Safety Tips & Fire Prevention

Residential Fire and Life Safety Tips
  • The Temple Terrace Fire Department offers residents a FREE, in-home fire and life safety evaluation. Please call (813) 506-6692 to schedule an appointment.

  • If there is a fire and you need to exit the home. Have an escape plan. Practice it. Have a meeting place outside. Do NOT re-enter the home. Call 911. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low to get the best air and avoid the hottest air. If you are trapped in a high-rise building, call 911, stay on the line and tell them where you are. The firefighters will come and get you.

  • If your clothing catches fire: STOP! DROP! AND ROLL! This action will put the flames out and minimize the burns. Do not cook wearing loose or baggy clothing. This is a major source of burns. Do not let children cook unsupervised.

  • Check the water heater. It should not be set above 120 degrees if there are small children in the house. Always check the temperature of the water before letting children get into the bathtub.

  • Keep matches and lighters away from children. Do not leave matches lying around. Teach children that when they find a lighter or matches, they should give them to an adult. If possible, use only child-proof lighters.

  • Never leave pots and pans on the stove top with the handles pointed outward. Children can easily tip a pot of hot or boiling contents on themselves.

  • Keep towels, napkins and other flammable materials away from the stove top. If there is a grease fire, carefully place the lid on the pot. DO NOT USE FLOUR OR SALT ON A GREASE FIRE. Turn off the burner.

  • Turn off all appliances before leaving the house. Never leave the house with anything cooking. Do not store flammable material, such as Tupperware, in the oven or broiler. Clean the broiler immediately after using it.

  • Never use metal or foil in a microwave. Take notice of staples in cardboard containers when using a microwave. Only use a microwave for cooking purposes; do not use it as a dryer for clothing or other items.
  • If an appliance smokes or smells like it is burning, unplug it and have it repaired. If there is an arc in an outlet, call 911. Do not use extension cords to power appliances. When extension cords are needed, use the proper size for the item being powered and the location. An example is an outdoor, 16-gauge, 3-wire cord for hedge trimmers. If an electric cord is cracked or frayed, replace it.

  • Keep portable heaters at least 3 feet away from curtains, furniture or other items that can burn. Always turn off the heater when leaving the house or when going to bed. Keep pets away from space heaters. Do not use the stove or oven as a space heater. This depletes the oxygen in the house and replaces it with carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.

  • Do not over-fuse a circuit. If the circuit breaker continually opens, call an electrician to find the short in the circuit. Do not use pennies, copper pipe or any other foreign conductor in a fuse box.

  • Check your furnace and fireplace annually. Do not dispose of fireplace ash in anything other than a metal container, and keep it outside, away from the building. Keep a metal screen over the fireplace opening. Store combustible material well (4 feet or more) away from the furnace, hot water heater, space heater or fireplace.

  • Flammable liquids should be stored outside in a detached building (shed or garage) in proper containers. Never use flammable liquids around heating appliances, furnaces, water heaters, cigarettes or open flame. Be careful how you use flammable liquids on automotive engines. Refuel only in well-ventilated areas, preferably outside, and do not refuel while the motor is hot.

  • Smoking is one of the leading causes of fire in the United States. Never smoke in bed or when you are tired. Be sure to put cigarettes out in ashtrays, and do not empty the receptacles until they are cold. Check for smoldering cigarettes.

  • Install a working Underwriter's labeled smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home. There should be one on each level where there are sleeping areas. Follow manufacturer's instructions. Do not warm your car in an attached garage. The carbon monoxide will filter into the house, endangering the occupants and setting off carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Dispose of hazardous materials properly and not in the trash or sewer. The City of Temple Terrace Public Works Department holds an annual Household Chemical Collection Drop-Off program each spring to help residents properly dispose of items that may be hazardous to the environment. For information on this program, call 989-7086. As always, keep hazardous materials out of reach and sight of children.