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Fire Safety in the Home

The NIH Fire Marshal would like to share a few tips on fire safety in the home. Annually from 2017 to 2019 an estimated 11,650 civilian fire injuries resulted from 7,200 residential building fires.

  • Fire is Dark – Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is Deadly – Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than direct flame contact.
  • Fire is Fast – There is little time to escape. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill your home.
  • Fire is Hot – Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures can rise to over 1000 degrees at eye level.

For more information: (Anyone unable to view the photo may contact the NIH Fire Marshal for a verbal explanation.)

Smoke Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home and in each bedroom.
  • Test smoke alarms each month by pushing the test button until alarm sounds.
  • Maryland residents must replace all battery-powered smoke alarms over 10 years old with a 10-year battery life smoke alarm.
  • For more information: (Anyone unable to view the video may contact the NIH Fire Marshal for a verbal explanation.)

Fire Escape Plan

  • A family fire escape plan is critical to know what to do in the event of a fire in your home.
  • ​Know two ways out of every room and two ways out of your home.
  • Have a meeting place outside of your home.
  • Dial 911 from outside of your home to report a fire.
  • Practice your escape plan twice a year.

For more information: (Anyone unable to view this video may contact the NIH Fire Marshal for a verbal explanation.)

If you have any questions regarding fire safety in the home or general fire safety precautions, please contact the NIH Fire Marshal at 301-496-0487. Use their hazard reporting tool for situations on the Bethesda campus:​. You may remain anonymous when reporting a hazard, but it always helps to have a contact so they can obtain information as needed.

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