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Structure Fires


Prepare for a Structure Fire

(adapted from the Houston Fire Department's Fire Prevention & Life Safety Guidebook)

  • Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every room of your home.
  • Have a family emergency plan that includes evacuation of your home in the event of a fire.
  • Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher placed near places where fires could start, and at least one on each floor of your home.  Remember, different types of fire extinguishers are used for different types of fires - so make sure they are appropriate.
  • Know how to use a fire extinguisher, remember to PASS
    • Pull - Pull the Pin
    • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
    • Squeeze the handle while standing 8 feet away
    • Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire
  • Never use space heaters in your home unless necessary.  If you must, make sure to keep space heaters 3 feet away from combustibles, remember, "Space Heaters Need Space"
  • Have chimneys and fireplaces inspected by licensed chimney sweeps every year to prevent the build up of fire-causing creosote, or debris.
  • DO NOT overload electrical outlets, or "daisy chain" splitters  to make more outlets

After a Fire

Home fires can be devastating for families, help ensure your family's safety by following these tips:

  • Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible, your agent might be able to arrange for immediate repairs, or temporary housing.
  • If you are renting your home, contact your manager, the owner or the owner's insurance agent.
  • If you need temporary housing, food or clothes, contact the American Red Cross at 713.526.8300
  • Do not attempt to re-establish utilities until a qualified contractor or building inspector has cleared the building to help prevent further damage or injury.

Fore more detailed information, download and print a copy of the Houston Fire Department's Fire Prevention & Life Safety Guidebook