DeWitt Fire Department


Dewitt Area Emergency Services Authority

Household Tips

Fireplaces and Wood Stoves

  • Clean and inspect your chimney or wood stove annually, using a certified chimney specialist.
  • Vent pipes should be tree feet above the roof.
  • Make sure wood stoves and portable kerosene heaters have met building codes.
  • Burn only wood in fireplace or wood stove.

Outdoor Fire Safety Tips

  • Stack firewood at least 30 feet away from your home.
  • Regularly clean the leaves, pine needles and other debris off the roof of your home.
  • Make sure there are no tree branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.
  • Store flammable materials at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Use fire resistant plants and vegetation for landscaping.
  • Trees and brush should be thinned within 30 feet around the home.
  • Water sources need to be accessible to the fire department.

Fire Safety for Children

  • Children should wear fire-retardant clothing.
  • Children need to be taught about fire and fire safety.
  • children should never play around electrical appliances or heaters.
  • Children should know the fire escape plan.

Smoke Alarms

  • Smoke alarms should be tested every month.
  • Batteries in smoke alarms should be replaced at least once a year. 
  • Smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years.

Fire Escape Plan

  • Develop a fire escape plan, and practice it with your family.
  • Have a designated meeting area away from the driveway in the yard where all family members are to go.


  • Do not overload extension cords.
  • Look for the UL tag on appliances.
  • Check wiring on appliances routinely.
  • Replace worn, old, or damaged appliance cords.
  • Place portable electrical heaters at least 3 feet from curtains, furniture, etc.
  • Children should never play around electrical appliances or heaters.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Smoke Detectors and Battery Information

Test your smoke detectors at least once a month.  If battery operated, replace the batteries at least once a year.  One way to remember to change your battery is to change it during daylight savings time – when you move your clock back or ahead, change your battery.  If a detector is more than 10 years old, it should be replaced with a new unit.