Safety Tips

Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire:

  1. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not need to be correct. Make sure the plan shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes.
  2. Find a way for everyone to sound a family alarm. Yelling, pounding on walls, whistles, etc. Practice yelling “FIRE!”
  3. Practice evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire most likely will make it difficult to see.
  4. Practice staying low to the ground when escaping.
  5. Choose a safe meeting place outside the house.


  • Always sleep with the bedroom doors closed. This will keep deadly heat and smoke out of bedrooms, giving you additional time to escape.
  • In a fire, time is critical. Don’t waste time getting dressed, don’t search for pets or valuables. Just get out!
  • Roll out of bed. Stay low. One breath of smoke or gases may be enough to kill.
  • Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is hot, get out another way.
  • Learn to stop, drop to the ground, roll if clothes catch fire.

Install smoke detectors
Check smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a structure. Purchase smoke detectors labeled by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).

Post emergency numbers near telephones.
Be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place the call to emergency services from inside the home. It is better to get out and place the call to fire authorities from a safe location outside the home.

After a fire emergency
Give first aid where appropriate. Seriously injured victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately. Stay out of the damaged building. Return only when fire authorities say it is safe.

Make sure you have a safe fire escape method for all situations
You may have installed a very expensive home security system. But if you cannot escape the burning structure you have a false level of confidence.

Space Heaters Need Space
Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from them.

Smokers Need To Be Extra Careful
Never smoke in bed or when you are sleepy. Carelessly discarded cigarettes are a leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.

Be Careful Cooking
Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of your pots turned inward so they do not over-hang the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off the burner.

Matches and Lighters are Dangerous
In the hands of a child, matches and lighters can be deadly! Store them where kids can’t reach them, preferably in a locked area. Teach children that matches and lighters are “tools” and should only be used by adults.

Use Electricity Safely
If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use the improper size fuse.

Cool a Burn
If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound under cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately!

Be Careful of Halogen Lights
If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas. Never leave them on when you leave your home or office.

Helpful Links:

Consumer Justice Foundation:
Firefighter Mesothelioma Resource Online: Mesothelioma or
Asbestos Awareness:
Insure Child Safety – At Home, On the Road, & At School:
Suicide Prevention – Suicide Prevention Network (1-800-273-8255 (TALK))
Find information on medications and medical devices that have serious complications – Drug Dangers
Home Hazards – An interactive resource that allows home owners to get a visual understanding of hazards in the house
Safety Checklist – a printer friendly home safety checklist. It goes over the easy to miss safety hazards in a home and leaves space to write down ideas on how to fix up the home

Emergency Siren

The City of Ely owns/maintains 3 outdoor warning sirens. The sirens are used to promote situational awareness by alerting citizens who are outdoors of conditions within or approaching the community that pose a hazard and prompt them to go indoors and seek further information. Upon hearing outdoor warning sirens it is important that all persons immediately refer to local broadcast media (radio, TV, etc.) for additional information!

Ely’s sirens can be set off remotely by Linn County EMA or from the Ely Fire Station by trained weather spotters. Two of these sirens have voice capability and you may hear a pre-recorded message.

We follow the Linn County Outdoor Public Notification System plan which uses the following guidelines for the outdoor warning sirens throughout the various jurisdictions of Linn County. We do this in an effort to minimize confusion in emergency situations.

Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service and/or
Tornado or funnel cloud reported by a trained spotter

Severe Thunderstorms
Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by the National Weather Service or report received from a trained spotter that includes: wind +70 mph or golf ball sized hail

Local Life-threatening Events
Non-weather emergencies (hazmat incident, terrorism, nuclear emergency, etc.) that pose a threat to those outdoors.

All Clear
There will be no “all clear” signal from outdoor warning sirens. Citizens are expected to be indoors and should monitor local media for additional information.

First Wednesday of each month at 8:45 a.m. If a severe weather watch or warning is in effect for Linn County prior to 8:45 a.m. on a scheduled test day, the sirens should not be tested that day. Outdoor warning siren tests will resume on the next scheduled monthly date.