Home Safety Inspection

Use this checklist as a personal review of your home’s safety system. Every "no" answer is a signal for action - Now.

General Safety Concerns

  • Is your address clearly visible from the street?
  • In case of fire does your family know how to call the Fire Department? (911 for all emergencies)
  • In case of fire does your family know to keep doors closed throughout the house to delay the spread of smoke and fire?
  • Have you planned at least 2 ways to get out of every room in your house, and do you rehearse exit plans regularly with your family?
  • Do you keep lighters, matches, and candles out of the reach of children?
  • Are burning candles always attended by an adult? Are they extinguished when leaving the room or going to bed?
  • Do you have plenty of large ashtrays in places where people smoke?
  • If you have a fireplace do you keep a metal screen, or equivalent protection, in front of the fire? Is it cleaned and inspected regularly?
  • Do you dispose of smoking material and ashes from fireplaces in metal containers after wetting them down?


  • Have old papers, boxes, clothes, paint cans and other combustibles been cleared out of your basement, attic, closets, garage, and yard?
  • Are combustible items (clothes, papers, magazines, etc.) stored at least 3 feet from heat sources? (water heaters, furnaces, and electrical panels)
  • If you have a workshop is the area kept clear of sawdust and waste combustibles?
  • Has everyone in your family been warned never to use gasoline, benzene, kerosene, or other flammable liquids for cleaning?
  • Are gasoline and other flammable liquids stored outside of the home and in proper containers?
  • Do you regularly clean the lint filter in the clothes dryer?


  • When cooking do you keep pot and pan handles turned in and not hanging over the stove?
  • When cooking do you keep tight fitting lids on or near the pot or pan in use in case of fire?
  • Are combustible materials such as napkins, towels, and wood cabinets a safe distance (minimum 30 inches) from the cook-top?
  • Is the inside of the oven and exhaust hood kept clear of grease?

Heating Systems

  • Do you have a qualified serviceman check your heating equipment annually?
  • Are gas shut-offs and electrical switches for your heating equipment accessible?
  • If you use portable heaters, are they kept the recommended distance from combustibles?
  • If portable heaters must be refueled are they taken outside to do so, and do you check to make sure you are using the proper fuel?


  • Are all breakers in your electrical panel clearly labeled as to what breakers service what circuits in your home?
  • Do you test your breakers by turning them on and off?
  • Are there enough electrical outlets for your needs in every room? This will eliminate the need for extension cords.
  • Are all outlets and switches working properly?
  • Do all switches and outlets have faceplates in place?
  • Are Ground Fault Circuit interrupters (GFCIs) used where plugged in appliances may be near water, and are they tested?
  • Does your house have special circuits for heavy-duty appliances such as washers and dryers?
  • If extension cords are used are they in the open, not run under rugs, furniture, through walls, or door and window openings?
  • Do you periodically check all electrical cord for wear or cracks?
  • Do all electrical appliances, hand tools, lamps, extension cords, multi outlet devices carry the seal of a testing laboratory such as U.L. (Underwriters Laboratory) or F.M. (Factory Mutual)?
Note: A licensed electrician should perform all electrical work.

Fire Safety Equipment

  • Do you have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home?
  • Is the fire extinguisher accessible, functional, and does every 1 know how to use it?
  • Does your home have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level?
  • Are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors tested regularly?
  • Are batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors replaced on a regular basis?
  • Do you have emergency escape ladders for upper floors?
  • Do you have egress from your basement level in the event that the stairs are blocked with fire or smoke?