Home Safety & Emergency Preparedness

Most fire related incidents that occur in the home and nearly all home fires are preventable in one way or another. Each of us can share the responsibility of keeping fires from starting in our homes and keeping our families fire safe.
  1. Home Winter Safety
  2. Smoke  & CO Alarms
  3. Fire Extinguishers
  4. Electrical Safety
  5. Disaster & Emergency Preparedness
The winter months are the leading time of year for home fires. To help you stay safe, we’re providing a few safety tips and information on cooking, heating, candles and holiday decorating – factors that contribute to the increased risk of home fires in the months ahead.

How can I protect my family?
  • It’s important to be alert when cooking in order to prevent cooking fires.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry... Always stay in the kitchen while you cook!
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.
Fireplace & Home Heating Safety
  • Check Before you Burn... from November 1 through  the end of February, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issues a daily residential wood-burning status. Call 1-800-SMOG INFO (766-4463) or visit www.valleyair.org.
  • Fire grows at a rapid rate and can get out of hand in an instant, therefore keep fires small and in the fireplace.
  • Never burn trash, paper or other materials not designed to burn in fireplaces. Doing so is illegal and hazardous.
  • Discard ashes into a closed metal container, fill with water and store outside away from your home.
  • Is your furnace winter ready? Contact a home heating specialist or contractor to insure your home is safe and warm this season.
  • If you choose to use a portable space heater in your home make sure to keep it three feet from items that can catch on fire and ensure your heater has the automatic turn off function if it should tip over.
  • Keep the portable space heater’s power supply cord away from high-traffic areas in your home. You don’t want people walking on or tripping over the cord.
  • Turn off space heaters when you are not in the room or when you go to sleep.
  • Never use a gas or charcoal grill or camp stove to heat your home, even for a short amount of time, they can be a fire hazard as well as a source of toxic fumes.
Candles & Holiday Decorations
  • Place all candles securely in non-tip candle holders.
  • Keep candles well away from your holiday tree, holiday decorations, curtains or other combustibles.
  • Avoid leaving candles unattended or in reach of small children and pets.
  • Remember to blow-out or extinguish candles prior to going to bed.
Christmas Tree Safety
  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk and add water daily.
  • Make sure that the tree is at least three feet from any heat source such as fireplaces, candles, heat vents and portable space heaters.
  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire 
    danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Christmas trees will be picked up in conjunction with the Leaf Pickup Schedule. If trees are over five feet tall, they must be cut in half in order to be picked up. Tree pick-ups will occur between January 2 and January 31, 2015. For additional information on the schedule, contact Public Works at 209-895-8060.
Decorative Lighting
  • Use lights that bear the label of an independent testing laboratory. 
  • Identify any cracked, frayed, loose or otherwise damaged light strands and discard them. 
  • Avoid running extension cords under carpets, across doorways or near heat sources. 
  • Never use staples or nails to hang lights due to possibly damaging light strands; instead install plastic hooks or clips designed especially for lights.
  • Always unplug decorative lights when leaving the home or before going to sleep.