Fire Safety Tips

Fire Safety Tips
View this video on Kitchen Fires

General Fire Safety Tips:

  • Keep children away from open flames and electrical receptacles.
  • Make sure your smoke alarm is maintained and working properly. Have a smoke alarm in every level of your house.
  • Keep your emergency numbers near the telephone.
  • Always call the fire department for any fire, even if the fire has been completely extinguished.
  • Have a fire evacuation plan and practice it with your family!

Teach your children what to do in case of a fire - get low and get out of the house - go to the designated meeting place - never go back in the house for a toy or pet.

Have a fire evacuation plan and practice it with your family! 

Fire Safety Tips - Around the House
Carbon monoxide
Smoke detectors
Fire escape plans
Kitchen tips
Heating tips
Grilling tips
Garage tips
Candle safety tips
Smoking safety
Matches & Lighters
Toy Lighters

Power Cords
Electric Blankets

Fire Safety Tips - Seasonal
Fireworks safety tips
Halloween safety tips
Christmas safety tips

Safety Tips
Bicycle Safety
Water Safety
Hot Water Heater


Fire Safety Links
National Candle Association
National Fire Protection Association
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Consumer Products Safety Commission
National Council on Fireworks Safety
Sleep Products Safety Council



Carbon Monoxide Warning

CO is a colorless, odorless gas. Because you can't see, taste, or smell it, CO can kill
you before you know it's there. Recent studies indicate that cold car engines running in
an attached garage, even for a short period of time (as little as one to two minutes) can
raise CO to dangerous levels in a home. These extremely high levels of CO have the potential to harm occupants.

CO is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood or coal. Some common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- malfunctioning appliances
- furnaces
- stoves
- ovens
- water heaters
- blocked chimney flues
- fuel burning cooking appliances
- charcoal grills
- motor vehicles.

Symptoms may include flu-like symptoms such as:
- headaches
- nausea
- fatigue and tiredness
- dizziness
- confusion
- breathing difficulties.

Young and old are particularly at risk, but everyone is at risk.

The Coeur d'Alene Fire Department recommends the following steps to reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Purchase and install CO alarms in your home!
- Place a CO alarm on each level of your home and in areas near appliances that are potential sources of CO.
- Have a qualified professional check all fuel burning appliances, furnaces, venting and chimney systems at least once a year or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Never leave a motor vehicle running in an attached garage or carport where CO may enter your home.

Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. The Coeur d'Alene Fire Department encourages every resident to take steps to protect themselves from this "silent killer".

For More Information, contact: The Coeur d'Alene Fire Department 208-769-2340

Smoke Detectors  


Change your clocks, change your batteries!

The Coeur d'Alene Fire Department reminds you to change your batteries in your smoke alarm(s) as you change your clocks!


The Danger:

Over 6,000 deaths occur in house fires each year. Most people die from smoke and toxic gases rather than the fire itself. Many never even wake up.

Most fire deaths are preventable. Protect yourself and your family by:

  • Purchase a smoke detector. A smoke detector is a fire alarm that buzzes when it detects smoke, warning you in time to escape.
  • Install your detectors properly.
  • Identify escape routes and practice escaping.
  • Maintain your detectors.

What kind should I buy?

  • Smoke detectors can be either house current or battery operated. Either kind does a good job.
  • Make sure the model you choose has been listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual).

How much does a smoke detector cost?

A smoke detector may be purchased at most retail stores for about $10.00 - $30.00.

How many should I have in my house?

There should be a least one smoke detector in every household. Additional detectors will significantly increase your chances of survival.

Installation is Simple

If you can handle a screwdriver, you can install most smoke detectors.

Where should I install my smoke detectors?

Smoke detectors should be placed on the ceiling or high on a wall near the bedrooms. This enables the detector to sense the smoke as it approaches the sleeping area. Install your smoke detector away from air outlet vents to prevent dust accumulation.

Every household shall have smoke detectors. Placement are as follows;

  • 1 in every bedroom.
  • 1 outside the bedroom(s) in the vicinity (aka hallway).
  • On every level in the home including basements.
  • If you have vaulted ceilings, a smoke detector must be placed at the highest point on the vaulted ceiling area.

 Where not to install smoke detectors:

  • In bathrooms.
  • In kitchens.

Call your local fire station for advice on the best place to install your detectors.

How do I install my smoke detectors?

  • Battery-operated and "plug-in" electric detectors can be attached directly to the ceiling or wall.
  • "Wired-in" electric detectors are somewhat more difficult to install and may require an electrician.

Know How to Escape

Your smoke detector will awaken you, but you may not be thinking clearly. You should practice escaping before an emergency strikes. Learn more about fire escape plans here.

Why ?

Once a fire has started, it spreads rapidly. You may have only seconds to get out. Normal exits from bedrooms may be blocked by smoke or fire. It is important everyone knows exactly what to do.

Identify Escape Routes

Plan two exits from every room. Second story windows may need a rope or chain ladder
to enable occupants to escape safely. Choose a meeting place outside the home so you'll know everyone has escaped.

Practice Escaping

Practice allows you to test your plan before a real emergency. You may not be able to
reach your children! It is important that they know exactly what to do.

Maintenance is Important

Your smoke detector must be maintained properly to provide you and your family with protection.

How do I maintain my smoke detectors?

  • Replace batteries and bulbs according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remember to change batteries when you change your clocks!
  • Dust the grill of your detector.
  • Test your detector periodically according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Fire Escape Plans  


Planning is the key to a fast and safe exit from a fire. Do it today, don't wait until a fire occurs.

Start by drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room; especially the sleeping areas. If you live in a two story house, you may want to invest in a fire safety ladder, available at most hardware stores.

Remember to set up a meeting place outside your home for everyone to report to after they have gotten out (a tree, basketball goal the mailbox, etc.)

Practice your escape plan! Have a fire drill just like your children do in school. Make it as realistic as possible. Pretend the lights are out and the house is filling up with smoke. Remember to stay low and crawl under the smoke, touching the doors with the backs of your hand to check for heat before opening the door. Remember not to open a hot door! Go to another exit instead.

If you live in an apartment, use the stairs where necessary and never use an elevator, as it may get stuck between floors or worse take you to the floor of the fire.

Last, but not least, be prepared. Make sure everyone in your family understands the escape route and knows what to do. Remember, get out first then call 911 at a neighbor's house. Never go back into a burning structure once you have escaped!


Kitchen Fire Safety Tips


Unattended cooking continues to be the number one cause of fires. Every year more people are injured and killed in fires in the home. Cooking fires cause the most injuries by far. Here are a few safety tips to keep you and your family from being a fire statistic.

Grease Fires
If you are cooking with oil or grease and it ignites, do not throw water on the fire. Do not attempt to remove the pan.

  • Turn the burner off if you can reach it safely.
  • Smother the fire with a pan lid.
  • If a chemical extinguisher is near and you know how to use it, use the extinguisher to put out the fire.
  • If that does not work, evacuate the house and call 9-1-1.

General Kitchen Safety Tips

  • Always keep an eye on food being heated. Do not leave the kitchen while you are cooking.
  • If you have to leave the kitchen, turn the stove off or take something like a spoon or oven mitt to remind yourself of the food on the stove.
  • Pay attention! Never cook if you are sleepy, intoxicated, or heavily medicated.
  • Remember to turn all pot handles inward. Small children and animals can easily bump a pot handle spilling hot grease or boiling water, causing someone to be burned or start a fire.
  • Keep the stovetop clean and clear. Keep all appliances free of grease buildup. Wipe up spills and routinely clean the oven. Move combustible items such as oven mitts and utensils away from heat sources.
  • Keep children away from appliances when cooking. Create a "kid-free zone" around the stove, and teach children not to play in that area. If you allow older children to cook, supervise them closely and teach them safe cooking practices.
  • Keep pets away from the stove.
  • Dress appropriately for cooking. Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Use caution when working near heat sources.
  • Try not to reach over the stove for other items. Do not store items above or behind the stove that are combustible or may cause you to burn yourself as you reach for them.
  • Carefully monitor hot oil, keeping the pan lid close at hand.
  • Be careful around the sink while using electrical appliances. Electrical appliances near water could cause electrocution. Never stand in or near water while using an electrical appliance.
  • Check regularly for frayed or damaged cords to appliances. Plug one appliance in a receptacle at a time. If you need to plug more appliances into a receptacle than there are plugs, use a surge protector or have a professional electrician install more receptacles.
  • Keep appliances in proper working order. Do not use them if they are defective.
  • Keep appliance cords as short as possible. This helps to keep from tripping or knocking the appliance over.
  • Keep an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher near the kitchen.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, do not open the door. Close the door to the microwave if you do open it and unplug it immediately. Do not use the microwave again until a professional has checked it.
  • Never put metallic materials in the microwave oven. These materials cause sparks, which may result in a fire.
  • Remember that steam escaping from a pan or container can cause severe burns. Open food that has been cooked in the microwave carefully.
  • Keep your emergency numbers near the telephone.
  • Always call the fire department for any fire, even if the fire has been completely extinguished.
  • Have a fire evacuation plan and practice it with your family!

Heating Tips  


Nothing is cozier than a fire - as long as it stays in the fireplace! Unfortunately, they can also be deadly. Here are a few tips to keep you & your family from being a fire statistic.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Remember: Fireplaces contain open flames. It can easily ignite any combustibles nearby!
  • Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
  • Do not burn holiday wrapping papers in the fireplace. It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • Use only clean dry wood, do not burn trash. Use a metal container for ash removal and store it outside, away from combustibles such as a wood deck or pine needles.
  • Have your chimney cleaned regularly, because creosote buildup from burning wood can ignite your roof, chimney, even the whole house.
  • Use fireplace screens to confine sparks and embers.
  • Always supervise children when a fire is burning in the fireplace.
  • Do not allow children to light the fire.

Space Heaters

  • Remember - Space Heaters Need Space!
  • When selecting an alternative heater, look for one that has been tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Read and follow the manufacturers recommendations and directions on all appliances. A good practice is to read aloud the instructions and warning labels to all members of the household to be certain that everyone understands how the heater is to be operated safely. Keep the owner's manual in a convenient place to refer to when needed.
  • Make sure your alternative heaters have "tip switches." These "tip switches" are designed to automatically turn off the heater if the heater gets knocked over.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Some heaters have very hot surfaces. Heaters could operate in a manner that is unsafe if children are permitted to either adjust the controls or jar the heater.
  • Keep doors open to the rest of the house if you are using an un-vented, fuel-burning space heater. This helps to prevent pollutant build-up and promotes proper combustion. Even vented heaters require ventilation for proper combustion.
  • Never use a space heater overnight in the room where you are sleeping. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide could accumulate from fuel-fired heaters, or uncontrolled burning could cause a fire.
  • Never use or store flammable liquids (such as gasoline) around a space heater. The flammable vapors can flow from one part of the room to another and be ignited by the open flame or by the electrical circuit of an electric heater.
  • Place heaters at least three feet away from objects such as bedding, furniture and drapes. Never use heaters to dry clothes or shoes. Do not place heaters where towels or other objects could fall on the heater and start a fire.
  • Never leave a burning heater unattended. Extinguish your heater if you're leaving the room or area for more than a few minutes. Never use a space heater while you're sleeping or bedridden.
  • Be sure the location you choose can be ventilated according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Do not place a heater in a doorway, hall, or walkway where it is likely to be bumped.

Kerosene Space Heaters

  • Never use gasoline in a kerosene heater. Even small quantities of gasoline in the heater tank can cause a fire.
  • Use only K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Kerosene should be purchased from a dealer who can certify that it is K-1 grade kerosene. The fact that kerosene is "water clear" does not ensure that it is K-1, since both K-1 and K-2 can appear clear.
  • Never fill the fuel tank of a kerosene heater beyond the full mark because as the fuel warms, it expands and could spill and cause a fire.
  • Do not attempt to move the heater, remove the fuel tank, or refuel the heater when it is operating or hot.
  • Always refuel heater outside a building.
  • In case of flare-up or uncontrolled flaming occurs, do not attempt to move the heater. If your heater is equipped with a manual shut-off switch, activate the switch to turn off the heater. If activation of the shut-off switch does not extinguish the flame, leave the area and immediately call the fire department.
  • Keep kerosene stored outside in a seated blue container labeled "Kerosene."

Electric Heaters

  • Never use your electric heater near water. Water is a good conductor of electricity and increases the changes of electric shock. Do not touch an electric heater if your hands are wet or you are in contact with water in any way. Never use an electric heater:
  • In a bathroom
  • In a damp basement
  • Near water
  • Always unplug your heater when it is not in use. Touching an electric heating element while it is on can cause a serious burn or shock. Some heaters have electrically "live" elements whenever they are plugged in--even if the switch is turned off! The best way to prevent accidental shock or burns is to unplug your portable electric heater whenever it is not being used. Always unplug it before going to bed.

Check the safety features:

  • Be sure the grill protects the heating elements from children's fingers and toys.
  • Keep children and pets away from heaters.
  • Be sure that the grill, cover or sides do not become hot enough to burn when touched.
  • Make sure there is a tip-over switch or a heat sensor (or both) that turns off the heater if it falls over.
  • Do not overload your wiring.
  • Plug your heater directly into an outlet if possible. If you must use an extension cord, be sure its electrical rating is as high as the one listed on the heater.
  • Some electrical heaters use the full capacity of a normal household circuit. You may not be able to use other appliances at the same time.
  • If a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips, unplug the heater before replacing the fuse or resetting the breaker.
  • Call a professional if you have any signs of a wiring problem--frequently blown fuses, dimmed lights, hot cords or outlets.


Grilling Tips

Tips for the Grill: 

  • Never use charcoal lighter fluid on a burning fire.
  • Leave the grill hood open until ignition occurs when lighting gas grills.
  • Don't grill near combustible materials such as pine needles or leaves.
  • Keep a fire extinguishers or charged garden hose accessible.
  • Always shut off valves to propane tanks when not in use.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Always Keep propane gas containers upright.
  • Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or truck trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.

Garage Safety Tips  


Tips for the garage

  • Never store gasoline, paints or flammable liquids in your home.
  • Store gasoline outside your home or in a detached garage or shed in a well-ventilated area, and keep it stored in an approved container. Use it only as a motor fuel, never as a cleaning agent.
  • Store paint and other flammable liquids (turpentine, mineral spirits, varnishes, camp stove fuels, etc.) in their original containers with tight fitting lids. Store away from appliances, heaters, pilot lights and other sources of flame or heat.
  • Remember: never smoke near flammable liquids.
  • Always store propane cylinders outside.
  • Remove all trash from your house. Never store trash near your furnace or heater.

Matches and Lighters 

  • Keep all matches and lighters up high, out of the sight and reach of children
  • Teach children to take matches or lighters to an adult straight away.
  • Only use child resistant lighters and safety matchbox holders
  • Child resistant lighters are not child proof!
    Toy Lighters

Candle Safety Tips  


Candles can be beautiful and romantic. Unfortunately, they can also be deadly. Here are a safety few tips to keep you and your family from being a fire statistic.

General Candle Safety
Remember: A candle is an open flame. It can easily ignite any combustibles nearby!
- Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g. clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees, flammable decorations).
- Use candleholders that are sturdy, will not tip over easily, are made from a material that cannot burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
- Do not place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them.
- Place candleholders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets.
- When purchasing or using candles, consider what would happen if the candle burned low. Could it burn the candleholder or decorative material nearby? Extinguish candles when they get within two inches of the holder or decorative material.
- Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
- Keep candlewicks trimmed to one-quarter inch and extinguish taper and pillar candles when they get to within two inches of the holder or decorative material. Votives and containers should be extinguished before the last half-inch of wax starts to melt.
- Avoid candles with combustible items embedded in them. Try to avoid carrying a lit candle. Do not use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space.
- Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes

Holidays and Candles
December is the peak month for candle fires, with nearly twice the average number of incidents.
- Never use real candles to decorate a Christmas tree. Open flames from candles often lead to fire.
- Follow all the general safety tips listed above.

Kids and Candles
Use candles only with constant adult supervision.
- Keep candles up high out of reach of children.
- Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. A child should not sleep in a room with a lit candle.
- Do not allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.
- Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Do not put candles in a location where children or pets could knock them over.

General Fire Safety Tips
Keep children away from open flames and electrical receptacles.
- Make sure your smoke alarm is maintained and working properly.
- Have a smoke alarm in every level of your house.
- Keep your emergency numbers near the telephone.
- Always call the fire department for any fire, even if the fire has been completely extinguished.
- Have a fire evacuation plan and practice it with your family!

Power Outages
Observe all the general fire safety tips
- Try to avoid carrying a lit candle. When you carry a lit candle, you are carrying something that could start a fire. Do not use a candle to go into the closet to look for things; it could easily catch items on fire.
- Never use a candle for light when fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes.
- Extinguish all candles when leaving the house or when going to sleep.
- Flashlights and other lights generated by batteries are much safer light sources than candles. Consider using flashlights instead of candles.
- Using these simple rules coupled with common sense may help keep your family safe throughout the year.


Power Points

Electric Blankets  

  • Ashes can take up to five days to cool. Place in a metal container.
  • Don't overload power points or multi-boxes-use multi-boxes with circuit breakers.
  • Always turn off your electric blanket at the wall before getting into bed. Have blandest checked annually by a competent service person.

Smoking Safety Tips  


Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Smoke alarms, smolder-resistant bedding and upholstered furniture are significant fire deterrents. Here are a few safety tips to keep you and your family from becoming a fire statistic:

  • Never smoke in bed. Replace mattresses made prior to the 1973 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.
  • Do not put ashtrays on the arms of sofas or chairs
  • Use large, deep ashtrays with wide lips. While smaller ashtrays may be more attractive, they are not safe. Cigarettes can roll off the edge, and the ashes can easily be blown away.
  • Water down your ashes. Empty ashtrays into the toilet or an airtight metal container. Warm ashes dumped in waste cans can smolder for hours, and then ignite into fire.
  • Do not leave cigarettes, cigars, or pipes unattended. Put out all smoking materials before you walk away.
  • If you begin to feel drowsy while watching television or reading, extinguish your smoking materials in a safe container.
  • Close a matchbook before striking and hold it away from your body. Set your cigarette lighter on "low" flame to prevent burns.
  • If friends or relatives who smoke have paid you a visit, be sure to check on the floor and around chair cushions for ashes that may have been dropped accidentally


Fireworks Safety Tips  


No fireworks shall be sold or discharged within the City except between

12:00 noon on June 23 and 12:00 midnight on July 5 AND between

12:00 noon December 26 and 12:00 midnight January 1, each year.

You CANNOT USE or have POSSESSION of any firework in the following places, in the City of Coeur d'Alene, at any time:

City Park, City beaches, Independence Point, Memorial Field, Veterans' Memorial or Veterans' Memorial Park, McEuen Field, Harbor Center, Ramsey Park, Northshire Park, City Hall, and all parking lots related to the above. Fourth Street parking lot, Third Street parking lot, or museum parking lot, any portion of Tubbs Hill owned by the City of Coeur d'Alene or upon the Third Street watercraft ramps, commercial City dock, Mediation dock, or floating docks adjacent to City Beach, or public parks.  

Many families use fireworks as a way to celebrate holidays. Unfortunately, if you do not practice fireworks safety this holiday season, your holiday may not be filled with much fun at all. Do not let this holiday season leave you homeless from a fire because you and your family did not practice fire safety. Here are a few safety tips to keep you and your family from being a fire statistic this holiday season:

  • Have a responsible adult present when shooting fireworks.
  • Buy only from reliable vendors.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never give fireworks to small children. Fireworks are not toys! You would not hand a matchbook or a lighter to a child to wave around or play with, so why would you give a child a sparkler to hold?
  • Teach older children how to use fire responsibly.
  • If you must keep fireworks, store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • The best fireworks shows are the professional ones; check your local listing for upcoming shows. Most are free to the public.
  • Stay away from illegal explosives.

What is illegal in Idaho?

  • Anything that explodes or is projected into the air
  • Firecrackers
  • Rockets
  • Roman Candles
  • Aerial Fireworks over 3 feet

What is legal in Idaho?

  • Snake and glow worms
  • Smoke devices, such as smoke bombs
  • Wire Sparklers
  • Trick noisemakers, including party poppers, string poppers and snappers
  • Any Fireworks sold in the City of Coeur d'Alene Fire Stands.

For more information on fire safety:
National Candle Association
National Fire Protection Association
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Consumer Products Safety Commission
National Council on Fireworks Safety


Halloween Safety Tips


A child's imagination has no limits on Halloween night. But as little ghosts and goblins roam the neighborhood in search of "tricks and treats" this Halloween, simple safety steps are a necessity.

Halloween could be one of the most dangerous nights of the year for young children. It is important for parents and care givers to not only outfit children in safe costumes, but to review important safety tips with children before they go out trick-or treating.

The majority of injuries that occur during Halloween are caused by falls, contact with motor vehicles, burns and collected treats. To help make sure your child's Halloween is safe, The Coeur d'Alene Fire Department recommends the following safety information and tips:

On Halloween night, children may find it difficult to walk safely through dark neighborhoods due to cumbersome costumes and blinding masks. The following tips can help prevent a child from sustaining a fall-related injury:

  • Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face. It is safer than a loose-fitting mask that can obstruct a child's vision. If a mask is worn, be certain the mask fits securely. Cut the holes largely enough for full vision.
  • Give trick-or-treaters flashlights.
  • Make costumes short enough to avoid tripping.
  • Secure hats so they will not slip over children's eyes.
  • Dress children in shoes that fit. Adult shoes are not safe for trick-or-treaters. The larger size makes it easier for them to trip and fall.
  • Allow children to carry only flexible knives, swords or other props. Anything they carry could injure them if they fall.
  • Teach children not to cut across yards. Lawn ornaments and clotheslines are "hidden hazards" in the dark. Tell your children to stay on the sidewalk at all times.


  • Decorate costumes, bags and sacks with retro-reflective tape.
  • Use Halloween costumes that are light or bright enough to make them more visible at night.


  • Tell children to walk, not run, while trick-or-treating.
  • Remind children to stop at all corners.
  • Tell them to cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
  • Tell them to look left - right - left again before crossing.
  • Tell them never to dart out from between parked cars.
  • Never let children under age 10 go trick-or-treating without the supervision of an adult or older sibling.


  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Watch for children walking in the street or on medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Teach children to exit and enter the car on the curb side, away from traffic


Fires and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children. Take the following into consideration when choosing a child's costume.

  • Look for "flame resistant" labels on costumes, masks, beards and wigs.
  • Use fire resistant material when making costumes.
  • Avoid costumes made of flimsy material and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. These are more likely to come in contact with an exposed flame, such as a candle, than tighter fitting costumes.

When preparing for Halloween night:

  • Accompany young children on their trick-or-treat rounds.
  • Attach the name, address and phone number (including area code) of children under age 12 to their clothes.
  • Teach your child his or her phone number. Make sure your child has change for a phone call in case they have a problem away from home.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along a pre established route.
  • Instruct children never to enter a home or an apartment building unless accompanied by an adult.
  • Set a time for children to return home.
  • Restrict children's trick-or-treating visits to homes with porch or outside lights illuminated.
  • Remove breakable items or obstacles such as tools, ladders and children's toys from your steps, lawn and porch. Keep jack-o-lanterns lit with candles away from landings or doorsteps where costumes might brush against the flame.
  • Tell children to bring their treats home before eating them. Parents should check treats to ensure that items have not been tampered with and are safely sealed. Be careful with fruit. Inspect the surface closely for punctures or holes and cut it open before allowing a child to eat it.

Christmas Safety Tips

Christmas trees can be a beautiful symbol of the holiday season. Unfortunately, they can also be deadly. Do not let this holiday season leave you homeless from a fire because you and your family did not practice fire safety. Here are a few safety tips to keep you and your family from being a fire statistic this holiday season:

  • Buying a live tree
  • Natural trees should be cut at a 45 degree angle at the base and placed in water.
  • Check for freshness.
  • A fresh tree is deep green in color and has a strong sent of pine.
  • The needles of a fresh tree are hard to pull from branches and do not readily fall from the branches; moreover, the branches should bend easily.
  • The trunk of a fresh tree is also sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.

Displaying your tree

  • Trees should be securely fastened in the holder.
  • Keep the tree in an area away from a radiator, fireplace, or other heat sources.
  • Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Water your tree often.
  • When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
  • Never put tree branches in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.

Decorating your tree

  • Use only U-L labeled tree lights. Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards.
  • Do not overload outlets. Be careful how many items you plug into a receptacle. Be careful where you lay cords and lights. For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's). Portable outdoor GFCI's can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. A qualified electrician can permanently install GFCI's into household circuits.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Do not use damaged lights.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord
  • Do not knot or tangle the wires.
  • Do not leave lights on unattended. Always unplug lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Use only lights designated for outdoor use, outdoors. Do not use indoor-labeled lights outside.
  • The best lights are new ones.

Outdoor Holiday Lights

  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards.
  • For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's). Portable outdoor GFCI's can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. A qualified electrician can permanently install GFCI's into household circuits.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples (available at hardware stores) to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks.

Other Decorations

  • Never use real candles on a tree or near other evergreens or decorations. Open flames from candles often lead to fire. December is the peak month for candle fires, with nearly twice the average number of incidents.
  • When decorating the house with candles, always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked over by children or pets.
  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
  • Do not smoke near the tree or decorations.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.


  • Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.

Artificial Trees

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree will not catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Always follow the same safety tips listed above regarding decorations.

For additional information contact: The Coeur d'Alene Fire Department 208-769-2340


Bicycle Safety Tips

Every year, the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department responds to hundreds of car/bicycle incidents. When a bicycle and a motor vehicle crash, the bicyclist almost always gets hurt. Most bicycle injury deaths involve young children. It is important to know some simple "rules of the road" to help keep bicycling safe and fun!

Road Safety .

• Children under age 8 should always be supervised and not allowed to ride on the street. They should always ride on the sidewalk.
• Until riding skills are developed, both feet should be flat on the ground while sitting on the bicycle seat.
• Always walk a bicycle in the crosswalk when it is safe to cross.
• Stop before entering the road or a driveway, look left, look right and left again for moving cars. Look to the front and to the rear before entering the intersection.
• Always ride with the flow of traffic on the far right side of the street.
• Know and obey all traffic signs and signals.
• Bicycles with one seat and one handlebar are made for one rider. DO NOT ride on handlebars or pegs.

Off Road Safety

• Be aware of rocks, sticks, broken glass, and other hazards when riding on unpaved surfaces.
• Always ride with a buddy and tell someone where you will be riding and when you will return.

Helmet Information

• A helmet should be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell.
• Helmets manufactured after March 1999 must meet new CPSC standards.

How to Wear a Helmet

• When purchasing a new helmet, be sure that it has 2 sets of sizing pads: a thin set and a thick set.
• While wearing the helmet without the straps secured, shake your head from side to side. The helmet should be snug with very little movement. If there is too much movement, replace the sponge pads inside with thicker pads. If there is still too much movement, the helmet is too big.
• Front and back straps should meet in a V shape just below the ear.
• All straps should be equally tight when the chinstrap is buckled.
• Chinstrap must be snug, allowing only one finger between the chin and the chinstrap when the mouth is closed.
• Front of the helmet should always cover the forehead just above the eyebrow and not interfere with vision.
• If the helmet is not sized correctly with the sizing pads, a tight chinstrap will not prevent it from moving to an incorrect position while riding.

Water Safety Tips

Pool Safety
Bathtub Safety
Bucket Safety
Practice Water Safety While On Vacation

Pool Safety

Too often, firefighters hear people say, "it was just a few seconds." Unfortunately, just a few seconds is all it takes for a child to drown. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of five.

Most of these children drown in their own backyard swimming pool, but others drown in buckets, bathtubs, toilets, dog water bowls, canals and ponds. Small children are top-heavy, and they don't have the upper body strength to lift themselves out of one of these dangerous situations. Even if the child survives the incident, they are often left with permanent brain damage.

Drowning and near drowning can be prevented, and you can help! Anyone involved with the supervision of children needs to be aware of the dangers associated with any body of water. Below are some useful tips to prevent these needless tragedies.

• Know where your children are at all times
• Use an approved barrier to separate the pool from the house.
• Never allow children to be alone near a pool or any water source
• Have life-saving devices near the pool, such as a pole/hook, or flotation device.
• Keep large objects such as tables, chairs, toys, and ladders away from pool fences.
• Post the 9-1-1 number on the phone
• Do not allow children to play around the pool and store all toys outside the pool area
• If you leave the pool area, take the children with you
• Always have a "designated child watcher"
• Learn to swim
• Never swim alone, or while under the influence of alcohol or medications
• Never swim when thunder or lightning is present
• Never dive into unfamiliar or shallow bodies of water

Bathtub Safety

Nationally, about 80 children die from bathtub drownings. Here are some tips for keeping your child safe in the tub:

Supervision. NEVER leave a child unattended in the bathtub for ANY REASON. There is nothing important enough to risk drowning! Children can drown in just a few inches of water, and can easily topple into the tub while you're dashing out to answer the phone, get a towel, etc.
* Don't run to answer the phone.
* Don't check to see who's at the door.
* Don't leave your child to be watched by an older brother or sister.

Bath seats. Several types of bath seats and rings adhere to the bottom of the tub with suction cups and offer bathing infants and toddlers support while sitting. Don't think that you can leave your child unattended. The suction cups can come loose, and it isn't hard for a child to slide out of the seats.

Get supplies first. Collect soap, towel, diaper, clothing, toys, and any other items you plan on using before you even run the bath water. Place these items where you can reach them easily.
Water heater. To reduce the risk of scalding, set your home's water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A good test: You should be able to hold your hand comfortably under the tap even when the hot water alone is running.
Faucet covers. Placing a soft, insulated cover over the bathtub faucet is a prudent safeguard against accidental burns or bumps. They are available at many baby-supplies stores.
Slips and Falls. Prevent bathtub slips and falls by placing a rubber mat in the tub or affixing non-slip adhesive decals or strips to the bottom of the tub.
Electrical hazards. Keep electrical devices (including hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors) well away from the tub.
Slippery floors. Be sure to use (and teach your child to use) extra caution and keep a non-slip bathroom rug by the side of the tub for your child to step onto after bathing.

Bucket Safety

Buckets filled with water or other liquids, especially the large five-gallon size, present a drowning hazard to small children.

Nationally, about 25 children drown every year in buckets, and many more are hospitalized. Many of the containers involved in drownings nationally were 5-gallon buckets containing liquids. Most were used for mopping floors or other household chores. Many were less than half full.

A young child's curiosity, along with their crawling and pulling up while learning to walk can lead to danger when buckets are used around the house. Curious children lean forward to play in the water. When they topple into the bucket, they are unable to free themselves and drown.

The 5-gallon bucket is particularly dangerous because its heavier weight makes it more stable than a smaller bucket, and unlikely to tip over when a child uses it to pull up. These containers are about half the height of the infants, and with several gallons of water, weigh more than children of that age.

• Never leave any bucket of water or other liquid unattended when small children are around.
• Even a partly filled bucket can be a drowning hazard.
• When doing household chores, immediately empty out buckets when finished, or move them to a safe place before taking a break.
• ALWAYS watch your children around water, inside the home, around the pool and around the yard.

Practice Water Safety While On Vacation!

Whether vacationing on a beach in San Diego, staying at a hotel with a pool, visiting relatives or friends who own pools, taking a tubing trip down a river or boating on a lake. water safety must be practiced wherever water is present!

Here are some simple water safety tips to follow when planning your next family vacation:

• Enforce the same safety rules you use at home. Take time to explain the importance of following these same rules to your children.
• Never allow children to swim unsupervised in a hotel/motel pool: Never assume someone else is watching your child.
• Check out the pool before you swim: Is the water clean and clear? Where is the deep end? Is there a lifeguard on duty? Where is the rescue equipment, and how is it used? Where is the phone, and can you dial out directly?
• When staying at a relative or friend's home, look for possible water hazards (pools, ponds, buckets, bathtubs, toilets, dog bowls, etc.)
• When boating, wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket: When planning boating events, make sure to pack a lifejacket for each person. Children are required to wear a lifejacket at all times in a boat in many states. Bring along other items that float such as cooler, cushions, etc.
• Know what is in and under an open water area: Find out about hazards such as marine life, parasites, currents, drop-offs, very cold water, or submerged objects. Enter all unfamiliar water feet first.
• If the water is shared by boats, BE VISIBLE: Have your child wear a bright colored swim cap, stay close to shore, and actively watch for boats.
• Know what to do if your child falls in the river: Go downstream immediately to position yourself to help.

Hot Water Heater Safety Tips

Turn down your hot water thermostat to 60 C

Get the hot water you need safely.

The best way to protect your family from household hot water scalds is to make sure your water comes out of the tap at a safe temperature. An adult should be able to hold their wrist under the running water.

If you think your hot water is to hot, you can make it safer in one of three ways:

Option 1.

  • Install a tempering valve (generally considered the safest long-term option) As hot water leaves the hot water cylinder, a tempering valve mixes in cold water.
  • This means hot water will reach all your hot water outlets at the safe temperature of 55C reducing the likelihood of scalding.
  • Since 1993, most new homes will have tempering valves installed in order to comply with the NZ Building Code.
  • A tempering valve costs around $200-$400 to fit.
  • Some homes with low water pressure and certain kinds of shower mixers may cost more.

Option 2.

  • Turn down your hot water cylinder storage temperature.
  • Turn your 'consumer adjustable thermostat' down to 60C.
  • This will deliver water to the taps at around 55C ( a safe temperature)
  • If a 'consumer adjustable thermostat' is not fitted, an electrician can fit one at around $60, however if cost are greater due to the type of system you have, consider the tempering valve option as this saves more heating expenses in the long run.

Option 3.

  • Install temperature limiting taps and shower mixes (check to see if yours can be adjusted)
  • Some single lever taps and shower mixers can limit the temperature of the hot water delivered.
  • You will probably need a plumber to help set them correctly.

Other ways to protect your family:

Install child resistant tap attachments. 'Thomas Tap Fitting'
They can be easily fitted to most standard taps and prevent toddlers from being able to turn them on.
Costs around $13 from a hardware store or plumbing retailers.

Follow these simple hot water safety rules:

  • When filling a bath, always run the cold water first, than add hot water to the safe temperature.
  • Always test the bath water using the inside of your wrist before putting your child in.
  • Always supervise young children in the bath, don't leave them in the care of a slightly older child and if you need to answer the phone or door, take your child with you. Never leave a child alone in the bath.
  • Keep the bathroom door closed when not in use. Make sure your child can't get to the hot taps when you are not there.

First Aid for burns.

Place the burn under slowly running cold water (or other liquid) for at least 10 minutes.

Remember the rule:

Seconds to burn, 10 minutes to cool.

Fire Safety Links
National Candle Association
National Fire Protection Association
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Consumer Products Safety Commission
National Council on Fireworks Safety
Sleep Products Safety Council