Safety & Security

Hot safety tips for National Fire Prevention Week

Protect yourself and your family

In the spring of 1950, firefighters battling a wildfire in the forested Capitan Mountains of New Mexico found a lonely bear cub clinging to a tree. Though badly burned, the cub survived, inspiring his rescuers to make him the real-life face of the U.S. Forest Service’s fire safety campaign.

Today, Smokey Bear and his motto — “Only you can prevent forest fires!” — are beloved across the nation.

But not all fires begin in the forest; homes can provide fuel for the fire, too.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, household fires can be sparked by any number of causes, particularly cooking, smoking, heating equipment and electrical problems. Follow the tips below to keep yourself and your family safe.

Fire prevention in the home

  • Keep matches, lighters and other fire-starters out of reach of children.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms have fresh batteries — according to the National Safety Council, working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a house fire in half.
  • Identify two safe exits from every room in the house, and practice using them.
  • Learn how to use your fire extinguisher, and regularly check that it’s in working condition.
  • In the event of a house fire, leave your house and call for help.
  • Do not go back inside to help someone else or retrieve your belongings.

Learn more safety tips at, and remember: Fire prevention starts with you.