West Nyack Fire Department

Fire Prevention

Smoke Detectors:

Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement. They should also be installed inside and
outside every sleeping area. Installing your smoke alarm at the proper height will provide you with the earliest warning possible,
follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Frequently test your smoke detectors at least once a month. Always change your smoke alarm batteries TWICE a year. When changing your clocks in the Spring and Fall replace your smoke alarm batteries.

●Smoke detectors save lives.

●Smoke alarms properly maintained help reduce fire related fatalities by 50%.

●Smoke detectors should be replaced every 8 – 10 years.

● Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home.

Please test your smoke alarms and change the batteries!

Fire Facts:

●When you’re asleep you can’t smell smoke, if anything smoke will put you into a deeper sleep.

● Fire burning in a house for 1 minute grows up to 3 times in size, in 4 minutes it grows to 11 times its size, and in 6 minutes it reaches 50 times its original size.

●It is estimated that although people have smoke alarms 50% of them do not work because the batteries are dead or missing.

Having a Planned Fire Escape:

Having a planned fire escape in case of a fire is must have. Have at least two ways out of your house and know them from each room in the house. (Don’t rely on just two ways out of your home for every room; every room may have two different escape plans than other rooms) Consider all the members of your household when you are making these plans and consider the possibility that someone might have to be assigned to help young and disabled people escape. Having a plan to escape the home must also include a safe meeting place. The household members should agree on one place to meet.

●Plan and practice your planned fire escape several times a year.

●Make sure your whole family knows where to meet.

●Consider purchasing a fold able window ladder, for rooms above the ground floor.

● Once escaped the home DO NOT re enter.

●Call 911 once in your safe meeting place.

In Case of a Fire:

Use your planned fire escape. 

Stay low, crawl if need be. Smoke and heat rise, therefore cleaner and easier to breathe air is closer to the ground. So stay as low as you can get.

Close doors behind you, this helps slow down and prevent the fire from spreading.

If one encounters a door, use the back of your hand to see if it is hot. If the door is too hot to the touch there may be fire behind the door. Do not open! Find an alternative way out.

Children should learn not to panic and hide under beds, in closets, or behind furniture, and should exit the home. As quickly and safely as possible.

If your clothes catch on fire, STOP where you are, COVER your face, DROP to the ground, Roll back and forth. 

Let the Fire department know if there is anybody missing, and/or if you may know where the fire might have started.

Electrical Fires:

Never overload extension cords or wall sockets!     

Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.

Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn,

old or damaged appliance cords immediately.

Use electrical extension cords wisely and don’t overload them.

Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters;

pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.

When buying electrical appliances look for products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Fire Extinguishers:

Having fire extinguishers in the home will help prevent the spread of a small fire. Only use when the room is not filled with smoke, or to create a safe pathway out of the home. Read the instructions and become familiar with your fire extinguisher parts and operation before a fire breaks out.

 Fire extinguishers should be placed in a visible and easy to reach area in the kitchen, living area, utility rooms, in the garage, and workshops.

There are many different types of extinguishers to choose from, the best one for all types is to purchase an ABC fire extinguisher.

Inspect extinguishers once a month for dents, leaks or other signs of damage.

●Remember P.A.S.S.

P  Pull the pin out of the fire extinguisher

A Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the fire

S Squeeze, Stand approximately 8 feet away from the fire and squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguisher. If you release the handle, the discharge will stop.

S  Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire. After the fire appears to be out, watch it carefully since it may re-ignite!

When not to fight a fire with a fire extinguisher:

If the fire is spreading too quickly.

If the fire is too large.

If you do not know how to use your fire extinguisher.

Candle Safety:

Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.

Never leave a candle unattended.

Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.

Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.

 Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.

 Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.

 Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Do not use candles!

Using Matches:

  Always keep matches in a secured drawer or locked cabinet away from children.

 Teach children that matches are not a toy, and tell an adult when they have found matches in a place that is easily accessible to them.

 Once a match is used, properly dispose of it. Just blowing it out may not be enough, run the match under water before discarding it.

Space Heaters:

Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day and should never be connected to an outlet with an extension cord. When not in use, be sure to unplug the unit and let it cool down before storing. Never use heaters to dry clothing. Electric heaters with frayed or damaged cords should never be used.

 Space heaters need space, keep furniture away from heaters.

 Space heaters need a three-foot clearance from anything that can burn.

 Space heaters should always be turned off when leaving the room or going to sleep.

 When buying a new unit, make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing lab.


Before using the fireplace for the first time in a season, make sure the flue is open.

 Wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors, and all other solid-fueled heating equipment need to be inspected annually by a professional and thoroughly cleaned.

Never use your oven or barbecue grill to heat your home. Also, when using your grill keep a safe distance away from your home. Be sure any gas-fueled heating device is installed with proper attention to ventilation, and never put non vented gas space heaters in bedrooms or bathrooms. Never store propane tanks in your home.


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