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Severe Weather Fire Safety Outreach Materials

Severe weather can happen at any time, in any part of the country. That’s why it’s important for your community to be ready for severe weather events — and to understand the fire risks that can come with them.

Before severe weather hits, encourage residents to prepare their homes and families for fire safety.

Watch out for these fire hazards

Alert your community to these potential fire hazards during severe weather:

  • Lightning.
  • Portable generators not often used or maintained.
  • Leaking gas lines, damaged gas propane containers, and leaking vehicle gas tanks.
  • Appliances and vehicles exposed to water.
  • Debris near severed electrical wires and transformers.
  • Damaged or downed utility lines.
  • Exposed electrical outlets and wiring.

Fire safety messages to share

Add fire safety to your severe weather checklist!

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Make sure your smoke alarm has a backup battery.
  • Use surge protectors.
  • Consider unplugging appliances.
  • Disconnect motor vehicle batteries in flood-prone areas.
  • Take steps to prevent pipes from freezing and heat escaping from your home.
  • Review your home fire escape plan.
Social media toolkit

Severe weather fire safety

Content you can share on Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels to increase awareness about fire safety during and after severe weather.

The toolkit includes:

  • Ideas for messages to share.
  • Suggested hashtags.
  • Social media cards.
  • Videos.
  • Public domain photos.

Get the toolkit

Emergency lighting during severe weather

never use candles for emergency lighting

Facebook Twitter

  • Use flashlights for emergency lighting and stock up on batteries.
  • Never use candles for emergency lighting. Many things in your home can catch fire if they come too close to a candle’s flame.

Download these handouts and add your organization's logo.

Fire prevention during and after severe weather

Share these messages about steps residents can take to prevent fires during and after a severe weather event.

Electrical fire safety

  • If you can get to the main breaker or fuse box safely, turn off the power.
  • Remove standing water, wet carpets and furnishings. Air dry your home with good ventilation before restoring power.
  • Inspect extension and appliance cords. Replace frayed or cracked cords, loose prongs and damaged plugs.
  • Repair or replace appliances that emit smoke or sparks.
  • Have a licensed electrician check your home for damage.

More electrical fire safety tips

Gas fire safety

  • Smell and listen for leaky gas connections. If you believe there is a gas leak, immediately leave your home. Keep the doors open as you leave.
  • Shut off the gas if you can.
  • Do not use matches or lighters near gas. Any size flame can spark an explosion.
  • Before turning the gas back on, have the gas system checked by a professional.

Heating fire safety

  • Don't use your oven to heat your home. It is a fire hazard and can create toxic fumes.
  • Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
  • Never refill a portable heater when you are using it or if it is hot. Only refuel heaters outdoors.
  • Don't use heaters to dry clothes or furnishings.

More heating fire safety tips

Home hazardous materials fire safety

  • Look for flammable liquids like gasoline, lighter fluid and paint thinner that may have spilled.
  • Thoroughly clean spills and place containers and used cleaning supplies in a well-ventilated area away from ignition sources.

More home hazardous materials fire safety tips

Portable generator fire safety

  • Only use and refuel generators outside.
  • Use the right size and type of power cord for your generator.
  • Don't overload circuits by plugging too many items into a single connector or adapter.
  • Never run cords under rugs or carpets. Heat build-up could cause a fire. Also, damage to a cord may not be noticed if it is under a rug or carpet.

More portable generator fire safety tips

Share more severe weather fire safety social media cards

And remember ...

Some smoke alarms may use your home’s electrical system and could stop working during a power outage. Make sure your smoke alarm has a back-up battery and replace the battery at least once a year. Smoke alarm tips

Never thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame. Use hot water or a device, like a hair dryer, that is listed by a certified testing laboratory.

For more information on severe weather preparedness