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Fire Prevention Program

Prepare for a Fire Emergency

Updated: Dec 10 18
 Created: Nov 08 18


The best way to protect everyone in your home from death or injury in a fire is to know what to do when you hear the sound of your smoke alarms.


Sit down with everyone in your home and talk about the best ways to get out quickly in the event of a fire.

  • Draw a floor plan of your home that shows two ways to get out of each room.
  • Post the plan on your refrigerator or where everyone can see it.
  • Agree on a meeting place outside the home - away from the building - where everyone can gather after escaping a fire. That way you can count heads and make sure that everyone is safe.


Most fatal home fires happen at night, so send everyone to his or her sleeping area and sound the smoke alarm.

  • Close off some exits and pretend that they are blocked by smoke or flame.
  • Make sure that everyone leaves the home and gathers at your meeting place.
  • Practise your plan by staging a home fire drill every six months.


  • Make sure that everyone in your home (including visitors) can hear and recognize the sound of your smoke alarms.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows to call 9-1-1 in the case of a fire.
  • If windows or doors have security bars, make sure that the bars have quick-release devices inside.
  • Make sure that the street number for your home is clearly visible from the road.
  • If there are infants, older adults, or individuals with specific needs in your home, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency.
  • Keep stairways and exits clear and free from clutter.


Holiday Fire Safety

Updated: Dec 10 18
 Created: Nov 08 18

12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety Returns to Prevent Yuletide Tragedies

'Tis the Season to be Careful as we approach peak holiday season, due to the increased risk of fire fatalities across Ontario. The Ontario Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council invites all Ontario residents to join in the '12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety'.

To help keep families safe over the holidays, the campaign features 12 updated life-saving tips, one for each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

Upwards of 300 fire departments participate in the province-wide effort, which this year adds to its public safety campaign a dramatic new YouTube video showing the right and the wrong way to equip your home for the holidays.

"While holiday fires can happen anywhere and anytime, it most often strikes when people are distracted by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Prevent fires this season by staying in the kitchen when cooking, avoid overloading circuits with extension cords and, if you use a space heater, keep it a safe distance from anything that can burn," says Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek, Ontario Fire Marshal and Chair of the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council.

Fire safety tips are available for download at The tips highlight the importance of working smoke alarms, the new provincial requirement to install Carbon Monoxide alarms in your home and encourage the use of flameless candles to help minimize the risk of fire during the holidays.

"What people don't realize, is the time you have to escape a burning home is dramatically less today than it was in the past, because of new materials in the home," says John Ward, a Home Fire Safety expert with Kidde Canada. "The newest smoke alarm technology is designed to give you that early warning and to ensure your device is always working when you need it."

BoB Gareau, the Fire Chief of the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department says "Escape time can be cut short even more during the holidays due to more items being placed in the home that could catch fire, like holiday decorations. It's also important to test your smoke alarms monthly to ensure they work, and to develop and practice a home escape plan with all family members. Be fire aware, and follow the 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety tips. They could save your life."

Updated: Nov 08 18
 Created: Nov 08 18

Day 1: Water fresh trees daily.  Keep the base of the trunk in water at all times. Keep your tree away from any ignition source such as the fireplace, heaters or candles.

Day 2: Check all lights before decorating.  Before you put up lights check the cords closely.  Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged.  Never plug more than 3 strings of lights together.  Never connect LED lights to conventional lights.  This is likely to wear out LED bulbs more rapidly and could pose a fire or electrical hazard.

Day 3: Make sure you have working smoke alarms.  It's the law to have working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas.  Test smoke alarms monthly and replace smoke alarms as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions.  Replace batteries once per year or choose models with 10-year sealed batteries that never need to be changed.

Day 4: Protect your family with carbon monoxide alarms. it’s the law in Ontario.  If your home has a fuel-burning appliance or an attached garage, you must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home.  For added protection, install one on every storey of your home according to manufacturer’s instructions, which also identify when CO alarms need to be replaced.

Day 5: Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely.  Develop and practise a home fire escape plan with everyone in your family as well as your guests over the holidays.  Once outside, stay outside and call 911 from a cell phone or neighbour’s house.  Determine who will be responsible for helping anyone who may need assistance.

Day 6: Use extension cords wisely.  Avoid overloading circuits with plugs and extension cords, as this can create overheating that could result in fire.  Never put cords under rugs.

Day 7: Give space heaters space.  Keep them at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations.

Day 8: Go flameless!  Avoid using real candles, opting instead for safer flameless candles.  If you use real candles remember to blow them out before leaving the room or going to bed.  Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets and anything that can burn.

Day 9: Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.  Matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children.  If you smoke, have only one lighter or book of matches and keep it with you at all times.

Day 10: Watch what you heat!  Always stay in the kitchen and pay attention to your cooking – especially if using oil or high temperatures.  If a pot catches fire, carefully slide a tight-fitting lid over the pot to smother the flames and then turn off the heat.

Day 11: Encourage smokers to smoke outside.  Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires.  Encourage smokers to smoke outside and use large, deep ashtrays that can't be knocked over. Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.

Day 12: There's more to responsible drinking than taking a cab home.  With all the festive cheer this time of year, keep a close eye on anyone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol.  Alcohol is often a common factor in many fatal fires.

Follow and share the campaign @safeathometips, and, @FMPFSC,

Team Up With KH&R Fire Department To Make Sure You and Your Family Stay Safe.

Updated: Nov 20 18
 Created: Nov 19 18


I'm BoB Gareau, the Fire Chief with the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department with a reminder that alcohol and fire are a dangerous mix.  If someone in your household cooks or smokes under the influence of alcohol you must be aware of the risks. Keep a watchful eye on drinkers and make sure you have working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Remember there's more to responsible drinking than calling a cab.

Carbon Monoxide

I'm Dwane Bielawski, the Deputy Fire Chief with the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department.  There may be an intruder lurking in your home from which no burglar alarm can protect you.  Carbon monoxide is invisible and odourless and it can kill you.  The fire service recommends that you have your chimney, furnace and gas fired appliances checked annually by professional technicians, and remember, only a carbon monoxide alarm can alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.

Christmas Tree

I'm Bob Hopper, Senior Fire Captain and Director of Training for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department with a few tips for a fire safe Christmas tree.  Buy a freshly cut tree and keep the stand full of water at all times.  Check all decorative lights before placing them on the tree and discard any frayed or damaged lights or cords.  Never place lit candles on or near the Christmas tree.  When large amounts of needles begin to fall off, it's time to get rid of the tree.


I'm Ken Shulist, Fire Captain for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department.  Careless cooking is the number one cause of home fires in Ontario. Most of these fires start because pots and pans are left unattended on the stove.  If you must leave the kitchen when you are cooking, turn off the stove.  While cooking, always keep a large lid nearby.  If a pot does catch fire, slide the lid over the pot, then turn off the stove.

Fireplace and Candles

I'm Delmar Gienow, Senior Fire Captain for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department.  There's nothing more appealing on a cold winter's night than a blazing fire place and the warm glow of candles, but open flame can be an invitation to disaster. Please treat fire with respect this holiday season.  Never leave your fireplace unattended and always use a fireplace screen.  Don't burn wrapping paper or ribbons in your fireplace. Make sure candles are in a secure holder and place them out of the reach of children.

Home Fire Escape Plans

I'm Rick Pecaskie, Senior Fire Captain for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department.  Many people who die in home fires are overcome by smoke while trying to escape.  Having a home fire escape plan is one of the best ways to ensure you and your loved ones get out safely.  Everyone in your home should know two ways out of all areas.  Assign an adult to help the very young and older adults.  Choose a safe meeting place outside, and call the fire department from the neighbour's.

Matches and Lighters

I'm Ken Shulist, Firefighter for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department. Matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children. Young children are naturally curious about fire, so adults must keep all fire starting materials out of the sight and reach of children. If you smoke, have only one lighter and keep it with you at all times.

Smoke Alarms

I'm Kerry Hartwig, Firefighter for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department.  If a fire starts in your home, early detection is vital to get you and your family out safely.  Install a smoke alarm on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas - it's the law!  Test your smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries once a year or buy the smoke alarms with the 10-year lifetime lithium batteries.  Working smoke alarms can give you the precious seconds you need to escape.


I'm Jim Jeffrey, Firefighter for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. If you know someone who smokes be sure to remind them of these safe smoking habits. Smokers should use large, deep ashtrays and never empty ashes into the garbage. Never smoke when tired or after drinking. If someone in your household smokes, make sure your home is well equipped with smoke alarms to alert you in case of fire.

Survive the Holidays

I'm Jim McClement, Firefighter for the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department.  I urge you to take a few minutes to protect yourself and your family.  Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are in good working order and change the batteries if necessary, then review your home fire escape plan.  All members of your household should know two ways out of every room.   Please make sure I don't have to visit your home in a professional capacity this holiday season. 

Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Nov 19 18


Check your home for hazards and eliminate them.  Most home fires are still caused by careless cooking, smoking and candle use.


Working smoke alarms are so important, it’s the law to have them on every storey of your home and outside sleeping areas.


Plan your escape with two ways out of every room, practise your plan and pick a meeting place in front of your home.

There is so much more you need to know to make sure your family stays safe.

Prevention is the best way to fight a fire!

Autumn Fire Safety

Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Nov 19 18

Autumn Leaves graphic

As summer turns to fall, it’s a good idea to refresh your memory on fall fire safety tips.  Some safety tips are the same regardless of the time of year, but many safety concerns are seasonal, particularly those that involve keeping your home warm.

Outside the Home

Never park your car or truck over a pile of leaves.  The heat from the vehicle's catalytic converter or exhaust system can ignite the leaves below.  The resulting fire could destroy your vehicle.

Flammable liquids should not be stored in inside the home or in an attached garage or shed.  This includes any unused fuel still in the fuel tank.  Store this equipment away from your home or drain excess fuel out of the tank before storing.  This simple safety precaution will help prevent accidental fires from escaping fuel vapors.

Remove fuel from lawn mowers before storing them for winter.


Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Nov 19 18

Graphic of tree with autumn leaves

Contact your utility company if trees or branches are not clear of power lines

Prune back trees, and rake up leaves and debris. If you live in an open area with a lot of natural vegetation, consider creating a defensible fire zone around your home.  Prune the bottom branches from trees and remove shrubs and trees within 20 feet of your home

Don’t store cardboard boxes, paper or other flammable materials in the backyard. These materials provide ready fuel for a fire and all it takes is one spark.

Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Nov 19 18

Graphic of house with smoking chimney

Heating your Home

Most Important!

Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work, and change the batteries.  It is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.  This covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented.

Have a useable fire extinguisher available.

Central Heating

Get your central heating system cleaned, inspected and serviced by a certified HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) contractor every year before using it.

If you have a gas heater, make sure that you have a sufficient quantity of fully functioning carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home.

Keep all flammable materials away from your furnace.  This includes, clothing, paint products, toxic materials, cardboard and more.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

Have heating appliances serviced and chimney flues examined for defects. 

Have fireplaces and fireplace dampers checked.

Fireplaces should be equipped with an appropriate screen or glass enclosure to prevent sparks from flying out.

Wood burning stoves should be examined and the flue and chimney checked for creosote buildup.  Creosote is a deposit from smoke that can build up in a chimney and can start a fire.

Use only seasoned woods, and avoid soft woods like Pine, etc.

Never use a flammable liquid to start a fireplace.

Never overload the hearth with wood or artificial logs, the resulting fire may be too large for the unit.

Put all ashes outdoors and away from the house in a metal container.

Space Heaters

Make sure that any space heaters are surrounded by at least three feet of empty space.

Never place clothing or any other objects on a space heater to dry.

Do not place space heaters near furniture or drapery.

Turn space heaters off when you leave the house or go to bed.

Avoid storing any combustible items near heaters.

Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Nov 19 18

In the home

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.  Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.  If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.  If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.  Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

Do not overload electrical outlets or use extension cords in the place of additional outlets.

Check electrical appliances regularly for wearing cords and plugs.  Do not leave electrical appliances plugged in if they do not need to be.

Lack of maintenance is the number one cause of dryer fires.  That is why it is critical to clean the lint filter before and after each use, and wipe away any lint that has accumulated around the drum.  Perform periodic checks to ensure that the air exhaust vent pipe is unobstructed (lint accumulation) and the outdoor vent flap opens readily.  Do not run the dryer without a lint filter.  You are encouraged to not leave the dryer running if you go out, in case it malfunctions.

Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Nov 19 18

Green candle in a jar


Extinguish candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.  Keep lit candles away from items that can catch fire

Place candles in sturdy, burn-resistant containers that won’t tip over and are big enough to collect dripping wax.

Don’t place lit candles near windows, where blinds or curtains may close or blow over them.

Don’t use candles in high traffic areas where children or pets could knock them over.

Never let candles burn out completely.  Extinguish them when they get to within two inches of the holder or decorative material.

Never leave children or pets alone in a room with lit candles.

Do not allow older children to light candles in their bedrooms.  A forgotten candle or an accident is all it takes to start a fire.

During power outages, exercise caution when using candles as a light source. Many destructive fires start when potential fire hazards go unnoticed in the dark.

Never use a candle for light when fuelling equipment such as a camp fuel heater or lantern.

Keep candle wicks short at all times.  Trim the wick to one-quarter inch (6.4 mm).

Be wary of buying novelty candles.  Avoid candles surrounded by flammable paint, paper, dried flowers, or breakable/meltable containers.

Extinguish taper and pillar candles when they burn to within two inches of the holder, and container candles before the last half-inch of wax begins to melt.

When buying or using novelty candles, try to determine if they pose a potential fire hazard (if they contain a combustible component for instance).  If they do, or if you suspect that they might, inform your local fire department.

Use extreme caution when carrying a lit candle, holding it well away from your clothes and any combustibles that may be along your path.

Fire Safety Tips

Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Nov 19 18

Stay in the kitchen while cooking, keep the stove area clear and keep a pot lid handy to “Put a Lid on It” if a fire starts in a pan.

Install carbon monoxide alarms near all sleeping areas.

In case of fire, get out and call 911 immediately.

Pull to the right and stop when you see emergency vehicle lights and hear sirens – every second counts.

Working smoke alarms will provide you with the early warning you will need to escape a fire.

Excessive drinking contributes to fatal fires – watch anyone in your home who drinks excessively and then smokes or cooks.

Blow out all candles before leaving the room or going to bed.  Use sturdy holders and keep candles up and away from children and pets.

Ensure cigarettes are stubbed out and empty only cold cigarette butts inthe trash.

Keep matches and lighters up out of sight and reach of children

Use power bars with built-in circuit breakers, never use damaged cords and keep heaters away from things that can burn.

BBQ Safety

Updated: Nov 19 18
 Created: Jan 01 70

  • Keep children and pets far away from a hot grill, and never leave them unsupervised in the area of an ignited barbecue.
  • Never use wood, charcoal briquettes, barbecue starter fluid or gasoline in conjunction with your propane or natural gas barbecue.
  • Barbecue must be in an open outdoor space due to ventilation and safety reasons. Keep the BBQ at least 3 metres from windows and doors.
  • Keep the barbecue away from wooden fences, wooden walls, combustible overhead roofs, and from trees with low branches.
  • Don’t allow an accumulation of grease to occur by keeping your grill and burners clean.
  • Never fight a grease fire with water.
  • Keep loose clothing away from a hot barbecue. If your clothing catches on fire, quickly Stop, Drop and Roll. Cover your face with your hands.
  • Use long handled tongs and brushes while grilling to separate you from the flames.
  • Wear oven mitts and a heavy apron to protect yourself from fire while grilling.
  • If you do burn yourself, run the affected area under cool water for five minutes. If your burn is serious, seek medical attention at once.