The Nevada City Fire Department wants you to be ready for emergency
fire situations. Please take a moment and review the following checklist
to be sure that you and your family are prepared.
What to do Before a Fire
The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a
- Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by
- Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence. Place them outside bedrooms on the ceiling
or high on the wall (4 to 12 inches from ceiling), at the top of open stairways, or at the bottom of
enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
- Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace
smoke alarms once every 10 years.
Escaping the Fire
- Review escape routes with your family. Practice escaping from each room.
- Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a
fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
- Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars
and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
- Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from
- Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash, such as old newspapers and magazines, accumulate.
- Never use gasoline, benzine, naptha, or similar flammable liquids indoors.
- Store flammable liquids in approved containers in well-ventilated storage areas.
- Never smoke near flammable liquids.
- Discard all rags or materials that have been soaked in flammable liquids after you have used them.
Safely discard them outdoors in a metal container.
- Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. The chimney should be at least three feet
higher than the roof. Remove branches hanging above and around the chimney.
- Be careful when using alternative heating sources.
- Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your
community. Be sure to fill kerosene heaters outside, and be sure they have cooled.
- Place heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials. Make sure the floor and nearby
walls are properly insulated.
- Use only the type of fuel designated for your unit and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Store ashes in a metal container outside and away from your residence.
- Keep open flames away from walls, furniture, drapery, and flammable items.
- Keep a screen in front of the fireplace.
- Have heating units inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist.
Matches and Smoking
- Keep matches and lighters up high, away from children, and, if possible, in a locked cabinet.
- Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated. Provide smokers with deep, sturdy ashtrays.
Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Have the electrical wiring in your residence checked by an electrician.
- Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
- Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
- Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high-traffic areas.
- Do not overload extension cords or outlets. If you need to plug in two or three appliances, get a
UL-approved unit with built-in circuit breakers to prevent sparks and short circuits.
- Make sure insulation does not touch bare electrical wiring.
- Sleep with your door closed.
- Install A-B-C-type fire extinguishers in your residence and teach family members how to use
- Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
- Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.
What to do Before a Wildfire
If you see a wildfire, call 9-1-1. Don't assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of
the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.
Before the Fire Approaches Your House
- Evacuate. Evacuate your pets and all family members who are not essential to preparing the home.
Anyone with medical or physical limitations and the young and the elderly should be evacuated
- Wear Protective Clothing.
- Remove Combustibles. Clear items that will burn from around the house, including wood piles,
lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc. Move them outside of your defensible space.
- Close/Protect Openings. Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors,
etc. Remove flammable drapes and curtains. Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible
window coverings to reduce radiant heat.
- Close Inside Doors/Open Damper. Close alt doors inside the house to prevent draft. Open the
damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen.
- Shut Off Gas. Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source.
- Water. Connect garden hoses. Fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers
- Pumps. If you have gas-powered pumps for water, make sure they are fueled and ready.
- Ladder. Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
- Car. Back your car into the driveway and roll up the windows.
- Garage Doors. Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by
hand if the power goes out. Close all garage doors.
- Valuables. Place valuable papers, mementos and anything "you can't live without" inside the car in
the garage, ready for quick departure. Any pets still with you should also be put in the car.
Preparing to Leave
- Lights. Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in
- Don't Lock Up. Leave doors and windows closed but unlocked. It may be necessary for
firefighters to gain quick entry into your home to fight fire. The entire area will be isolated and
patrolled by sheriff's deputies or police.
Emergency Supplies Checklist
Can You Go It Alone for Three Days?
The first 72 hours after a major emergency or disaster are critical. Electricity, gas, water, and telephones
may not be working. In addition, public safety services such as police and fire departments will be busy
handling serious crises. You should be prepared to be self-sufficient — able to live without running water,
electricity and/or gas, and telephones — for at least three days following a major emergency. To do so,
keep on hand in a central location the following:
- Water — 1 gallon per person per day (a week’s supply of water is preferable)
- Water purification kit
- First aid kit, freshly stocked
- First aid book
- Can opener (non-electric)
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Portable radio, flashlight and spare batteries
- Essential medications
- Extra pair of eyeglasses
- Extra pair of house and car keys
- Fire extinguisher — A-B-C type
- Food, water and restraint (leash or carrier) for pets
- Cash and change
- Baby supplies: formula, bottle, pacifier, soap and baby powder, clothing, blankets, baby wipes,
disposable diapers, canned food and juices.
- Large plastic trash bags for waste; tarps and rain ponchos
- Large trash cans
- Bar soap and liquid detergent
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Feminine hygiene supplies
- Toilet paper
- Household bleach
Safety and Comfort
- Sturdy shoes
- Heavy gloves for clearing debris
- Candles and matches
- Light sticks
- Change of clothing
- Knife or razor blades
- Garden hose for siphoning and firefighting
- Communication kit: paper, pens, stamps
- Plastic knives, forks, spoons
- Paper plates and cups
- Paper towels
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Camping stove for outdoor cooking (caution: before using fire to cook, make sure there are no gas
leaks; never use charcoal indoors)
Tools and Supplies
- Axe, shovel, broom
- Adjustable wrench for turning off gas
- Tool kit including a screwdriver, pliers and a hammer
- Coil of ½” rope
- Plastic tape, staple gun and sheeting for window replacement
- City map