Home Fire Emergency

According the American Red Cross, if a fire starts in your home, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape.


If you have a metal roof:  metal / tin roofs do not attract lightning!  Metal roofing is perfectly safe.  It does not attract any extra attention from lightning and just like buildings constructed with traditional building materials, any electricity from a lightning strike will be safely transferred to the ground below so occupants will be unaffected.


Top Tips for Home Fire Safety

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms every month.  If they're not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP.  Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Checklist / Information

The below checklists and information sheets are for your use.  Please click on the dark green areas to download and use freely.

Nine (9) Ways to Prepare for a Home Fire

Home Fire Escape Plans:  If you're not sure where to start, these guide will help guide you in creating your own escape plan:  Single Family Home & Multi Family Home.


Basic Fire Escape Planning by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Install the right number of smoke alarms.  Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  2. Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.  Plus teach them not to hide from firefighters.
  3. Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
  4. Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
  5. Make sure windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly and that security bars (if you have them) can be properly opened.
  6. Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  7. Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year.  Press the smoke alarm button or yell "Fire" to alert everyone that they must get out.
  8. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  9. Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

During a Fire:

Escaping a Fire:

Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People Access or Functional Needs:

After a Fire:

Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process.  When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around.  Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

For more information on what you should do after a home fire, including valuing your property, replacing documents and salvage hints, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's website.

Prevention of Home Fires:


  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food.  If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Portable Space Heaters:

  • Keep combustible objects at least 3 feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Check with your local fire department on the legality of kerosene heater use in your community.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters.  Never overfill it.  Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Electrical and Appliance Safety:

  • Frayed wires can cause fires.  Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet.  Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace light switches that are too hot to the touch and lights flicker.


  • Take the mystery out of the fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find.  Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves:

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Never burn trash, paper or green wood.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home.


  • If you smoke, smoke outside.  Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home.  Put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out.  The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in an ashtray.  Soak cigarette buts and ashes in water before throwing them away.  never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it's turned off.  Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don't smoke in bed!  If you are sleepy, have been drinking or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.
  • Check for cigarette butts.  Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.  Don't put ashtrays on them.  If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.

More Prevention Tips:

  • Avoid using lighted candles.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in a well ventilated area.
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.  Mattresses made since then are required by law to be safer.

The information found in this section of the Pine Mountain Estates, NC website were obtained from a variety of reliable resources:  Red Cross, Ready Gov, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)