Install smoke detectors or combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your house, including the basement.  If you sleep with the bedroom doors closed consider installing detectors in your bedrooms.

To ensure proper operation of your detectors it is critical that you perform these simple and quick tasks in addition to following the manufacturer’s instructions: 

Ø      Test your smoke detectors monthly

Ø      Install new batteries at least once a year or when your detectors make a “chirping” noise warning you that the batteries are low.
Remember the phrase “Change Your Clocks and Change Your Batteries”.   

Ø      Install detectors away from cooking vapors to prevent nuisance alarms.

Ø      Clean your detectors regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ø      Replace your detectors if they are more than ten (10) years old.


In a fire getting out quickly is extremely important.  Plan and practice your escape twice a year (E.D.I.T.H.:  Exit Drills in the Home).  Every member of your household should know at least two (2) ways out of each room and the residence.  Make sure that doors and windows needed for escape are unobstructed and easy to open.  If an exit route involves an upper story window, make sure there is a safe way to reach the ground.  Decide on a safe meeting place outside where every member of your household can gather once they have escaped.  Take a head account, if you find that someone is missing, DO NOT go back inside.  Notify the first arriving firefighters.  Tell them who and how many people are missing as well as their last known location.  This information will assist us greatly in the rescue. 


More than half of the fatal home fires happen while people are sleeping.  Smoke detectors installed outside or in every sleeping area can wake people before smoke or toxic gases overcome them.  They also provide an early warning before the smoke and fire block your ways out.  Remember - NEVER SMOKE IN BED! 


One of the simplest ways to practice fire safety is to remove fire hazards in your house.  We have included our checklist as a good starting point.

Use extreme caution with cigarettes, matches and lighters.  Be mindful of the hazards cigarettes pose and ensure that there are no unattended cigarettes.  Make sure ashtrays are not overflowing and the contents are cool when emptied into an approved container.

Keep combustibles a safe distance from heater vents, radiators, fireplaces, space heaters, wood stoves or any other heat-producing device.  Always turn off space heaters when the room will be unoccupied for an extended period of time.  Never leave children alone near a working fireplace, space heater, wood stoves or any other heat-producing device.  Refuel kerosene heaters outside with kerosene only once the unit has cooled. 

Use a metal fire screen on your fireplace to prevent hot burning embers from escaping thus reducing your chances of fire.  Have your chimney inspected by a qualified professional once a year and cleaned if needed.  Use dry, seasoned hardwood in woodstoves and fireplaces.


Stoves (electric or gas), ovens and microwaves can burn you and start fires.  Always stay alert and remember these important kitchen safety tips: 

Ø      Never leave cooking unattended.

Ø      Keep your stove surface, oven and microwave clean.

Ø      Wear short, tight-fitting or rolled up sleeves when cooking to avoid catching your clothes on fire.

Ø      Keep combustible materials away from the stove.  Don’t hang curtains, potholders or towels near the range or store items on stovetop.

Ø      Turn pot handles inward so they can’t be bumped or pulled over.

Ø      Enforce a “Kids Free Zone” three (3) feet around the range.

Ø      In microwave ovens use only those containers designed for microwave use.

Ø      If a fire starts in a pan, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the burner.  Leave the lid on until cool.

Ø      NEVER pour water on a grease fire.

Ø      NEVER use the kitchen stove to heat your home. 


 For all flammable material stored in and around your home, exercise fire safety.

  Ø      Store gasoline outside your home in a shed or detached garage. 

Ø      Keep only a small quantity in an approved hazardous materials container (safety can and/or locker).

Ø      Gasoline should only be used as a fuel - never as a cleaning agent.

Ø      Never store gasoline indoors.

Ø      Before starting your lawnmower, snow blower or motorcycle, move it away from gasoline fumes.  Allow the motor to cool before fueling.

Ø      Always store paint and other flammable liquids in their original, labeled containers with tight fitting lids.  Use and store flammable liquids far away from appliances, heaters, pilot lights and other sources of heat or flame providing adequate ventilation.  Never smoke near flammable liquids.

Ø      Put oily rags in metal containers with tight fitting lids, not in a pile where they can spontaneously ignite.

Ø      Have your chimney, furnace and boiler checked by a professional at the beginning of the heating season.

Ø      Use barbeque grills with caution.  Never use them inside your house, on porches or balconies and away from vegetation and combustibles.  Store propane cylinders outside and have them tested per manufacturer’s instructions.


There are many types and sizes of fire extinguishers each designed for certain types of fires.  It is important to use the right one for the fire. The four (4) basic types are as follows: 

Ø      Type A:            Trash, Wood and Paper

Ø      Type B:            Liquids, Grease

Ø      Type C:            Electrical Equipment

Ø      Type D:            Combustible Metals

When attempting to put out a small fire NEVER turn your back to the fire and make sure you have a way out if the fire is beyond the capability of the extinguisher.  To use your extinguisher, remember the acronym P.A.S.S.:  Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.


Once you have made it safely out of a burning building, you may already be suffering the effects of lack of oxygen.  The body cannot exist without oxygen.  When you are in a fire, you may suffer from smoke inhalation.  The by products of fire (I.E.:  Carbon Monoxide) displace the oxygen in your cells causing you to act inappropriately.

            These effects include: 


At 21% Oxygen level
Normal Atmospheric Level

At 19.5% Oxygen level
Minimum Healthful Level

At 15-19% Oxygen level
Decreased stamina and coordination also may induce early symptoms described below.

At 12-14% Oxygen level
Breathing rate increases with exertion, increase in heart rate. Impaired coordination, perception, and judgment.

At 10-12% Oxygen level
Breathing further increases in rate and depth, lips turn blue. Poor judgment.

At 8-10% Oxygen level
Mental failure, fainting, unconsciousness, nausea, and vomiting.

At 6-8% Oxygen level
Fatal after 6-8 minutes.

At 4-6% Oxygen level
Coma in 40 seconds, convulsions, respiration ceases, and death.

One of the major effects of lack of oxygen is the impairment of judgment.  You may not realize it, but the possible exposure of lack of oxygen on the way out may impair your ability to think clearly and rationally.  Even if you are not affected, others who escaped with you may display the impairment of judgment.

Remember safety is everyone’s job.  Practice fire safety every day.

Important Phone Numbers: 

Emergency:                                                                                    9-1-1     

Nottingham Fire Company Non Emergency Number:            609-890-9834
Hamilton Police Non Emergency Number:                             609-581-4000
PSE&G:                                                                               800-880-7734
Aqua New Jersey Water Company:                                      609-587-8222  
Trenton Water Works:                                                          609-989-3222
Poison Control:                                                                     800-962-1253