Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke / Carbon monoxide alarms

Approximately 2,500 people are killed each year in residential fires, and another 500 die from carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that’s known as the “silent killer.” Installing smoke and CO alarms throughout your home is the first step toward staying safe.

Every home should have smoke alarms, and CO alarms are a must in all homes with fuel-burning appliances such as a furnace, water heater, range, cook top or grill. Even an all-electric home may benefit from a couple of CO alarms, because using a generator during a blackout produces CO. You need alarms that detect flaming and smoldering fires for each bedroom, with at least one set on each level, including the attic and basement. You should also have a CO alarm on each living level, in the basement, and near (not inside) an attached garage.

You can buy smoke and CO alarms at hardware and home-improvement stores and online. Smoke alarms are relatively inexpensive, starting at about $15 for basic models. CO alarms cost $35 and up. Check the package to make sure smoke alarms meet Underwriters Laboratories Standard 217 and CO alarms meet UL Standard 2034. Also look up the date of manufacture on the back of the alarms. These devices lose their sensitivity over time, so the fresher, the better.

Fire Escape Challenge Game

Fire Escape Challenge Game

Is your family up to the challenge? Play the Fire Escape Challenge Game.
The Liberty Mutual Insurance Fire Escape Challenge game will help your family learn how to prepare and what to practice so everyone knows what to do if there’s a fire in your home.
Challenge 1: Plan your escape
Challenge 2: Practice your escape
Challenge 3: Prepare your home
Read the game’s instructions to learn how to play, then take the challenge!

Road Traffic Injuries: The Reality

We all want to keep our children safe and secure and help them live to their full potential. Knowing how to prevent leading causes of child injury, like road traffic injuries, is a step toward this goal.

Every hour, nearly 150 children between ages 0 and 19 are treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. More children ages 5 to 19 die from crash-related injuries than from any other type of injury.

Thankfully, parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from road traffic injuries.

Prevention Tips

One of the best protective measures you can take is using seat belts, child safety seats, and booster seats that are appropriate for your child’s age and weight.

Know the Stages:

  • Birth through Age 2 – Rear-facing child safety seat. For the best possible protection, infants and children should be kept in a rear-facing child safety seat, in the back seat buckled with the seat’s harness, until they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. The weight and height limits on rear-facing child safety seats can accommodate most children through age 2, check the seat’s owner’s manual for details.
  • Between Ages 2-4/Until 40 lbs – Forward-facing child safety seat. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (the weight and height limits on rear-facing car seats can accommodate most children through age 2) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat buckled with the seat’s harness, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds; many newer seats have higher weight limits-check the seat’s owner’s manual for details).
  • Between Ages 4-8 OR Until 4’9″ Tall – Booster seat. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (by reaching the upper height and weight limits of their seat), they should ride in belt positioning booster seats. Remember to keep children in the back seat for the best possible protection.
  • After Age 8 AND/OR 4’9″ Tall – Seat belts. Children should use booster seats until adult seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (not the neck). When adult seat belts fit children properly they can use the adult seat belts without booster seats. For the best possible protection keep children in the back seat and use lap-and-shoulder belts.

Back Seat is Safest. All children younger than 13 years should ride in the back seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an air bag. Place children in the middle of the back seat when possible, because it is the safest spot in the vehicle.

Sign a Driving Agreement. If you’re a parent of a teen who is learning to drive, sign anagreement with them to limit risky driving situations, such as having multiple teen passengers and driving at night.

Helmets can Help. Children should wear an appropriate helmet any time they are on a motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, scooter, or skates.

Safety Tips: Winter Fires

More fires occur during the winter months than at any other time. Fortunately, taking simple precautions can prevent most fires. Follow the safety tips below to help ensure your safety:

Portable Heaters

  • Put at least three feet of empty space between the heater and everything else.
  • Vacuum and clean the dust and lint from all heaters.
  • If the cord gets hot, frayed or cracked, have the heater serviced.
  • Never use extension cords with portable electric heaters.
  • Turn off portable heaters when leaving or sleeping.
  • An adult should always be present when anyone is using a space heater around children.
  • Make sure your portable electric heater is UL approved and has a tip-over shut off function.

Woodstove and Fireplace Safety

  • Have a certified chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace.
  • Place ashes outdoors in a covered metal container at least three feet away from anything that burns.
  • To prevent flue fires, burn dry, well-seasoned wood.
  • Always use a fireplace screen made of sturdy metal or heat-tempered glass. If children are present, use a special child-guard screen.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible killer. You cannot see or smell it. A generator’s exhaust contains poisonous CO, which can kill you in a matter of minutes. Follow these important generator safety tips:

  • Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, shed or other partially enclosed space, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Place portable generators outside only, far away from the home. Keep the generator away from openings to the home, including doors, windows, and vents.
  • Read the label on the generator and the owner’s manual, and follow the instructions.
  • Install CO alarms with battery backup in the home outside each sleeping area.
  • Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy. CO poisoning from exposure to generator exhaust can quickly lead to incapacitation and death.
  • Be sure generator fuel is properly and safely stored.
  • Always refuel the generator outdoors and away from any ignition sources.
  • If you choose to have a generator permanently connected to your home’s electrical system, make sure a licensed electrician installs it and be sure to notify your electric company.


  • Place candles in sturdy, fireproof candleholders where they cannot be knocked over.
  • Make sure all candles are out before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of children’s reach.
  • Keep candles away from Christmas trees, evergreen clippings, decorations, presents, and wrapping paper.

Smoke Alarms and Home Escape Plans

  • Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.
  • Test and vacuum your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working.
  • Smoke alarms 10 years old or older need to be replaced with new units.
  • Know two ways out of every room.
  • Practice your escape plan with your whole family at least twice a year.
  • Do not attempt to go back into a burning home.

Additional Resources:

The short link for this FAQ is

Holiday Decorations Safety


Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season.

Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire, so take a minute to be sure you’re decorating safely.

An estimated 240 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 150 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year*.

Together, these fires result in 21 deaths and $25.2 million in direct property damage*.

Check out this 48 second video, it’ll help you make sure you’re keeping your natural tree adequately watered… it shows there’s not much time to take action if you neglect to keep your natural trees adequately watered, take a look…

  • Within three seconds of ignition, this dry Scotch pine is completely ablaze
  • At five seconds, the fire extends up the tree and black smoke with searing gases streaks across the ceiling
  • Fresh air near the floor feeds the fire
  • The sofa, coffee table, and the carpet ignite prior to any flame contact
  • Within 40 seconds, “flashover” – the entire room erupts into flames, oxygen is depleted and dense, deadly toxic smoke engulfs the scene – occurs

Please read through these quick guidelines to help ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season…


Holiday Lights

Maintain Your Holiday Lights

Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets

Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.

Do not leave holiday lights on unattended!

Holiday Decorations

Use Only Nonflammable Decorations

All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

Don’t Block Exits

Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk.

Never Put Wrapping Paper in the Fireplace

Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.


Candle Care

Avoid Using Lit Candles

Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.

If You Do Use Lit Candles

Make sure candles are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. Never leave a room or go to bed with candles burning.

Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree

Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.




*Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)

Always Think Fire Safety…

…home Fires…one home fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010… Don’t let yours become one of them in 2012, 2013, or ever…take this quiz!



Congratulations on completing the Charlotte Firefighters 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb!




Letter From the Chief

Dear Citizens,

On behalf of the dedicated men and women of the Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for your support of our department over the years.

As our communities continue to grow, our mission is evolving to continually improve and develop the department, so the citizens we serve are consistently receiving the highest level of emergency services available.  We have a very dedicated membership that spends a tremendous amount of time training and developing their skills to efficiently and effectively mitigate the emergency situations we respond to. Taking great pride in being able to offer this service to our community, we pledge to continue to train and develop our members so that we can continue to serve in a prompt, safe, and professional manner.

We are here for you, and I feel very strongly about being involved, as much as possible, in our community.  You will see our apparatus and members at various public events throughout the year from festivals, block parties, and even youth sporting events.  Our doors are always open to the public, and we welcome and encourage visitors anytime.  Please feel free to stop by and get to know the fellow citizens of your communities that have pledged their specialized knowledge, skills, and time to serving you. If there is ever anyway that I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Steven McLendon

Fire Chief

Wesley Chapel Fire Department