Central County Fire Department is committed to educating the public in simple ways to stay safe. We offer a variety of programs to educate our communities. Review the safety tips below for more information on how you can be fire smart. Fire Safety information also available in other languages.
Winter Fire Safety Tips
CCFD encourages everyone to think about good fire safety practices to keep you and your loved ones safe and sound.
Fireplace and Home Fire Safety
More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels.
Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently.
The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility …Fire Stops With You!
Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean
- Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
- Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces. Leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
- Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
- Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces, otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
- Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.
Safely Burn Fuels
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
- Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove
- When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.
Protect the Outside of Your Home
- Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.
- Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
- Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
- Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.
Protect the Inside of Your Home
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms. Remember to call us when you need help checking your detector in those high ceilings.
- Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.
- Extend all vent pipes at least three feet above the roof.
For more seasonal safety tips, visit: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/
Central County Fire Department Serves up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!
Fire Prevention Month 2020
Every October, Central County Fire Department honors National Fire Prevention Week throughout the entire month. Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire – the tragic October 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. Fire Departments all over the United States use this month to teach the community how to be fire safe. Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a campaign theme. Key messages around this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” include:
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with approximately two-thirds of cooking fires starting from the ignition of food or other cooking materials
- Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking; never leave cooking unattended
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — at least three feet away from your stovetop.
- Always keep a lid close by in case a grease fire starts when frying, so that you can slide the lid over the pan and smother the flame
- Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” visit fpw.org.
Firefighters Say: Close Before You Doze!
Closing your bedroom door while you sleep could save your life. Please watch this
informative video on how quickly smoke and fire can spread.
Monthly Fire Safety Newsletter:
Fire Safety Planning
Fire Extinguisher Training
Central County Fire Department provides complimentary fire extinguisher training to any business or school within Burlingame or Hillsborough or Millbrae. Requests shall be made at least 2 weeks in advance and will only be approved under specific conditions. Please contact us at 650-558-7600 for more information.
Event Request for Public Education (Please select correct event name on the form)