Seasonal Fire Safety
Seasonal fire safety
Make fire safety a priority whether at your home, your cottage or during a celebration. Always make sure there are working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms where you are staying and that you and your family know your fire escape plan. Here are a few tips to help stay fire safe during seasonal activities and occasions.
At the cottage
To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury while at the cottage, follow these fire safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms. It’s the law for all Ontario homes, cottages, cabins and seasonal homes to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your cottage if it has a fuel-burning appliance.
- Test smoke and CO alarms at least monthly or each time you return to the cottage. Pack new alarms and batteries when going to the cottage in case they need to be replaced.
- Develop and practice a cottage fire escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarms sound.
- Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your cottage’s emergency sign number.
- Clean barbecues before using them. Keep an eye on lit barbecues and ensure all combustibles, as well as children and pets, are kept well away from them. Fires can happen when barbecues are left unattended.
- Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.
- Remember to bring a flashlight with extra batteries.
- Check heating appliances and chimneys before using them.
- Check with your local fire department, municipality, or the forest fires page to determine whether open-air burning is permitted before having a campfire or burning brush. If open burning is allowed, fires should be built on bare soil or exposed rock. Remove leaves and twigs from around the fire to keep it from spreading. Always keep a bucket of water, sand or even a shovel close by and supervise the fire at all times.
- Smoke outside. Keep a large can with water nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded.
- Drink responsibly. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are contributing factors in many fires and can lead to serious injuries.
- Burn candles in sturdy candle holders that will not tip and are covered with a glass shade. When you go out, blow out!
Follow the tips below to make sure everyone stays safe while celebrating Halloween:
- Choose safer alternatives for lighting like battery-operated candles, flashlights, and glow sticks instead of candles in carved pumpkins and other Halloween decorations.
- Purchase labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant costumes including wigs and props. When making costumes, choose materials that won’t easily ignite, avoid billowing or long-trailing features.
- Keep dried flowers, cornstalks and other decorations away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations to ensure nothing blocks your escape routes in the event of a fire.
- If hosting a party for the “ghosts and goblins” in your home, be sure that everyone knows your home fire escape plan in the event of a fire, and a meeting place outside your home.
- If children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them ask the host about their home fire escape plan so they can plan to get out safely in an emergency.
- Make sure that children know to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothing does catch fire.This means stoping immediately, droping to the ground, covering your face with your hands, and rolling over and over to extinguish flames.
- Provide children with lightweight battery-operated flashlights or glowsticks to carry for lighting or as part of their costume.
- Extension cords are for temporary use only. Use the right one as there are special extension cords rated for outdoor use.
- Never overload electrical outlets with too many plugs – use an approved power bar.
- If you must use candles, never leave them unattended and keep them well away from children, pets, and anything that can burn.
- Teach children their home address and phone number and how to call 911 or their local emergency number in case of an emergency.