It is your responsibility to keep your home and family safe from fire.

  • Prevent fires before they start
  • Maintain working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside every sleeping area
  • Plan and practice a home escape plan
  • Consider installing residential sprinklers when building a new home or doing major renovations

Fire Safety for Your Home or Business

Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

In the event of an emergency, working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can save your life.

Every home in Ontario is required to have a working smoke alarm on every storey, as well as outside of all sleeping areas, it is the law

Test your smoke alarms every month using the test button

Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year and whenever the low battery warning chirps

Carbon monoxide alarms are required to be installed close to all sleeping areas in dwellings with a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached storage garage

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms don't last forever, replace them as required by the manufacturer's instructions

Cooking safety

  • Keep your cooking space clean and free of anything that can burn
  • Don't store anything on the back of your stove
  • Reaching over hot burners and pots can cause burns
  • Roll up your sleeves or wear a short sleeved shirt
  • Keep pot lids close to the stove while you cook
  • If there is a small fire you can slide lids onto pots and turn off burners to put it out

Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher can help control many types of fires while you are waiting for the fire department to arrive

  • Always read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, not too close to the stove, and consider having one in the garage, workshop, basement, camper trailer, vacation home or boat if applicable
  • Check extinguishers monthly to ensure that they are holding the charge
  • If you are required to use a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym “P.A.S.S.”. Pull the needle, aim the hose, squeeze the nozzle and sweep from side to side at the base of the fire
  • Have extinguishers serviced annually by a qualified contractor

Home escape planning

  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Mark all windows and doors
  • Plan two ways out of every room, the primary escape should be the door and the secondary should be the window
  • Make sure all windows and doors can be opened easily
  • In a two-storey building, plan your escape through a window onto a roof or porch
  • If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it. Children should practice with an adult
  • Choose a meeting place for family members outside and mark it on the floor plan, a good meeting place would be a tree, a telephone pole or a neighbours house
  • Make sure everyone understands the planned escape routes
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with everybody in your home
  • Remember to practice with visitors and guests too

Heating safety

  • Keep anything that can burn at least one metre away from furnaces, baseboard heaters, woodstoves and fireplaces
  • Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms outside sleeping areas in your home;
  • Get regular maintenance on your heating equipment from a qualified professional
  • Turn off portable heaters every time you leave the room and when you go to bed
  • Put ashes into a metal bucket far from combustible materials to cool down, it can take three days for ashes to cool completely
  • Maintain chimneys to ensure there are no blockages

Candle safety

  • Always stay in the room when candles are burning, put out the flame every time you leave the room or go to bed
  • In a power outage use battery powered lanterns or battery powered candles to reduce the risk of fire
  • Keep candles away from anything that can burn such as furniture or curtains
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters away from pets and children
  • Keep candles in sturdy candleholders that won't tip or burn

Clearing fire hydrants

  • Keep fire hydrants visible and accessible
  • Keep grass and vegetation away from fire hydrants
  • In winter make sure there is one metre of clear space around fire hydrants and clear paths to reach fire hydrants

Seasonal tips

  • Residents should refrain from setting off fireworks or attending informal neighbourhood displays. Follow the Town fireworks by-law and all manufacturer's instructions when you do choose to use fireworks
  • Keep your barbeque clean and inspect hoses and burners, make any needed repairs and have it inspected by a licensed gas professional
  • Follow open air by-law regulations when you want to have a fire.

Fire Safety in Your Apartment Building

If there is a fire in your unit:

  • Tell everyone in the unit to leave, close all doors behind you
  • Pull the fire alarm on your floor and yell “fire”
  • Leave the building using the nearest stairway
  • Call 9-11 when it is safe to do so
  • Meet the firefighters and tell them where the fire is

If you decide to leave the building when you hear the fire alarm:

  • Feel the door of your unit before opening it. If it is hot, use another way out. If it is cool, leave the building immediately using the closest stairway
  • Close all doors behind you
  • Do not use the elevator
  • If you encounter smoke in the stairway, use another stairway, if this is not an option, return to your unit or seek shelter in another unit
  • If an announcement is made throughout the building, listen carefully and follow the directions;
  • Call 9-11 and let them know where you are

If you can't get out of your unit or you decide to stay in your unit:

  • Stay in your apartment until you are rescued or until you are told to leave. This may take a long time
  • Do not try to leave your apartment a long time after the alarm has sounded. The longer you wait, the more risk there is that heavy smoke will have spread into stairways and corridors
  • Keep smoke from entering your apartment. Use duct tape to seal cracks around the door and place wet towels at the bottom. Seal vents or air ducts the same way

If smoke enters your apartment:

  • Call 9-11 and tell them where you are and then move to the balcony. Close the doors behind you
  • If you don't have a balcony, go to the most smoke-free room, close the door and seal it with tape and towels. If necessary, open the window for fresh air. Show emergency personnel where you are by hanging a sheet from the window or balcony
  • Keep low to the floor where the air is cleaner
  • Listen for instructions from authorities

Flammable Liquids and Gasses

Always use certified or approved containers for storing flammable liquids and gases. It takes a very small amount of flammable liquid or gas to cause a fire or explosion and you may not even be able to see or smell anything.

Gasoline safety tips

Vapour from gasoline can catch on fire or explode very easily.

  • Store in small quantities (less than one gallon) in containers that have been approved by the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) or Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC)
  • Don't store gasoline in your home
  • Never carry gasoline in the trunk of your vehicle
  • Always fill lawnmowers, snow blowers, etc. in a well-ventilated area outside of your building and move away from where you filled up when you start the motor
  • Avoid spills, if you do spill gasoline wipe it up right away
  • Do not smoke when you use gasoline or other flammable liquids, and never use gasoline for cleaning purposes
  • Do not store gasoline where children will have easy access to it, if a child swallows gasoline call a Poison Centre or a doctor right away

Propane safety tips

  • A smell is added to propane so that you can smell it if there is a leak, it smells like rotten eggs or boiling cabbage
  • Store your propane tanks outside in a well-ventilated and secure location
  • Keep your head away from the valves on propane tanks because a sudden burst of propane liquid from the safety valve could result in serious injury or frostbite
  • Keep your tank painted a white, aluminum or another reflective colour to reflect sunlight which can cause the tank to heat up and increase in pressure
  • Ask propane suppliers to check for dents, damage, rust or leaks before refilling a tank
  • Check the date stamp on the collar of the tank to see when it was last approved, propane tanks must be inspected and re-qualified or replaced every 10 years in Canada