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According to the United States Fire Administration, over 80% of all fire deaths occur in the home. For 2006, there were 3,245 fatalities and 16,400 injuries as a result of fire. Heating and cooking led the leading causes of home fires. The startling part of this is that children under five and adults over 65 account for most of the fire deaths.

Sleep Safe is a general program aimed at preventing fires in the home and preventing fire related deaths through educational programs. We cover a number of topics and can provide a lot of hands on activities, including the use of our Fire Safety House.

Click on the links below to learn more.

Fire Safety House

Ko bigowa The fire safety trailer, which includes a small kitchen area and a bedroom, gives kids a chance to practice a safe exit from their homes in the event of a fire. Non-toxic smoke is released into a room, the smoke alarms go off, the children get low to the ground, crawl under the smoke and feel the door to see if it is warm, and then are guided by a department member to a safe escape. Children are also encouraged to work with their parents to develop an escape plan, practice it with their family, and have a meeting place outside their house. In the kitchen area, various fire hazards are set up to help kids learn to identify potential dangers present in the home.

If you would like a visit from the Fire Safety House, please contact Kateri at (928) 338-4311

Smoke Detectors

Test Your DetectorWhen fire occurs in your home, your chances for survival are two times better when smoke detectors are present than when they are not. Smoke detectors, when properly installed and maintained (following manufacturer's directions), provide an early warning when a fire occurs. This early warning increases your likelihood of survival and gives the fire department a better chance to save more of your property.

The importance of not only having smoke detectors but also making sure they are operational cannot be stressed enough! We are working hard to promote the installation of smoke detectors and the installation of new batteries. Smoke detectors wear out and they should be replaced with a new detector every 10 years.

Smoke detectors are available and can be installed, while supplies last. Contact Kateri at (928) 338-1701. The following information is requested:

  • Your name and address
  • How many children live in the household?
  • How many senior citizens live in the household?
  • Is the residential property private or tribal/government?
  • Upon receiving and having your smoke detector installed, remember to read the instructions and save the manual for future reference.
Our Goal is 100% Compliancy on the Reservation!

Escape Planning

If a fire started in your house, there would be no time to waste. You and your family need to get out of the house as quickly as possible.

Remember, fires are unpredictable and they spread very quickly. You don't have time. Smoke can make it difficult to see and breathe. If your family does not have a fire escape plan in place, you need to create one. If you are unsure how to go about doing one, give us a call. We can, and want to help to protect our community.

Here are some basic tips to help you get started.

  1. Draw a map of every floor of your house. Remember to include all doors and windows on your map.
  1. Find two possible escape routes from each room. It's important to plan two escape routes in case one is blocked by fire or smoke.
  1. Get a ladder to keep near the upstairs bedrooms. If you don't have a ladder, then you should buy one on your next shopping trip.
  1. Plan an outdoor "meeting place" for you and your family members if your house does catch fire.
  1. Program emergency numbers in your cordless home or cellular phone.
  1. Stage a fire escape rehearsal twice a year. You can do this on the same day as when you test your batteries when clocks are changed for Daylight Savings Time on the first Sunday of April and the last Sunday of October.

If you hear a smoke alarm sound in your house:

  1. Do not take anything. There is no time to waste.
  1. Do not hide. Leave the house as quickly as possible and stay out.
  1. If a door feels hot, do not open it! There may be a fire on the other side. Try to leave from another door or window.
  1. If you see smoke, stay low to the ground as you leave and crawl if necessary. The air closer to the ground is better to breathe because smoke rises. Smoke can be deadly, too.
  1. If your clothes catch fire, remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL.
  1. Go to the preplanned "meeting place" to find your family members outside.
  1. Alert the fire department by calling 911 or the emergency number at a neighbor's house.


Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February, and trails only cooking equipment in home fires year-round. To prevent fires from home heating, remember to:

  • Install your stationary wood burning stove according to manufacturer’s instructions or applicable codes or better yet, have it installed by a professional.

  • Plug your electric-powered space heater into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.

  • Use only dry, seasoned wood in your wood stove to avoid the build-up of creosote, an oily deposit that easily catches fire and accounts for most chimney fires and the largest share of home heating fires generally. Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start the fire.

  • Allow fireplace and woodstove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from your home.

  • Do not use your oven to heat your home.

  • Inspect all heating equipment annually, and clean as necessary.

  • Do not store combustibles in furnace or water heater closets.

  • When buying a new space heater, make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory and will turn off if it is accidential tipped over.

  • Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is unoccupied or under circumstances when manufacturer’s instructions say they should be turned off. Portable space heaters are so easy to knock over in the dark that they should be turned off when you go to bed, but make sure your primary heating equipment for the bedrooms is sufficient to avoid risks to residents from severe cold.

  • Test smoke alarms monthly; install a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area if you are using any gas feed heating appliances.


Cooking fires are the #2 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Most cooking equipment fires start with the ignition of common household items (e.g., food or grease, cabinets, wall coverings, paper or plastic bags, curtains, etc.). Below are some basic tips.

  • Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.

  • Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended, and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven.

  • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).

  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet (1 meter) around the stove. Keep pets from underfoot so you do not trip while cooking. Also, keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto burner.

  • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.

  • Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.

  • Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen, actually spreading the fire.

  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.

  • If there is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the fire department and make sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again. Food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. Remove the lids or other coverings from microwaved food carefully to prevent steam burns.

  • Mount at least a 1A;5B:C Fire Extinguisher in your kitchen.

Training & Education

The WMA Fire & Rescue Department is actively involved in educating the public in fire prevention and safety through a variety of community activities designed to promote public safety. Some of those programs include:

  • Fire Safety and Fire Extinguisher Classes
  • OSHA mandate classes (Right to Know, Haz-Mat Awareness, etc.)
  • Fire Station tours
  • Equipment displays
  • Career days
  • Health fairs
  • Individual classroom (K-3) programs with Sparky.
  • CPR/First Aid Programs. Click here for schedule.

Any of these presentations are free of charge (except for CPR/First Aid Classes), and available to all communities and organizations within the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Fire prevention assemblies are normally presented each year during Fire Prevention Week (in October). Literature on a variety of fire safety related topics are also available.

We encourage the public to visit our fire stations to learn ways of protecting themselves from fire and injury, and to get to know how the WMA Fire & Rescue Department strives to make our reservation safer.

If you are interested in any of these programs, contact any one of our fire stations.

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