Sample fire prevention and safety press releases

Need a head start writing a fire prevention press release for your fire department? Below are 10 press releases that address seasonal and other fire safety topics. You are welcome to use this content in releases issued by your department.

Save More Than Daylight:
When You Spring Forward on [insert date], Keep Your Family Safe From Fire

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — Since 1966, most states have been changing the clocks twice a year in order to save an hour of daylight. Love it or hate it, daylight saving time is coming up again.

When you spring forward on [insert date], the [insert fire department name] wants you to think about an important way to move fire safety forward when you move the hands on your clock.

Smoking materials are the number one cause of fire deaths, so there just isn’t a more important prevention message. Whether you smoke yourself or have guests who smoke, take these simple steps to reduce the risk of a smoking-related fire.

  • It is better to smoke outside because furniture, bedding and papers inside the home can catch fire from burning cigarettes.
  • Keep a sturdy ashtray or bucket of sand handy for smokers.
  • Smoke only when you are alert. If you take medicine or get sleepy, don’t smoke.
  • Never smoke near anyone who uses medical oxygen. If a fire starts, the oxygen will cause it to burn hotter and faster. There is no safe way to smoke when oxygen is in use.

For additional fire safety information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

Keep Fires Burning Safely With Tips From the U.S. Fire Administration

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — Do the chilly temperatures have you dreaming of cozy gatherings around a brightly lit fire? Whether your ideal winter retreat is in the warm glow of the family room fireplace or sitting by a fire under the stars, the [insert fire department name] says safety should be your first priority. Follow these helpful tips to keep you and your family safe when you use fireplaces and wood stoves:

“Have your fireplace and wood stoves inspected before you begin using them each year,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “Have the chimney cleaned to remove creosote, which can ignite and start a chimney fire.”

Use a tempered glass or metal screen over the fireplace opening to keep sparks inside. Never use papers, trash or liquid fuel. Burn only wood in fireplaces and wood or wood pellets in wood stoves.

Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from fireplaces and wood stoves. The openings can get hot enough to burn skin, so keep children and pets far away from them. When you’re finished with your fire, put it out before you leave home or fall asleep. When you clean up, place the ashes inside a metal can with a lid. Store the can outside, away from the home, until the ashes are completely cold.

Follow these safety tips to prevent injury around fire:

  • Never leave children unattended around fire.
  • Prevent burn injuries by keeping children at least 3 feet away.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children’s sight and reach.
  • Never let children see you play with fire.

“Stay alert,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “Watch children closely. Help them if you are roasting marshmallows or hot dogs over the coals. And remember, once cooked they will be hot enough to burn a child’s skin.”

For additional fire safety information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

Six Smart Ways That Parents Can Make Halloween Safer for Young Children

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — Children love the costumes, treats and friendly frights of Halloween parties and going door to door. These can be safe and fun activities for all of us, even younger children. But the [insert fire department name] wants parents to know that flames can quickly ruin Halloween festivities.

You can keep your child safe from fire and burn injuries by following these six tips:

  1. Children are naturally drawn to glowing jack-o’-lanterns and other flickering lights. Instead of flames, use battery-powered candles or flashlights to decorate. Lit candle flames can burn children. If children come too close to the flame, their clothing can catch on fire. Battery-powered candles are the safer choice.
  2. Make sure that all decorations are kept away from flames and other types of heat.
  3. Keep all matches and lighters locked up. They should be in a high place out of your child’s reach. Teach young children that they must not touch or play with these tools, ever. If they find matches or lighters, they should tell an adult where they are.
  4. Choose a costume with fire safety in mind. Fabric can catch fire if children walk close to flames. Avoid loose fabric and features that dangle or drag behind the child. Keep costume sleeves tight. Look for a fabric label that reads “flame-resistant” or “flame-retardant.” Keep a close eye on your child. Even flame-resistant fabric can burn.
  5. Never let children play with or carry lit candles. Give each child a flashlight to carry while trick-or-treating. Check porches for lit candles, torches and other flames before letting children approach the door.
  6. The last tip is the most important: Young children need adult supervision at all times. Stay alert. Watch children closely at parties and as they go door to door.

For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
Heat Your Home Safely This Winter

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — Brrr! Your home’s heating systems are working double time to keep you warm this winter. The [insert fire department name] says safety must be your top priority since heating is the second leading cause of home fires. Follow [insert fire department name]’s suggestions to keep your home warm and safe.

“The biggest mistake is putting something too close to a heating source,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “Keep anything that can burn 3 feet away from space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, and radiators.” Remember that skin burns too. Make sure that people and pets stay 3 feet away.

Use portable heaters that have been listed by a testing laboratory (look for the laboratory’s label). These heaters should have an automatic shut-off switch so that if they are tipped over, they will turn off on their own. Plug portable electric heaters directly into the wall outlet; don’t use an extension cord or power strip. Kerosene heaters must be refueled outside.

“Evenings (5-8 p.m.) are the peak time for home heating fires,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “Turn space heaters off when you leave the room or fall asleep.”

“Older adults are at increased risk from home fires,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “Older adults have a higher home fire death rate, and heating is the second leading cause of fire deaths for people ages 65 and over.”

If you care for an older adult, plan for this increased risk. Check space heaters throughout the season. Make sure that bedding, throws and clothing are kept at least 3 feet away. Verify that fixed heating equipment is inspected every season and professionally cleaned when necessary. Talk with older adults to make sure that they understand their risk of burns and fire.

Plan for emergencies. Older adults may move more slowly or have trouble hearing a smoke alarm because of hearing loss. Make a home fire escape plan around their abilities.

Keep the telephone, hearing aids, and eyeglasses next to the bed. If someone in your care uses a cane or wheelchair, decide who will help him or her get out in an emergency.

For additional fire safety information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

Put Fire Escape Planning and Practice at the Top of Your Holiday To-Do List

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — You’ve done all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and decorating for your holiday guests. Now you can kick back and put your feet up, right? Not just yet. According to the [insert fire department name], there’s one very important item that needs to be checked off every holiday to-do list: a fire escape plan with practice.

“You may be familiar with your escape plan, but your guests also need to know how to get out and where to go if there’s a fire,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “This is especially important with older guests, who may have difficulty moving quickly. There’s no time to waste if a fire starts. You may have less than three minutes to get out of your home.”

Be prepared before a fire starts. Think about your guests’ abilities, and make an escape plan around them. Older adults may move more slowly or have trouble hearing a smoke alarm because of hearing loss. Plan for this.

Here’s what to do when your guests arrive:

  • Make a plan. Talk about what you should do if a fire occurs. Include what each person will need to do to get out safely. Help everyone understand that fire is fast and smoke is a poison that kills.
  • Think about the needs of your guests. If someone uses a cane or wheelchair, decide who will help him or her get out. If someone uses a hearing aid or eyeglasses, be sure that these items are kept next to the bed.
  • Make sure that you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Put alarms inside and outside all sleeping areas. Test your smoke alarms to make sure that they work. Make sure that everyone can hear the smoke alarm sound. Without a smoke alarm, you may not wake up, and the poisonous smoke can kill you in your sleep.
  • Find two ways out of every room. Knowing two exits is important in case one is blocked or dangerous to use. Know how to open doors and windows that lead outside.
  • Know where to meet outside your home. If the smoke alarm sounds, go outside. Call 911 from the outside meeting place.
  • Practice your plan. Everyone should be included. Walk through the steps that you will take if the smoke alarm sounds. Make sure that everyone knows what to do to get out safely.

“Older adults are more likely to die in home fires,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “They may need help to escape a fire. By planning ahead and planning around their abilities, you can make your holiday gathering a safer one.”

For additional fire safety information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

When a Hurricane Strikes, Prepare for Fire and Other Dangers

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — Are you prepared? The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1. Make a plan now to keep your family safe (www.ready.gov/hurricanes). “Fire safety should be a key part of every household hurricane safety plan,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name].

Follow this advice from [insert fire department name] to minimize risks associated with severe weather:

Older adults may need help in severe weather. Check in on older neighbors. Make sure that eyeglasses, prescription medicine, canes and walkers are kept close at hand, especially at night. In an emergency, older adults may need help getting to safety. Stationary oxygen generators require energy to operate. Have a battery-powered oxygen generator, and make sure that the battery is fully charged before the storm.

Powerful storms will knock down tree limbs and power lines, causing electricity to go out. Never touch a downed power line. Stay away from it, and report it to the power company. If the wire is sparking or touching a building, call 911.

Many families use a portable generator for backup power. [insert fire department name] warns that portable generators have fire and burn dangers and can cause carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a colorless, odorless gas. The exhaust from generators contains high levels of CO. Breathing too much of it is deadly. Follow this advice for safer use:

  • Make sure that your home has working CO detectors.
  • Read the portable generator’s manual, and follow the directions.
  • Place the generator outside, well away from doors, windows and vents.
  • Generators need ventilation. Never place a working generator in the garage.
  • Choose an area that is dry. Coming in contact with water can cause electrocution.
  • Never smoke while fueling the generator.
  • Add fuel to the generator before you operate it. Turn it off before refueling.
  • Connect the generator with a heavy-duty extension cord designed for outside use. Never use cords that are fraying or broken.

Expect prolonged electrical outages after a major storm. Lit candles are too dangerous for emergency lighting. Many things in your home can catch fire if they come too close to a candle’s flame. Plan ahead. Buy flashlights, and stock up on batteries. If you must use a candle when the power is out:

  • Put the candle in a sturdy holder and on a flat surface.
  • Make sure that the candle is at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
  • Keep children and pets away from the candle.
  • Blow the candle out if you leave the room, get sleepy, or go to bed.

During power outages, you may need to rely on a fireplace or wood stove to heat your home. Never use the oven to heat your home.

  • Have heating equipment, chimneys and chimney connectors inspected. Make repairs if they are needed.
  • Put anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Closely watch children and pets around fireplaces and wood stoves.
  • Burn only wood in the fireplace. Keep seasoned hardwood on hand.

A good emergency plan includes a supply of prepared foods that don’t have to be cooked. If you do use camp stoves and barbecue grills, they must be used outdoors only. Otherwise, they can cause CO poisoning.

If you are required to leave your home, you may be staying in a community evacuation shelter. Immediately identify the two exits closest to your location in the shelter. Make sure that you can get outside from both exits.

For additional home fire safety information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

New Homeowner? Here’s How to Keep Your Investment Safe and Sound

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — Congratulations! You’re a homeowner. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. The [insert fire department name] wants to help you make your new home safer from fire. Follow [insert fire department name]’s fire safety tips to protect your investment and your family.

Smoke Alarms

Fire is fast, hot and deadly. It only takes minutes for thick, black smoke to fill a house. A smoke alarm can give you the extra minute or two that you need to get out of your home.

Have working smoke alarms on every level, including the basement. Put smoke alarms inside each bedroom and outside all sleeping areas. Push the test button until the alarm sounds. Do this each month. Interconnected smoke alarms provide the best protection. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.

Escape Plans

Half of home fire deaths happen late at night. A working smoke alarm can wake you up. Every second counts, so know what you’ll do if you have a fire. Make an escape plan. Know two ways out of each room. Plan your escape around the abilities of children and older adults.

Prevent Electrical Fires

Electrical problems are a leading cause of home fires. Start off right in your new home. Plug major appliances like refrigerators and stoves directly into the wall outlet. Only plug one heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time. This includes coffee makers, space heaters and microwaves. If you need additional outlets, have them installed by an electrician.

Extension cords are for temporary use only. Keep all cords out of foot traffic, but don’t run them under carpets or rugs. Throw away cracked, frayed or damaged electrical cords before you move.

For additional home fire safety information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

Resolve to Make Your Home Safer in [insert year]: Ring in Fire Safety!

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re starting off the new year with a resolution to improve your fitness and health. As you eat better and exercise more often, consider one additional step to maintain your good health: fire prevention. The [insert fire department name] is urging [insert community name] residents to make [insert year] a healthier and more fire-safe year.

Most people say they feel safest at home. But U.S. Fire Administration data shows that 83 percent of all fire deaths in the U.S. actually happen in homes. These preventable fires result in more than three-quarters of all fire deaths and thousands of injuries.

Follow this safety information to ring in fire safety this coming year:

Smoke alarms can wake you up if there’s a fire. Make sure that your home is protected by working smoke alarms. “Half of all home fire deaths happen at night, when people are sleeping,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “So install one on every level of your home, in every bedroom and outside all sleeping areas.” Make sure that everyone in your home knows how to get outside and where to meet if the smoke alarm sounds.

You need a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnected smoke alarms provide the best protection because when one sounds, they all sound.

A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. Resolve to test all of your smoke alarms to make sure that they are working. Replace your smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or if they don”t make a sound when you test them.

Cooking is the main cause of home fires and home fire injuries. While you’re preparing healthier meals, remember to make safety the first ingredient. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking at high temperatures, like frying, broiling or boiling. Fires start when the heat gets too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.

If you have children living in your home or visiting, look for fire and burn dangers from their point of view. Never leave cigarette lighters or matches where children can reach them. “Keep smoking materials locked up in a high place,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. Children may try to do the same things you do. “Never play with lighters or matches when you’re with children.”

For additional fire safety information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

Getting Your Super Bowl Game Face On?
Score More Points This Year by Putting Kitchen Fire Safety in Your Line Up

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — Super Bowl Sunday is the United States’ second biggest day for food consumption. That means a lot of time spent planning and preparing game day snacks. Before you kick off your menu, take a look at these tips for safer cooking from the [insert fire department name].

“Cooking is the biggest cause of home fires and fire injuries,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. “Always make safety a priority in the kitchen.”

Kitchen Huddle

Prepare your cooking area. Use back burners, or turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Keep a timer handy, and use it when you’re roasting or baking.

Penalty Flag

Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. Keep an eye on what you fry. Start with a small amount of oil, and heat it slowly. If you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.

Defense

Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet nearby in case you need to smother a pan fire.

Illegal Contact

Prevent burns when you’re cooking. Wear short sleeves, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot or steaming cookware.

Defensive Linemen

Children need constant adult supervision. If you have young children in the home, keep them 3 feet from anything that can get hot, including the stove. Put hot objects and liquids beyond a child’s reach so that they can’t touch or pull them down. Never hold a child when you cook.

Touchdown!

Keep safety in mind when serving on game day too. If you burn candles, position them out of the reach of children and away from anything that can burn. Consider using flameless candles that are lit by battery power instead. Food warmers and slow cookers get hot. Place them toward the back of the serving table so that they won’t get knocked off. Provide hot pads to prevent burns. Light the chafing dish fuel can after it is placed under the warmer. Make sure that nothing comes in contact with the flame. If young children are in your home, supervise them and keep matches and lighters locked away.

For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

Following These Tips for Turkey Will Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner Safer

CITY, STATE, [insert date] — From stuffing to brining to leftovers, everyone has a favorite Thanksgiving turkey menu. As you plan your holiday meal, follow these turkey tips from the [insert fire department name]. They will help you keep your Thanksgiving dinner delicious and safe.

Cooking is the biggest cause of home fires and fire injuries, and Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. So there’s no better time to focus on safety.

“No matter how many years you’ve been cooking, or how many Thanksgiving feasts you’ve served, you still need to make safety your main ingredient,” says [insert department spokesperson’s name]. Start with these prevention tips:

  • Make your cooking area safe. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back so that they can’t be bumped.
  • Watch what you’re cooking. Use a timer when roasting a turkey or baking pies.
  • Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
  • Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. If you see smoke or the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off.
  • Prevent burns. Wear short sleeves when you cook, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot cookware.

A Note About Frying Turkeys

Deep-frying turkeys has become popular in recent years. This cooking method has a lot of risks. Turkey fryers get hot all over, so they need to be handled with great care and only by an adult. They can tip over, spilling hot cooking oil. Partially frozen turkeys placed into hot fryers will cause the oil to splatter. If fryers are overfilled, the hot oil will spill over the side when the turkey is added. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.

If you deep-fry a turkey, place the fryer outside on a flat surface that can’t burn, such as cement. Place the fryer several feet from anything that can catch fire. Don’t let children or pets come anywhere near it. An adult should watch the fryer while it cooks. Use a fryer with thermostat controls. Without these controls, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire. Thaw the turkey completely before cooking it so that ice crystals won’t splatter the hot oil. Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey.

There’s nothing more satisfying than cooking a good meal for the people we love. Make safety a priority in your kitchen at Thanksgiving and all year long.

For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, [insert fire department website, social media accounts, and/or contact information].

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