Make fire safety a holiday tradition

Press Release

With temperatures dropping and the holiday season upon us, ensure that festivities are both happy and safe by making fire safety a priority.

“While enjoying this festive time with friends, families and loved ones, keep fire safety in mind,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General.

“By following a few seasonal safety tips, we can help ensure our homes are fire free, and safely enjoy the holiday season.”

Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management offers simple tips to enjoy a fire-safe holiday season:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking. If you must leave, turn off the stove.
  • Blow out candles before leaving the room.
  • If you’re putting up a fresh Christmas tree, keep the base of the trunk in water at all times.
  • Inspect and throw away old and damaged lights before decorating.
  • Keep space heaters away from anything that can burn, including curtains and furniture.
  • Install and test smoke alarms on every floor and outside all sleeping areas of your home.
  • Don’t forget about carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. In Ontario, you must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home if you have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.
  • Make sure everyone knows two ways to get out of your home. Plan and practice a home fire escape plan with family members and holiday guests.
  • Designate a street light or mailbox outside as the meeting place where everyone can be accounted for. Never re-enter a burning building.

“Make fire safety a holiday tradition,” said Jon Pegg, Ontario’s Fire Marshal.

“Telling guests about your family’s home fire escape plan, testing your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and keeping doors and other exits clear of items like boots and shoes, are all key to enjoying the holiday season.”

One in three fire deaths (35 percent) occur during the months of November, December and January.

Historically, the top five causes of fires in December are from heating equipment, unattended cooking, electrical distribution equipment such as strings of lights, cigarettes and appliances.