Fire Safety Tips

Did You Know?

  • The Southfield Fire Department is the busiest fire department in Oakland County, and the 6th busiest fire department in the State of Michigan behind only Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Warren.

  • Southfield Firefighters respond to over 14,500 calls for emergency service each year.

  • In 1972 the Southfield Fire Department was the first Advanced Life Support (Paramedic) fire department in the State, as well as one of the first in the United States.

  • To obtain a Fire report, please call Fire Prevention at (248) 796-5701.

  • To obtain a Medical report, please call the EMS Coordinator at (248) 796-5608.

  • The Southfield Fire Department not only provides Fire and EMS service, but also responds to all incidents involving Hazardous Materials release, High Angle Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Vehicle Extrication and much more.

  • Southfield Firefighters are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We maintain a readiness to respond to any and all calls for service to our citizens and visitors to the city.

  • Smoke detector batteries should be replaced every six months, so we recommend that you change them every time you change your clocks. In addition to changing your smoke detector batteries, your smoke detectors must be tested. Although smoke detectors differ by model (please review your installation and owners manual), most can be tested by pressing and holding the test button on the unit. The smoke detector will usually beep several times.

Photo of Fire Extinguisher SMOKE DETECTORS
Smoke detectors are the most important tool in fire safety. A working smoke detector doubles the chance of surviving a fire, warning of a fire in time to escape. Smoke detectors should be installed on each level of the home and inside of every bedroom.

Test smoke detectors at least once a month and replace batteries at least twice a year, or whenever a detector chirps to signal the battery is low. Don’t ever borrow detector batteries for other uses. A disabled smoke detector can’t save lives!

When used properly, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by extinguishing a small fire or containing it until the Fire Department arrives. Individuals must know how to use the extinguisher - the easiest way is to remember the "PASS" procedure: P ull pin, A im at the base of the fire, S queeze the lever, and S weep from side-to-side.

Recommendations about extinguishers:

Must be within easy reach, in working order and fully charged.
Must be installed in plain view of an escape route.
Must match the type of fire being fought. Extinguishers that contain water are unsuitable for use on grease and electrical fires.
ABC extinguishers are recommended for use on the most common home fires.
Must be large enough to put out the fire. Many portable extinguishers discharge in as few as 10 seconds.
2A: 10B:C or larger size is recommended for home use.
Have extinguishers tested and recharged after each use and annually by a licensed service company.
Always call “9-1-1" before attempting to extinguish a fire; and make sure everyone has left or is in the process of leaving the building. Be sure the Fire Department inspects the fire site, even if the fire appears to have been extinguished before they arrive.

In the event of fire, get out fast! Families should pre-plan two ways out of every room, especially bedrooms. Make sure everyone can unlock all locks and open all windows and doors. The whole family should practice the escape plan at least twice a year. In a two-story house, consider purchasing a folding escape ladder for bedrooms on the second floor.

Practice staying low to the floor. During a fire, to avoid breathing dangerous smoke, crawl under smoke.

Before opening any interior door, feel it with the back of the hand; if the door is hot or blocked with fire or smoke, use the second way out.

Choose a meeting place outdoors where everyone will gather. Once outside, stay out! Call “9-1-1" to report a fire from a neighbor’s phone.

Matches and lighters are deadly in the hands of a child. Use child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters high where youth cannot reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet.

Teach children from an early age that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys. Teach them that if they find matches or a lighter, they should tell an adult immediately.

Some children may appear fascinated by fire. If this behavior is noticed, call the Fire Prevention Bureau for an appointment. Fire inspectors have special training in educating juveniles on the hazards of fire.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning claims more than 200 lives each year in America, and sends another 10,000 people to the hospital for treatment.

Install at least one UL-listed carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms.

How to react to a carbon monoxide alarm depends on whether anyone is feeling ill or not:
If no one is feeling ill:
  1. Silence the alarm
  2. Turn off all appliances and sources of combustion (furnace and fireplace)
  3. Ventilate the house with fresh air by opening doors and windows
  4. Call a qualified professional to investigate the source of the possible carbon monoxide build-up (gas company or Fire Department)
If illness is suspected or a factor:
  1. Evacuate all occupants immediately
  2. Determine how many occupants are ill and their symptoms
  3. Call “9-1-1"
  4. Do not re-enter the home without the approval of a Fire Department representative
  5. Call a qualified professional to repair the source of the carbon monoxide.