Taking Extra Care

More than 3,000 Americans die each year in fires. The Fitchburg Fire Department encourages you to protect you and your family from the dangers of fire by following this safety checklist.

Special Considerations

Depending on physical limitations, assistance may be needed from a family member, caregiver or neighbor to prepare for emergencies.
Decreased mobility, health, sight and hearing may limit the ability to take the quick action necessary to escape during a fire, so planning ahead is vital to staying safe.

Be Prepared & Create an Escape Plan

  • In the event of fire, every second counts! Make and practice a home escape plan. Talk with your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it.
  • Arrange to have a first floor unit or bedroom if you live in an apartment building or multi-story home.
  • Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street using at least 4” high numbers.
  • Maintain at least two exits from every room and know how to open locked or barred doors and windows.
  • Contact us at 608-278-2980, as we can provide a courtesy home inspection, review your escape plan, install smoke alarms and assist with locating home safety modification services if needed.
  • If you encounter smoke, stay near the ground or crawl low to exit. Once out, stay out and call 911 from a neighbor’s house. If you are trapped, close the door between you and the fire. Fill gaps around the door to keep smoke out and signal out the window using a blanket or sheet.
  • Use stairs to evacuate. Never use an elevator during a fire unless instructed by the fire department. If necessary, install a ramp in place of stairs for emergency exits.

Install & Maintain Smoke Alarms

  • Most fatal fires occur at night when people are asleep. Working smoke alarms increase your chances of surviving a fire by 50%.
  • Install smoke alarms in all bedrooms and on each level of your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly. For hard to reach units, use a broom handle or stick to press the test button.
  • Replace batteries once a year. Use daylight savings time as a reminder, change your clocks... change your batteries.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Smoke alarms more than 10 years old have a failure rate of 30-50%.
  • If you are hearing impaired, install smoke alarms that have the vibrating feature or strobe light. For more information about specialized smoke alarms, contact the Fitchburg Fire Department at 608-278-2980.

Cooking & Electrical Safety

When cooking, cuff sleeves and turn pot handles in to avoid burn injuries.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. Use a timer or carry a hot pad to remind you of food cooking on the stove or in the oven.
  • To extinguish a cooking fire, slide a lid or cookie sheet over pan and turn off burner.
  • Electrical fires are a common cause of home fires. Do not overload outlets and only use extension cords with built-in surge protectors.

Additional Resources

Fitchburg Senior Center

Ph: 608-270-4290
Serving older adults in the community through programs and services such as outreach and case management; transportation; meals; educational, recreational, and social options; Supportive Home Care; health services; travel opportunities and a loan closet.

Dane County Human Services

Ph: 608-242-6200
Supports seniors, adults with disabilities and their families by providing useful information, assistance and education on community services and long-term care options by serving as the single entry point for publicly funded long-term care services.

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)

Ph: 703-841-5935
Knowledge and awareness are the keys to preventing fires. ESFI urges older adults to take a proactive approach to home fire safety by learning about potential fire hazards and how to prevent them.

Public Service Commission of WI

Ph: 608-266-5481
The Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) is to help people with disabilities buy specialized equipment they need in order to use basic telephone services.

United States Fire Administration

Ph: 800-561-3356
Fire safety information for citizens to learn how to better protect themselves and their homes from fire.