Public Safety & Education
The Fire Services Department has provided safety tips and information for keeping you and your family safe. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan. Follow USFA updates on Twitter.
Fire Safety Education Center
- Home safety tips
- In the kitchen
- If Cooking, And a fire
- Smoke Alarms
- Grilling & Campfires
- Turkey Fryers
- Winter Holiday Fires
- Swimming Safety Tips
Please make safety a top priority for you and your family.
- Create and practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year.
- If a Fire breaks out - When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911. If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.
Home heating is the second leading cause of home fires. You can prevent a heating fire with these simple steps:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators.
- When you leave a room or go to bed, turn heaters off or unplug them.
- Have your furnace, chimney and chimney connector inspected by a professional each fall/winter. Make any needed repairs before the cool weather sets in.
Follow these safety tips to prevent an electrical fire:
- Plug portable heaters directly into the outlet. Don't use an extension cord. Make sure your hearer has an automatic shit-off switch that turns it off if it tips over.
- Extension cords should be for temporary use only. If you have an electrical cord that is frayed or broken, don't use it.
In The Kitchen
Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 40% of all reported U.S. home fires start in the kitchen, more than any other room in the house. Take these steps today to prevent a cooking fire in your home:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
- If you are using the oven, such as baking, use a timer to remind yourself that you’re cooking. Make sure the time has fresh batteries and a sound loud enough to get your attention. Also, make sure to remain in the home while food is cooking and remember to check the food regularly.
- Keep things that can burn away from your cooking area (at least 3 feet). These items can include, but are not limited to:
- Dishtowels or paper towels; Food packaging; Oven mitts & pot holders; Paper or plastic bags; Wooden utensils; Curtains; Long sleeves
- Keep your cooking area clean. Do not let grease build up on the range top, toaster over or in the oven
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so they won’t get bumped. Also keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
- Stay alert at all times while cooking. Do not cook if you have been very sleepy, drinking alcohol, have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
- Choose the right cooking equipment and make sure that it is used properly. Do not use equipment that has not been tested and approved, and make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing and using the equipment.
- Microwaves are the leading cause of scald burns. Be extra careful when opening a heated food container and only use those containers that are marked 'microwave safe'. Since foods heat unevenly in the microwave, make sure you stir and test the food before eating.
- Be prepared to deal with cooking fires. Never put water on a grease fire, so be prepared by Keeping a small fire extinguisher nearby the kitchen. Every year, make sure it's charged correctly. If a fire occurs, make sure to call the fire department before it becomes too late.
- If you are going to have a lot of guests, declare the kitchen off limits to children and those adults not assisting with food preparation. A crowded kitchen can increase the danger of spills and burns.
If You Have a Cooking Fire
- When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911.
- If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.
- Stovetop: Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
- Oven: In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
- Microwave: If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.
- After a fire, both ovens and microwaves should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.
Children under 5 years old, face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking. You can help prevent these injuries by following a few basic tips:
- Teach all children that hot things burn. This will help them mentally prepare for an instance in which they may need said information.
- Make a "kids-free zone" that is within 3 feet of the stove. Keep children at least 3 feet away from where food and drinks are being prepared or carried and never hold a child while cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from the table or counter edges where they are reachable or can get bumped. Use the stove’s back burners if you have young children in the home.
Smoke alarms are an extremely valuable resource to the safety of residential and commercial properties throughout the City of Crestwood. Below are a few tips about smoke alarms to follow:
- If a smoke alarm sounds during normal cooking, you may need to move it farther away from the kitchen (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) and/or install a smoke alarm with a pause button. DO NOT disable the smoke alarm or take the batteries out! If your alarm device already has a pause button, push the pause button, open the door or window, and fan the area around the alarm with a towel to get the air moving.
The City of Crestwood Department of Fire Safety follows the National Fire Protection Association guidelines when it comes to Consumer Fireworks - Be Careful!
- If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts.
- Keep a close eye on children at any event where fireworks might be present
- Do not use consumer fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers. Sparklers burn up to 1200°F, which nearly 6x hotter than the temperature in which water boils. They are hot enough to cause third-degree burns and account for roughly 25% of all emergency room fireworks injuries.
- There are estimated to be more than 18,000 fires started by fireworks every year, resulting in more than $100 million in direct property damage. Additionally, more than 9,000 fireworks injuries occur every year.
Safety Tips for Grilling & Campfires
Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime should be a time of fun and making happy memories, however, it also bring fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking and recreational fires. Here are a few fire safety tips worth knowing to help everyone have a safe summer:
- Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under leaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets from the grill area: declare a three-foot "safe zone" around the grill.
- If you own a propane grill, check the cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.
- Avoid using softwood, such as pine or cedar that will likely pop and throw sparks, in a fire pit. The use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.
- Don’t build a campfire at a site in hazardous, dry conditions or if the campground, area, or event rules prohibit campfires.
Turkey Fryer Safety Tips
One of the biggest fire safety issues during Thanksgiving is those that use turkey fryers. Here are a few tips to make sure your bird is cooked in the safest way possible:
- Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck. Make sure to use fryers only in the outdoors, a safe distance away from any structure or combustible materials
- Also, make sure fryers are on a flat surface to reduce any accidental tipping that may occur on an uneven surface
- Never leave the fryer unattended. As most units do not have a thermostat control, if you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. Plus it will ruin the taste of the turkey!
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix. The water causes oil to spill over causing a fire and/or even an explosion hazard. The National Turkey Federation recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer, even if it’s not in use. The cooking oil inside the unit will remain dangerously hot for hours after use.
- To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
- Make sure to talk all precautions when it comes to dressing safely as well. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter and only use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching the pot or lid handles.
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.
Winter Holiday Fires
When it comes to the holiday season, make sure to stay safe. Here are a few tips to keep everyone a little safer:
- Candles: It is said that on average, nearly 20 home candle fires were reported each day of the year, causing more than 150 deaths and north of $500 million in property damage. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Do not use real candles as part of decorations and always exercise basic fire safety by remembering to keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
- Christmas Trees: While Christmas tree fires are not that common, when they do occur, they are very dangerous. On average, nearly 1 out of every 50 reported Christmas tree fires have results in death and result in more than $10 million in direct property damage annually.
- The main cause of that is a heat source too close to the Christmas tree, which causes 1 in every 4 winter fires. Remember to keep your tree at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters and more.
- Do not leave a lighted Christmas tree (reminder, no candles) unattended. Natural cut Christmas trees always involve some kind of risk of fire. To minimize the risk, get a fresh tree and keep it watered at all times.
- Decorate with children in mind. Do not put ornaments that have small parts or metal hooks, or look like food or candy, on the lower branches where small children can reach them.
- Never burn Christmas tree branches, treated wood or wrapping paper in a home fireplace.
- Light strands: Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Make sure to only use the correct number of light strands connected at once. Also, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged. Inspect light strands every single year and replace if they become damaged.
- Other Decorations: Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. Also, make sure to read a manufacturer's instructions for anything that might cause a fire hazard.
Swimming Safety Tips
Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But it’s important to know how to be safe while you’re in the water. The American Red Cross offers these important swimming safety tips to help you and your kids be safe this summer before you head out to the pool or beach:
- Swim in designated areas only, supervised by lifeguards.
- Maintain constant supervision.
- Always swim with a buddy. Do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
- If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Have appropriate equipment around, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
- Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses, etc. to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
A Guide to Pool Safety for Property Owners
Pools present a number of risks regardless of whether you’re swimming, hanging out on the steps, or not getting in the water at all. In addition to personal precautions you should take, every city and town has its own laws regarding pool safety standards and building codes. Be sure to check them before buying a house with a pool or building your own.
Understanding pool safety is crucial for any homeowner. Below are additional helpful suggestions for pool safety - whether required by law or insurance, the following precautions should be taken by all homeowners before and after building a pool:
Setting Safety Rules
Whether you are swimming with immediate family members, friends or guests, establishing and implementing rules can help prevent accidents and injuries. The following can help you start creating a list of safety measures:
- Set open and close times
- Set diving rules
- Limit running around the pool
- Attend to children
- Don't use glass
- Don't swim alone
- Properly display your rules
Type of Safety Equipment to Purchase
A variety of pool safety equipment can be purchased to protect your family and guests, especially children. Follow these steps to have the proper material on had.
- Get a protective cover
- Monitor all entryways
- Fence in your pool
- Purchase a pool alarm
- Have rescue gear readily available
- Provide swimming lessons
- Display safety signage