Fire Safety and Prevention

We are committed to providing fire safety and fire prevention information to residents in the Town of New Tecumseth.

If you discover a fire in your house, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Fire safety

There are many opportunities for a fire to start in your home. It is important to practice proper fire prevention in your house.

Home escape plan

Developing a home escape plan is very important in keeping you and your family safe in the event of a fire. Read more on why it's important to have a home escape plan. You can also view a fire safety sample plan for businesses and restaurants that outlines examples of:

  • Emergency procedures
  • Fire extinguishment
  • Control of fire hazards
  • Property owner's responsibilities
  • Fire separations
  • Cooking and exhaust
  • Emergency lighting

Kitchen fire safety

Cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires and injuries. Follow these safety tips to avoid kitchen fires:

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Clear all combustible items from your cooking area.
  • Never pour water or use a fire extinguisher on grease or a pan. This could cause the fire to spread. Instead, smother the fire by carefully sliding a lid over the pan using gloves.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent the flames from burning you.

Candle safety

Candles can be a fire hazard if you don't use them properly. Follow these candle safety tips to avoid fires:

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Keep candles away from combustible items.
  • Use sturdy, non-combustible candleholders that will not tip over.
  • Place candles out of the reach of your pets and children.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.

Fireworks

 Fireworks safety tips
If you do choose to have your own display, consider the following safety tips:
  • An adult should be responsible for setting the fireworks off. Fireworks and sparklers burn hot and can ignite clothing. Never give them to children.
  • Read and follow directions on label.
  • Keep water close by for extinguishment.
  • Set off fireworks in a clear, open area away from buildings, trees and dry grass.
  • Light one firework at a time.
  • Never light a firework in your hand.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework.
  • Dud fireworks should be left for 15-30 minutes and then soaked in water.
  • Keep onlookers at a safe distance and upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.
  • If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for 5-10 minutes and seek medical attention. 
 How to use fireworks safely

Fireworks have the potential to cause serious injury. Fire Rescue Services prefers that families visit a community fireworks presentation conducted by a professional firework display company. However, this year, with COVID-19 and the absence of community fireworks displays, if you are hosting your own backyard fireworks display, make sure you have the proper sized yard and that there are no buildings or trees nearby.

Only responsible adults should supervise and set off the fireworks. Children and those under 18 years old are not permitted to discharge fireworks.

Always follow the manufacturers label for the fireworks you purchase. This will include information on how far away the spectators need to be so that everyone can stay safe.

Take the time to prepare, protect and prevent: prepare for a safe display, protect all and prevent fireworks accidents. The following list of safety tips is for adults hosting their own backyard fireworks event.

Prepare
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s label directions.
  • Before fireworks and sparklers are used, they must be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer.
  • Discharge the fireworks a safe distance from combustible materials such as buildings and trees.
  • Before they are ignited, fireworks should be buried at least half their length into a bucket of sand if portable firing bases are not available. Plant the fireworks directly into the sand to make sure each piece is firmly supported and is aimed straight and away from the audience.
Protect
  • Light the fireworks at arm’s length, stand back and keep your face turned away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for 10 to 15 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • The adult igniting the fireworks must wear eye protection and avoid having any part of his or her body over the firework.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never discharge fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Never discharge fireworks indoors.
  • If someone suffers a burn, run cool water over it for a few minutes and consider further treatment.
Prevent
  • In order to prevent an accident or injury, sparklers should be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children playing. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing or other nearby combustible material.
  • Do not allow sparklers to be used indoors.
  • Children make a great audience, but they must never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling the fireworks while spectators watch the display from a safe distance.
  • One designated adult should ignite the fireworks.
  • Ignited fireworks must never be hand-held.
  • Light only one firework item at a time.
  • Always have water on hand – a garden hose and bucket of water – to soak fireworks after they have fired.
Fireworks and pet safety tips

During fireworks displays, pets can become scared and run away from homes and loud noises. Here are some simple safety tips to protect your pets:

  • Keep your pets secured inside your home during fireworks displays: Even dogs in fenced yards find ways to escape the scary sounds. If they must be outside during the festivities, please leash them and keep their pet license tag on.
  • Update your pet’s identification and microchips: Double check that the information connected with your pet’s licence and/or microchip is up to date.
  • Give pets a safe place to hide: Set up a comfortable room or crate in your house just for them.
  • Use ambient noise to mask the noise: A radio or TV playing comforting music works well.
  • Skip the celebration and stay home with them: Sometimes your presence makes all the difference.
  • Keep them busy: Treat toys, like Kongs, can help distract them during the display.
 Use and disposal of fireworks
No person shall discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off any family fireworks on any day or day during the year except on Victoria Day, Dominion Day (Canada Day), and the five calendar days immediately preceding and/or following each of these day as per the Town of New Tecumseth's Fireworks Bylaw. 
  • A person eighteen years of age or older may set off family fireworks on any land:
  • belonging to him; or
  • any other privately owned land where the owner thereof has given permission for the setting off of family fireworks. 
  • No person shall discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off any fireworks in such a place or in such a manner as might create danger or constitute a nuisance to any person or property, or to do, allow, or cause any unsafe act or omission at the time and place of display;
  • No person shall discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off any fireworks inside of or closer than 6 metres to any building, tent, trailer, camp or shelter or motor vehicle;
  • Notwithstanding the setting off of exhibition fireworks in accordance with provisions of this by-law, no person shall discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off any fireworks in, on or into any public place including, but not limited to, highways, streets, lanes, squares, parks, fields, playgrounds and school grounds;
  • No person under the age of eighteen years may discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off any family fireworks unless under the direct supervision and control of a person eighteen years of age or older; and
  • No person being the parent or guardian of any child under the age of eighteen years shall permit said child to discharge, fire, set off, or cause to be set off any fireworks except when such parent or guardian or some other responsible person of at least eighteen years of age is in direct supervision and control.

Remember, you are not allowed to set off fireworks in a Town park, street, a parking lot or any private property that is not your own.

If a fireworks concern occur before 8pm contact the Town By-law Department at 705-435-3900.

For hours after 8pm contact Nottawasaga OPP non-emergency line at 1-888-310-1122. 

 Sale of fireworks and firecrackers
 
  • No person shall sell or offer for sale any firecrackers within the territorial limits of the Town.
  • No person shall display, offer for sale, or sell family fireworks on any day or days during the year except on Victoria Day, Dominion Day, and the fifteen calendar days immediately preceding each of these days.
  • No person may sell, offer for sale, give or distribute family fireworks to any person under the age of eighteen years.
  • Notwithstanding subsection the above a person may sell paper caps, toy pistols, toy cannons, or toy guns wherein the explosive content of such devices is not in excess of twenty-five one-hundredths of a grain per cap.
  • No person may sell, offer for sale, give or distribute any exhibition fireworks to any person who is not a qualified supervisor.
  • Fireworks displayed in retail outlets shall be mock samples only, and not contain any explosive composition.
  • Where fireworks are offered for sale, they must be displayed in such a manner that they are not accessible as a self-serve item.
  • Where fireworks are offered for sale, they must not be located at or near a means of entrance or exit to any building or room.
  • The storage, sale and handling of fireworks shall be in accordance with the Ontario Fire Code, the Federal Explosives Act R.S., 1985, c. E-17, as amended, and Explosives Regulations C.R.C., c.599, as amended, and all other applicable legislation.

Fire Prevention

Our Fire Prevention and life safety team uses many tactics to educate the public on preventing fires.

Tenants and rental properties

If you are a tenant living in a rental property or a rental property owner, you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities with the Ontario Fire Code.

Owners must:

  • Be responsible for keeping the property fire-safe and in compliance with the Ontario Fire Code.
  • Install and maintain working smoke alarms in all units.
  • Provide tenants with smoke alarm instructions.
  • Check the smoke alarm when the tenant moves in and advise the tenant to test monthly and if required, change the batteries twice a year when you set your clocks forward or backward.

Tenants must:

  • Follow safe fire prevention practices and always be aware of potential fire hazards in the unit.
  • Notify the owner if the smoke alarm stops working or fix the smoke alarm immediately.
  • Practice fire-safe procedures.
  • Never intentionally disable a smoke alarm. Notify the owner if problems exist with your smoke alarm.

All buildings must adhere to the Ontario Fire Code and you are responsible for ensuring your home is compliant. Fire inspectors will ask to see your records of testing and maintenance. If you don't comply with the Fire Code, you may face significant fines.

Smoke detectors

It is the law to always keep working smoke detectors in your home. They are often your first line of defence against a fire. Alarms could be electrically wired or battery operated, depending on when your home was constructed. Minimize your risk by following these instructions:

  • Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
  • Test the alarm and change its batteries twice per year.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms have the Underwrites Laboratories of Canada (ULC) stamp of approval on the product.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing and cleaning the smoke alarm.
  • Replace all smoke alarms over 10-years-old.
  • Keep a family escape plan in case of fire in your home. Practice it and make sure your children understand what to do when hearing the alarm.

Carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, toxic gas that enters the body through the lungs while you are breathing. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to severe injury and even death.

Ontario's Fire Code states that carbon monoxide alarms are required near all sleeping areas and service rooms in homes. When setting up a carbon monoxide detector in your home:

  • Look for the CSA or ULC standards symbol when choosing a carbon monoxide detector
  • Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home
  • Keep household chemicals such as butane, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol and propane away from your carbon monoxide detector. These could lead to false alarms.
  • Test your unit once per month and change its batteries twice per year.

Further resources

For more information on fire safety and prevention, visit the Ontario Office of the Fire MarshalNational Fire Protection Association, Emergency Preparedness Week, Save the Beep Campaign.