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.

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 Marshal or the National Fire Protection Association.