The Town of Blind River's Fire department provides fire safety education resources on a range of topics to help keep you and your family safe. You can also learn more about fire safety at home with the Government of Ontario's online resources.

9-1-1 tips

Learn how to effectively communicate your emergency to an emergency response operator when calling 9-1-1. Boost understanding and response times for your specific emergency.

Barbecue safety

Learn about effective barbecue and propane safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable barbecuing experience.

Carbon monoxide alarms

Learn about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO), how you can keep you and your family safe from CO poisoning, and how to install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm.

Holiday fire safety

Discover handy fire safety tips when vacationing or taking a holiday at a cottage, cabin, seasonal home, or when camping.

Smoke alarms

Find out how you can protect you and your family from fatal fires in the homes with smoke alarms, including installation and maintenance, choosing the right alarm, landlord and tenant responsibilities, battery replacement and more.

Discarding cigarette butts and grass fires

Warmer weather in the summertime means an increased likelihood of grass fires occurring in open fields, wooded areas, and pathways covered with dead or dry vegetation. Fighting grass fires is particularly challenging for firefighters because there may be difficulties getting water to an area. Wind can also quickly and easily spread the fire to other areas and neighbouring structures.

Please pay attention to your surroundings and be cautious when properly discarding cigarette butts and matches into the garbage outside. Ensure that matches and lighters are always kept out of reach of children. Lighting a grass fire intentionally may result in a charge of arson.

Developing a home fire escape plan

It's important to develop a home escape plan to make sure you and your family safely evacuate your home in case of a fire.

Why do I need a home fire escape plan?

  • Homes today burn up to eight times faster than they did 50 years ago
  • Despite our best efforts, the Fire department may be unable to arrive in time to save you
  • You need to know how to react to a fire before it happens

Create your plan

Learn how to create a home fire escape plan. Ensure that you consider:

  • Testing your smoke alarms regularly. Smoke alarms should be installed on every storey and outside all sleeping areas
  • Discussing with everyone in your home how each person will get out in a fire
  • Practicing your home fire escape plan with everyone in the home
  • Knowing two ways out of each room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily
  • Determining who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults, those with disabilities, pets and anyone else who may need assistance
  • Having a meeting place outside at a location that is a safe distance from your home. In case of a fire, everyone should go directly to this meeting place to be accounted for
  • Closing doors behind you as you leave
  • Getting out and staying out. When the smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately and call 9-1-1 with a cell phone or a neighbour's phone. Never re-enter a burning building

Students and student accommodations

Learn about the many things to consider when finding and living in a new residence as a post-secondary student. When young people attend college or university, they will often be living away from home for the first time. This can be a concern for parents as they try to ensure their children will be safe when they are not living under the same roof.

Parents should discuss these basic fire safety rules and considerations with their kids before dropping them off at their new dwelling. You can also contact the post-secondary institution for tips on residence living and safety. Contact the area's local Fire department if you have concerns about your student's building compliance with the Ontario Fire Code.

Smoke alarms

It is the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. The law applies to single family, semi-detached, townhomes and apartments (including basement apartments), whether owner-occupied or rented. Rooming houses have specific regulations about smoke alarms or fire alarm systems. In addition to smoke alarms within each unit or suite, apartment buildings and student residences operated by the school may also have a building fire alarm system. Make sure that the landlord, administrator or superintendent identifies and explains the fire alarm and detection features in the building and unit.

If a fire does occur, it is critical that the dwelling have working smoke alarms to alert occupants as soon as possible.

  • The responsibility for smoke alarm installation and maintenance lies with the homeowner or landlord, however it is a good idea for parents to provide their child with a smoke alarm for his or her bedroom.
  • It is against the law for tenants to disable or tamper with a smoke alarm.
  • If a smoke alarm activates due to steam from the shower or cooking on the stove, oven or toaster, ask the landlord to move the alarm to a different location, or to install a smoke alarm with a pause feature.

Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms

The Ontario Building Code requires CO alarms in new buildings that contain a fuel-fired appliance. However, many existing buildings were constructed prior to this requirement and may not be equipped with CO alarms. If the building has a fuel-fired (natural gas, oil, propane or wood) appliance, a CO alarm should be installed. Check with the local Fire department to determine if there are any by-laws requiring CO alarms.

Electrical safety

Many buildings offering lodging to students are older homes that may not have upgraded wiring. Outlets on bathrooms or within one metre of the kitchen sink should be the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) type. Consider the number and location of electrical outlets in the room or apartment. There should be enough outlets so that appliances, such as lamps, computer equipment and stereos, can be operated without the use of extension cords. If extension cords can't be avoided, use multi-outlet power bars that are approved and provide surge protection and a circuit breaker. Make sure that electrical cords of any kind are not concealed under carpets or rugs where they can be easily damaged. Avoid overloaded circuits and octopus wiring.

Overloaded circuits and octopus wiring are dangerous electrical hazards that can be avoided. To prevent fires caused by electrical equipment:

  • Use an approved power bar with a circuit breaker and surge protector to plug in computer and stereo equipment
  • Avoid the use of extension cords as permanent wiring
  • Make sure electrical cords are not concealed under carpets or rugs where they can be easily damaged

Learn more about electrical hazards.

Fire separations

Students often find accommodation in older homes that have been converted to apartments or rooming houses. At the time of the conversion, a building permit should have been obtained to ensure that fire safety features, such as proper exits and fire separations between units, are provided. Ask the owner if the property complies with the Building Coder and Fire Code and to explain the safety features.

Exits

It's important to consider how people will escape from a room or apartment in an emergency. Every room or apartment requires adequate exits that will permit unobstructed escape from the building. Make sure to ask the landlord or superintendent to identify all the designated exits. All windows and doors should open fully and easily. Stairways and hallways must not be used for storage, as this can pose serious fire safety hazards. Furniture and other obstacles can physically block exits and may fill hallways or stairways with smoke if they catch fire. This must be strictly avoided.

Fire escape plans

In a fire emergency, everyone must know what to do and where to go. Large apartment buildings and student residence buildings require a fire safety plan which informs the occupants about emergency procedures. Ask the building administrator or superintendent to explain the procedures in the fire safety plan.


Smaller apartment buildings and houses that have been converted to apartments or lodging rooms may not have a fire safety plan, however it's a good idea to ensure there are two ways out of the unit. The alternate way out can be a window that can be safely exited in an emergency.

Encourage students to develop a fire escape plan, keeping in mind:

  • Knowing two ways out of every room, if possible. The first way out would be the door, while the alternate escape could be a window that can be exited safely. Make sure all designated escape routes are accessible and free of clutter
  • Leaving the building as quickly as possible. Once outside, don't re-enter the building for any reason
  • Calling 9-1-1 from outside the building using a cell phone or neighbour's phone

Security

Some property owners install bars on windows as a security measure. While this may seem appealing from a security point of view, it can prevent students from escaping in an emergency. Security bars on windows should be equipped with a quick-opening device on the inside so the bars can be removed quickly.

Cooking

Cooking is the number-one cause of home fires in Ontario. If the student's accommodation has cooking facilities, there are some basic fire safety rules they must follow to prevent cooking fires:

  • A stovetop fire can start in a flash, so stay in the kitchen when something is cooking on the stove
  • Keep all combustible items a safe distance away from the stove. This includes tea towels, wooden or plastic spoons and paper towels
  • Keep a pot lid near the stove to smother flames if a fire starts in a pot

Candles

The use of candles is becoming more and more popular, especially among young people. To prevent candle fires:

  • Use tea lights or votive candles in non-combustible containers, as they are generally a safer choice than tapers
  • Place the candles in a location where they can't be knocked over or come in contact with combustible items
  • Blow out all candles before leaving the room or going to bed

Smoking

Fires caused by smoking can be deadly. Even if they don't smoke themselves, students may have friends that do. To prevent smoking fires:

  • Encourage smokers to go outside
  • Keep large, dry ashtrays on hand that will reduce the risk of ashes and cigarette butts falling onto rugs or upholstery
  • Allow ashes to cool completely before disposing

Space heaters

The central heating systems in older accommodations is often supplemented with space heaters. To prevent heating fires:

  • Keep the space heater at least one metre away from anything that can burn, such as paper, bedding, furniture and curtains
  • Turn off the space heater before going out or going to bed

Social gatherings

Parties are as much a part of student life as attending classes. While most student parties are harmless fun, the consumption of alcohol combined with smoking or cooking can create a serious fire risk. To minimize the risk of fires during or after parties:

  • Avoid over-crowding. The more people attending the party, the easier it is to lose control of the situation
  • Encourager guests to smoke outside. Consider putting up "No smoking" signs that direct guests to an outside smoking area
  • Refrain from burning candles during parties. They can be easily knocked over or ignite nearby combustibles, unnoticed

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