The past couple of months Carroll County has had a rash of fires. The best way to be prepared and stay safe is making sure there is a working smoke alarms in your home and following the guidelines for the new Maryland Smoke Alarm law that went in to effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The following fire safety tips are intended to help you make your home fire safe. Visit for more fire safety tips.


Electrical Safety

  • Electrical work should only be done by a qualified electrician.
  • Check your electrical cords. If they are cracked or damaged, replace them. Don’t try to repair them.
  • Don’t overload extension cords or wall outlets.
  • Never use extension cords with appliances. Plug them directly into wall outlets. Do not run electrical cords under rugs.

Candle Safety

  • Candles should be in sturdy fire-proof containers that can’t be tipped over.
  • All candles should be extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room.
  • Children and pets are never to be left unattended with candles.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.

Smoking Safety

  • Matches and lighters should be secured and out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Ashtrays should be large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.
  • Ashtrays should only be dumped into a container that will not burn.
  • If you smoke it is recommended to do so outside or only buy fire safe cigarettes.

Heating Safety

  • Chimneys and furnaces are to be cleaned and inspected yearly.
  • Furniture and other items that can catch fire need to be at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, wall heaters, baseboards, and space heaters.
  • Fireplace and barbecue ashes need to be placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from anything that can catch fire.
  • Extension cords are never to be used with space heaters.
  • Heaters must be approved by a national testing laboratory and have a tip-over shut-off function.

Home Escape Plan

  • Have two ways out of each room.
  • Crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke — Get Low and Go!
  • Once you’re out, stay out!
  • Have a meeting place where the fire department can see you as they approach your home and have your family meet at that location.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year.

Cooking Safety

  • Keep your cooking area free from items that can catch fire.
  • Make sure your kitchen stove hood is clean and vented to the outside.
  • Never leave pots unattended on the stove.
  • Cook with your handles turned in so they can’t be bumped and tipped over.
  • Keep a pan lid nearby in the event the pan catches on fire so you can cover it to put the fire out.

For more information call the Safe Kids Carroll County Coalition at 410-876-4448.