Fire Safety

Facts about house fires

  • In Canada, 1 out of 100 preventable residential fires are fatal.
  • The #1 ignition source in all preventable house fires is cooking equipment that ignites clothing, oil or flammable liquids.
  • In fatal, preventable house fires, the #1 ignition source is smoking materials, such as cigarettes.
  • Fires are most likely to start in the kitchen, bedrooms and living room.
  • In fatal, preventable house fires, more than 1/3 of the homes didn’t have a working smoke detector.

Protect your home and family

Take these measures in order to protect your family and home from the leading causes of fire loss:

  • Prepare a fire escape plan for your family, outlining designated escape routes and a safe meeting place outside of your home.
  • Teach your family fire safety and practice your fire plan frequently.
  • Install smoke alarms and check them monthly to make sure they’re working. Remember to change the batteries yearly.
  • Never smoke in bed or in a place where you may fall asleep. Ensure all hot embers are in an ashtray and are extinguished before emptying it into the trash.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended and learn how to burn candles safely.
  • Have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen for small fires, and learn how to use it. If a grease fire occurs, remember to never use water as this will cause the hot grease to splatter, burning you or spreading the fire. Instead, smother it with a lid or another pan, then turn off the burner.
  • Keep portable fire escape ladders in all upstairs bedrooms.
  • Store matches and lighters in a safe place, up high and out of the reach of children.
  • Never run cords under rugs or heavy furniture.
  • Inspect your home for fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical circuits, light bulbs with greater wattages than a light fixture is rated for or combustible items (like newspapers, cardboard and rags). Keep any combustible items away from all portable space heaters, water heaters, furnaces or other heat sources.
  • Always store flammable liquids in an approved container designed to store the liquid and keep it in a locked, detached shed. Wipe up any spills immediately and never refuel motors near heat sources, sparks or cigarettes. Never use gasoline in your home or basement.
  • If you operate a wood-burning appliance or fireplace, become thoroughly familiar with its safe operation and maintenance, and learn how to burn wood safely.

If a fire happens:

  • Put your fire escape plan into action and evacuate all members of your family.
  • Contact your local fire department immediately, or dial 911.
  • When it is safe to do so, contact your broker to arrange for an adjuster to handle your claim.