General Fire Safety

An important function of Merced County Fire’s website is to provide additional resources to keep our community safe.  

Fire safety reduces the risk of injury and building damage that fires can cause. You can dramatically increase your safety and the survivability of your property by preparing well in advance. With that in mind, you will find instructions on how to use fire extinguishers and helpful information regarding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We have also included tips on how to prevent fires from breaking out at home and, if one starts, the best steps we can take to make sure everyone gets out safely.

How do you use a Fire Extinguisher?

There are four basic steps:

  1. Pull the Safety Pin located at the top of the extinguisher, seal will break.
  2. Aim the Nozzle towards the base (bottom) of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the Handles together to discharge extinguisher
  4. Sweep the Nozzle side-to-side as you are approaching the fire.

Smoke Detector Guidelines 

All homes should be protected by smoke detectors. It is not as important whether a specific code requires it as much as it is singly best thing you can do to protect you and yours from the threat of fire.

In compliance with current code, smoke detectors should be installed in:

  • Hallways leading to bedrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Basements with sleeping rooms
  • Ceilings more than 24" higher than connecting bedrooms or hallways leading to bedrooms
  • Stairway landings leading to upper floor bedrooms

Carbon Monoxide

  • What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
    • It’s an odorless, colorless, tasteless poisonous gas that is slightly lighter than air and can kill you when inhaled.
  • What triggers Carbon Monoxide?
    • It is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal, and wood do not fully burn.
  • When carbon monoxide detector beep and what do they mean?
    • 2 Beeps every 30 seconds – alarm is near to end of life
    • 3 Beeps every 15 minutes – there’s a malfunction
    • 4 Beeps and a pause – Emergency: carbon monoxide is detected in the area and you need to call 9-1-1