Firefighters are committed to the safety and wellbeing of our community and they want to help you learn how and why fires start and how to keep you and your loved ones safe. Firefighters offer countless safety tips from creating an escape plan to testing your smoke alarm and preventing burns.

Test your smoke alarm

It is recommended to have smoke alarms in each room were someone sleeps, on every level of the house, and in the basement. One smoke alarm might be enough for a studio apartment, but large homes need extra devices. When possible, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that when one sounds, they all sound. A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove. Please take a moment to check your alarms and make sure they work properly.

Accidental poisoning

Did you know that nine out of ten poisoning among children under twelve occur in the home? Store all medicines and household products out of your child's reach and use child-resistant packaging. Be prepared and save the poison control number (1-800-222-1222) on your phone.

Prevent scalds

A scald is a burn caused by hot liquid, food or steam. Over 60% of all burns to young children are scalds. The main causes are hot beverages or food, hot bath water, or cooking accident. To prevent injury create a 3-feet kids free zone around the stove, use the back burners when cooking and turn pot handles toward the back, use a travel coffee mug with a lid when a child is present, set your water heater to 120 degrees or lower, and always test bath water temperature before bathing your child.

Create your escape plan

In an emergency, your ability to escape a home fire depends on advance planning. When the smoke alarm sounds, you may have as little as one or two minutes to evacuate your home safely. Make sure to have a working smoke alarm and a rehearsed fire escape plan to keep you and your loved ones safe.


In San Diego County, wildfires, both naturally occurring and human caused, are a major hazard to our communities. Firefighters are prepared for the wildfire season, but they can’t do everything on their own.  Residents, and especially those who live in Wildlife Urban Interface are urged to assess their wildfire risk, safeguard their homes, and prepare for the next wildfire.

If you live next to a naturally vegetated area, often called the Wildland Urban Interface, you should create 100 feet of defensible space around your house. You can create the buffer zone by removing weeds and brush and by thinning vegetation. 

In addition to creating a defensible space, you should harden your house. Wind-driven embers spread fast and can destroy homes and neighborhoods far from the actual flame front. Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your house and you should keep it clean of pine needles, leaves, and other debris, and cut any tree branches within ten feet of your roof. In addition, you should inspect the eaves, vents, walls, windows and doors as well as balconies and decks to assess your risks. To harden your home even further, you can install a residential fire sprinkler system. 

Once you have done everything to protect your home, create a family disaster plan and assemble an emergency supply kit. If there is a wildfire you should leave early to avoid being caught in the fire, smoke, or road congestion. 

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