifetime costs by $20 plus annual labor per safety detector.

Multifamily Fire Safety

• Create and practice an emergency fire plan 

• Ensure residents clearly understand the fire escape plan 

• Repair or replace broken emergency and exit lighting 

• Install smoke alarms within 15 feet of sleeping areas, common stairways and hallways

• Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year or as recommended by the manufacturer 

• Provide training on the proper use of fire extinguishers

Pro Tip
Pro Tip:

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 28 percent of all residential fires occur in multifamily buildings1. Follow your state’s specific fire safety legislative requirements to help protect guests, residents and personnel.

Workplace Fire Safety

• Provide your local fire department with information about your facility, its location and its specific fire hazards 

• Make sure your fire alarm system’s certification is current 

• Ensure fire doors and shutters are operational and unobstructed, with fusible links in place

• Examine protective metal guards on the automatic safety sprinkler heads for damage

• Check automatic sprinklers and their surroundings for proper clearance levels 

• Ensure an adequate number of portable fire extinguishers by number and type 

• Make sure all fire extinguishers are mounted correctly, in readily accessible locations

• Check fire extinguishers’ charge levels and make sure the inspection tags are up to date 

• Schedule regular employee training on fire protection procedures and fire extinguisher use 

• Ensure routine testing is scheduled and run as recommended: 
    - Fire alarm systems should be tested annually2 
    - Interior standpipes and valves should be tested regularly* 
    - Private fire hydrants should be flushed annually2 
    - Automatic sprinkler system control valves should be checked regularly*

Pro Tip
Pro Tip:

Assign automatic sprinkler system maintenance tasks to responsible persons or to a sprinkler contractor2 to ensure these vital systems are ready to protect property and save lives.


In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call for help. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are now more than 484,000 fires reported in the United States per year. On average, more than 13,000 people are injured, property damage exceeds $10 billion and 2,825 people lose their lives. The vast majority of these fires, damages and deaths are residential. Most importantly, nearly all of these deaths are preventable.1

Additional Resources

1 National Fire Protection Association, “News & Research.” 2018. https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem
2 Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Fire Safety.” 2018. - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/firesafety/