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Everyday Fire Safety and Prevention Tips

Smoke alarms             

Test Your Smoke Alarms Monthly:

  • Press and hold the test button on the smoke alarm – the alarm should sound immediately.
  • If the smoke alarm does not have a test button, consider replacing it.
  • Test by drifting smoke from an extinguished candle under the alarm – alarm should sound within 20 seconds.
  • Fan smoke away to silence alarm.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years.

If The Alarm Does Not Sound…

Possible Causes Action
Battery is dead Replace the battery
No electricity Check the fuse box/breaker panel or call an electician
Smoke alarm dead Replace immediately

Clean Your Smoke Alarms Twice A Year:

  • Remove and wipe the cover with a damp cloth.
  • Gently vacuum the inside of the alarm.
  • Replace the cover and test the alarm to make sure it is working.

Escape Route 

At Work – Do You Know… If You Don’t Know, Find Out Now!

  • Your Fire Department Emergency number?
  • Your fire escape plan?
  • Your designated meeting place in the event of a fire?
  • Who is your floor fire emergency officer?
  • The location of the nearest fire extinguisher?
  • The location of the nearest fire alarm station?
  • The location of the nearest two exits?
  • Who needs assistance in the event of an emergency
  • Mobility-impaired? Have you informed your floor fire emergency officer?
  • Read your posted fire emergency instructions!
  • Report all fire hazards!
  • When the fire alarm sounds – notify the Fire Department

At Home – Develop and Practice A Fire Escape Plan

  • Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room.
  • Where possible, plan two exits – a main route and an alternate exit route from each room.
  • Make certain that everyone understands that if they hear the smoke alarm, or someone shouting “FIRE”, they should immediately evacuate the home.
  • Designate a meeting place outside your home in the event of fire.
  • If you live in an apartment building, develop your escape plan taking into account fire escape procedures provided by the building management.
  • Make sure your baby-sitter understands your fire escape plan.
  • Practice Your Escape Plan – Regular practice is essential so that every family member knows what to do.
  • If anyone in your home is unable to evacuate without assistance, assign someone to assist them.
  • Ensure that everyone in your home knows NOT TO RE-ENTER.
  • Call the Fire Department from a neighbour’s home.

Practice Fire Safety at Home 


  • Use a temperature-controlled electric skillet or deep-fryer for frying.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Use appropriate cooking appliances and keep clean.
  • Keep a pot cover nearby to “put a lid on it” in the event of a fire.
  • Avoid loose long sleeves when cooking.
  • Check kettles and toasters for damaged electrical cords and thermostats.
  • Use appliances that have an automatic shut-off.
  • Keep a timer handy to remind when oven and burners should be switched off.
  • If medications cause drowsiness -do not use cooking appliances.
  • For safety and insurance purposes wood stoves must be installed by a professional.

Living Room:

  • Always use a fire screen making sure it is the correct size for the fireplace opening.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or use extension cords in place of additional outlets.
  • Smokers should check furniture for fallen cigarettes or embers which can smolder undetected for several hours before bursting into flames.
  • Ensure careful use of smoking materials and extinguish in water before disposal.
  • Never leave cigarettes unattended in an ashtray.
  • Use safety ashtrays with a double rim and deep centre.
  • Keep matches, lighters and lit candles out of reach of children.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended. 


  • Install at least one smoke alarm outside each sleeping area. For extra protection install a smoke alarm in every bedroom.
  • Test smoke alarms at least monthly.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries every year.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Check electrical appliances regularly – electric blankets, heating pads, curling irons, radios, televisions, irons.
  • Bedrooms should be non-smoking areas.

Basement And Attic:

  • Remove all combustible and flammable materials from the basement and attic.
  • Store gasoline in well-ventilated areas – not in basements or confined areas.
  • Do not store propane indoors.
  • Use only approved containers to store and transport gasoline
  • Have a thorough yearly maintenance check carried out on all aspects of the furnace by a professional.
  • When replacing an old furnace consult a professional to determine the most safe, economical and efficient system for your home.
  • Chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year.

Garage And Workshop:

  • Flammable materials – thinners, gasoline, paints, industrial cleaners – should be stored neatly in approved containers and away from ignition sources.
  • Do not smoke or leave matches or lighters in the garage or workshop.
  • Install and be knowledgeable in the use of the appropriate fire extinguisher for the area.
  • Keep the area clean – remove garbage, paper products, oily rags and wood shavings regularly.