Fire Safety

Alarmed for Life (AFL) Summer Program 2021

Starting early June, our team will be handing out summer fire safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe. 

During this year's program, there will be no testing or installations of smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. In addition, there will be no entry even if requested by the homeowner/occupant.

If a homeowner or occupant has an issue or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (905) 688-5601 ext. 4224. This may result in crews going out at a later date to address any specific fire safety concerns.

Fire Chief Jeff McCormick Quote

Learn more about St. Catharines' top fire concerns and how you can stay safe below. 

Careless Smoking

Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires in Ontario.

If you or someone you know smokes, be aware of some fire prevention tips:

  • Never smoke in bed, or when tired.
  • Alcohol is a factor in many smoking related fires - never smoke after drinking.
  • Never extinguish cigarettes in plant pots.
  • Smoking outside is encouraged. If smoking inside, check behind chairs and cushions for cigarette butts before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every storey - learn more below about smoke alarms. 

Smoke alarms save lives

Countless fire deaths and injuries still occur every year in Ontario - most when people are sleeping. 

We know you've heard it time after time, but smoke alarms are your number one detector and protector while you're sleeping, providing life-saving moments for you and your loved ones to escape safely.

  • Don't wait - check the date! Most smoke alarms have an expiry of 10 years.
  • Test your smoke alarms regularly.
  • Install working smoke alarms on every storey and outside of all bedrooms or sleeping areas.
  • Don't forget the RV, camper or mobile home - it's the law! 

Fire investigations reveal that in many fatal fires, there were no smoke alarms installed or the batteries were removed from smoke alarms.

The Ontario Fire Code is available to reference online.

Unattended Cooking

Careless cooking is the number one cause of home fires in Ontario and top three in St. Catharines.

It is so easy to get distracted and step away from your stove, that is what makes unattended cooking so dangerous. Follow some easy prevention tips to stay safe:

  • Always be alert - being under the influence or very tired can impair judgement and increase chances of unattended cooking.
  • Keep anything combustible or that burns away from the stove (this includes oven mitts, paper towels, cooking utensils and dish cloths).
  • Keep a proper-fitting lid nearby - if a pot catches fire, carefully slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove (do not move the pot until completely cool). 
  • Loose-fitting clothes can also be a hazard - roll up your sleeves or wear short sleeves.

In an emergency, call 9-1-1

Electrical Safety

With more people working from home and using their electronics, electrical safety is another leading fire safety concern.

 Some fire prevention tips include:

  • Keep your laptop cool! Avoid it overheating by keeping it off flammable materials and paying attention.
  • Avoid running cords under rugs or items that can cause them damage. 
  • Never overload a circuit with multiple external outlets. 
  • Never link extension cords together - be sure to use one long enough for the job.
  • Air conditioners and other heavy appliances need to be plugged directly into an outlet. 

Carbon Monoxide Awareness 

"In Ontario, over 65% of all carbon monoxide deaths and injuries occur in homes."

After installing a Carbon Monoxide alarm:

  • Test CO alarms every month by pressing the test button
  • Replace batteries every year
  • Replace CO alarms according to manufacturer's instructions

What to do if the CO Alarm Sounds:

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life" before calling 9-1-1.

(Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, 2020)

Family-Friendly Activities

Family Home Escape Plan Exercise

Junior Chief Activity Booklet

Senior Chief Activity Booklet


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