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Keep porches and entrances well-lit. Other entranceways, driveways, garages and alleys should be well-lit. Check bulbs regularly.

Safety Tips

First Alarm takes our commitment to your safety seriously. We realize that our 24- hour Central Monitoring Station is an extremely valuable service, but cannot replace safety education. With that in mind, we have created some Safety Tips based on NFPA and other authority recommendations. First Alarm is pleased to send you at your request any or all of the following: McGruff Safety Kids Kit, Fire Prevention at Home Children’s Coloring Activity Book, Poison Control Brochure, Internet Safety Booklet, and/or Home Invasion Safety Booklet.

Fire Extinguishers

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely. Safety tips: Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:

• Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
• Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
• Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
• Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle. Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory. Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out.

Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings. Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms save lives. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.

• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. Contact First Alarm today for a FREE evaluation on your Fire & Life Safety system.

• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

• Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away. Call First Alarm for a system check and routine maintenance.

• Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice. Call First Alarm to discuss if this is a suitable option for your residence or day care facility.

• Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms. Call First Alarm to discuss your options.

• Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could keep the alarms from working properly.

Security Precautions

The same tactics used to prevent burglaries will go a long way to preventing a home invasion robbery. If you can delay a home invader at the point of entry, then you have a chance of deterring them or have time to call the police.

• Do not open the door without question at the sound of a knock.

• Use the door peephole BEFORE opening the door. If you do not have a peephole, have one installed.

• If you are not expecting a package, delivery or service call do not answer the door. Insist that the deliverer provide you with verbal verification of his employment and call the company to confirm that the deliverer’s impromptu visit is legitimate. Your front door should remain closed and locked! First Alarm employees carry both company ID’s and a California issued Alarm Agent card.

• Keep doors, garage doors and windows locked at all times, even when you are home.

• Keep porches and all entrances well lit, i.e., driveways, garages and alleys. Check bulbs regularly.


“Your officers’ actions undoubtedly saved a life that evening and are certainly worthy of praise. His quick thinking, willingness to become involved, and support of members of the CHP are sincerely appreciated.”

– D.R. Follett, Commander, Monterey CHP