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Using the Home Safety Visits App

As part of Vision 20/20’s continuing support of CRR strategies we have joined with the Friendship Fire Company of Alexandria (VA), and Lincoln Fire and Rescue (NE) to provide videos for use on I-pad and tablet devices to enhance your home safety visits. These tools supplement the training and other resources offered by Vision 20/20 that can help you carry out a proven, effective method of saving lives and reducing fire losses in your community.

Home safety visits have been singled out as one of the more effective measures that the fire service can take to improve public safety.

The Home Safety Visits App is a tool for fire departments and others doing home safety visits to make those visits even more effective. Short videos visually emphasize several important fire safety messages. Pictures can say more than words, especially when there are language barriers. These narrated videos allow you to illustrate in just a few minutes concepts or procedures that are more difficult to describe, such as the speed of fire. This series of brief videos can be shown on smartphones and tablet computers.

Four important home fire safety topics are included: 

  • Cooking
  • Heating
  • Smoke Alarms
  • Speed of Fire

Each video is translated into several languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • American Sign Language
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Arabic
  • Karen
  • Vietnamese

This App was developed by the Friendship Fire Company of Alexandria, Virginia, Vision 20/20 and Lincoln Fire & Rescue of Lincoln, Nebraska under a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Prevention and Safety program.

App Download Instructions:

The App requires 38.3MB of storage before any videos are downloaded.  The videos range in size from 20MB to 85MB, depending on the topic and language.  You can choose to download all videos for all languages (28), or simply download only the videos that you’ll require.  (You may want to download it over Wi-Fi to avoid incurring data charges.)  You can also delete videos that are no longer required from your App..

app-store-logoClick on the icon to the left or search at the Apple App Store “Home Safety Visits” or “Safety Visits” for the free download.  Videos can then be played via the App without a WiFi connection.

google-play-badgeClick on the icon to the left  or search at Google Play for  “Home Safety Visits” or “Safety Visits” for the free download.   Then under “Apps” click “More” and we are currently the fourth App down.  (NOTE:  This list will change depending on the popularity of each App.)  Once the videos are clicked on and downloaded, then the videos are on the Android tablet and can be accessed and played without a WiFi connection.

About the Content:

It is not possible to include all of the important fire safety messages that you might want to share with residents during a home visit in these videos. However, in a short time, about 3-minutes each, these videos help you illustrate important messages and give you a starting point for more specific instruction.

Your interaction with people where they live is invaluable. Actually being there allows you to see situations firsthand that increase risk such as age, physical ability, unsafe storage or cooking, etc. You are the expert and will tailor the amount of detail and information most practical for that visit.

Messages by Topic:


Content Messages

Fire is Fast-Plan for Everyone to Get Out


  1. Fire is fast.
  2. Homes are where we’re actually most likely to have a fire.
  3. Fire makes smoke that is so hot it can burn your lungs. It’s also poisonous if you breathe it.
  4. Even if you aren’t in the same room where the fire starts, smoke from the fire can kill you.
  5. Four out of five fire deaths are caused by smoke.
  6. A home fire can become deadly in only 3 minutes or less.
  7. Know what to do before a fire happens.
  8. Make sure you have smoke alarms and that they are working.
  9. Have a plan to get everyone outside quickly.
  10. You need two good ways that you can get outside from every room. If one way is blocked by smoke, use your second way out.
  11. Choose a meeting place out front and make sure everyone knows where it is.
  12. Call 9-1-1 once you’re outside.
  13. Don’t go back inside for anything.
  14. Stay at your meeting place until the firefighters tell you it’s safe to go back in.
Where There is Love, There are Smoke Alarms


  1. Most home fires that kill people happen at night, when people are sleeping.
  2. Smoke from a fire won’t wake you up. But smoke alarms can wake you – if they’re working.
  3. Smoke alarms give you time to escape.
  4. Make sure everyone in your home learns what the smoke alarm sounds like.
  5. Every home needs at least one smoke alarm installed on each level.
  6. Install a smoke alarm inside every bedroom and any other rooms where people sleep.
  7. You also need a smoke alarm installed outside the rooms where people sleep.
  8. Not all smoke alarms are the same. Some use a 9-volt battery. These batteries should be replaced with a new one every single year.
  9. Some have a Lithium battery that can’t be removed. This type is known as a long-life smoke alarm – it’s meant to last for many years. Instead of replacing the battery, you should replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.
  10. If the batteries in your smoke alarms start to run down, they’ll make a warning noise that sounds like chirping.
  11. If your long-life smoke alarm chirps, you’ll need to replace the smoke alarm with a new one.
  12. If your smoke alarm is installed too close to the kitchen, you might hear the alarm sound when you’re cooking.
  13. If the smoke alarm sounds when you are cooking, don’t remove the battery. Instead, you can make the sound stop by opening a door or window. Or, you can fan the air around the smoke alarm with a newspaper or towel.
Keep an Eye on What You Fry


  1. Cooking is the number-one cause of both home fires and home fire injuries.
  2. Keep your range top clean, and make sure that anything that can burn is kept away from it.
  3. Use a timer when you’re baking, and when cooking foods at low temperatures that take a longer time… so you don’t forget.
  4. Stay in the kitchen the entire time when you are frying, broiling or grilling food.
  5. Keep an eye on what you fry!
  6. If you have to walk away when you’re cooking, turn off the heat first.
  7. Fats or grease – things like cooking oil, shortening, and lard, are especially dangerous, so use extra caution when you are frying food.
  8. Heat grease slowly, and watch it the entire time you’re cooking.
  9. Wait until it’s completely cool before you throw it away.
  10. If the grease gets too hot it can catch on fire.
  11. It’s important to know how to put out a grease fire.
  12. Never try to move the pan.
  13. Never use water on a grease fire.
  14. Instead, cover and smother the flames. Turn off the heat and slide a baking sheet or large lid over the pan. Leave it there until the pan has cooled.
  15. 1No matter what you’re cooking, the kitchen not a safe place for young children to play in. So keep them at least three feet away from the range, in a kid-free zone.
  16. Remember clothing can catch fire too. You can avoid a burn injury by wearing short sleeves when you cook.
Heaters Need Space


  1. Heaters need space.
  2. Make sure they aren’t too close to anything that can burn.
  3. Keep everything and everyone three feet away.
  4. Your furnace needs space too. Don’t let trash pile up around it and don’t stack things too close to your furnace – measure out at least three feet around it.
  5. Turn space heaters off when you go to sleep and when leave the room too.
  6. Any type of heater, fireplace, and other equipment that burns fuel needs to be vented to the outside. Electric heaters do not need to be vented. If fuel-burning heating equipment is not vented correctly, carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, can leak into the house.
  7. If you have this type of equipment, you need to have a carbon monoxide – or CO – detector.
  8. Have your chimney inspected by a professional. Get them cleaned when the inspector says they’re dirty.
  9. Fireplaces need a good, heavy screen or heavy doors to keep the fire closed in.
  10. Only burn wood or wood pellets in a woodstove.
  11. When it’s time to clean your fireplace, make sure the ashes have completely cooled. Scoop the ashes into a metal can and put it outside, well away from the house. Leave it there a few days before throwing the ashes away, to make sure there are no hot embers.

Other online resources from Vision 20/20 to enhance your Home Safety Visits: