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Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety

Information and resources to learn and be prepared to keep you and your family safe in case of a fire emergency.

Fire safety

Fires can start and spread in a matter of seconds. The most common causes of fires include cooking, heating, candles and smoking. In Massachusetts, heating is the number one cause of home fires. Unfortunately, across the U.S., nearly 7 people die every day from home fires. It's important to be aware and prepared to keep you and your family safe in case of a fire emergency.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Fire Prevention
  • Never leave cooking unattended. Cooking is the #1 cause of fires in the U.S. 
  • Keep oven mitts, towels, and anything else that can catch on fire away from the stove
  • Set a 3-foot safety zone away from the stove and oven for children
  • Store matches, candles, and lighters up and away from children
  • Remember to blow out candles when leaving the house or before going to bed
  • Use generators outdoors and away from windows and doors
  • Have your heating system and appliances inspected by a technician every year
Fire Escape Plan
  • Make and draw out a fire escape plan with your family
  • Make sure there are at least 2 ways out of every room
  • Have a safe outside meeting place for everyone to meet
  • Practice the fire escape plan with everyone twice each year

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when CO builds up in the bloodstream, preventing the body from using oxygen. This can cause damage to your organs, and possibly death. Because you cannot see, taste, or smell it, people often do not realize that they are breathing CO. The only way to know if CO is in your home is with a CO detector. Families need CO detectors installed on every level of their home. They should also know how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

CO is produced when fuels like gas, propane, and oil aren’t burned completely. Common sources of CO include stoves, dryers, and space heaters. Additionally, heating a car inside of a garage or with blocked tailpipes can also be dangerous sources of CO.

CO Poisoning Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
CO Poisoning Prevention
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home near bedrooms
  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home
  • Never use generators indoors, or near doors and windows
  • Never leave your car running inside of a closed garage
  • Clear your tailpipe of debris and snow, especially during the winter
  • Have your heating system and appliances inspected by a technician every year
  • Contact Boston Fire Department for Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspections
Fireworks and BBQs

Fireworks are extremely dangerous and are illegal in MA. Below are some tips to remember:

  • Keep pets indoors as they are sensitive to loud noises
  • Clear gutters as dry leaves, pine needles, and brush can ignite quickly
  • Untrimmed trees and branches hanging closely to a home that catches fire can quickly make a home go up in flames-wet your home with a garden hose just in case
  • Sprinklers should be both in the front and back yard
  • Grills should be used outdoors and keep a 3ft buffer/safe zone around it to keep kids and pets safe
  • Always keep an eye on your grill, fire pit, and patio torches
  • Coal should be cool before being disposed of and should be placed in a metal can with a lid
  • Propane tank hoses should be checked for leaks
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