Make your fire safety list and check it twice

Fri, 02 Dec 2016

Oakville Fire urges residents to reduce risks of house fires during the holidays

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be one of the most dangerous when it comes to fire safety.

Statistics from the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario show that careless cooking is the number one cause of fires in the province and the second leading cause of fatal fires. That is why the Oakville Fire department is urging people to take every precaution to stay safe as part of its annual holiday fire safety campaign.

 “The hustle and bustle of the holidays can dramatically increase your risk of having a fire,” said Fire Chief Brian Durdin. “All too often, these fires are started by unattended cooking and in many cases alcohol or smoking is involved.”

Residents are also reminded that it’s the law to have a working smoke alarm on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas.

“Over the holidays, I urge you to take time to test your smoke alarms, practice an escape plan and make sure everyone in your home knows exactly what to do in an emergency,” said Chief Durdin.

As part of the campaign, the Oakville Fire department is inviting hockey fans to Holiday Fire Safety Night with the Oakville Blades on December 16 at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex. The first 250 people in attendance will receive free winter gloves courtesy of Scotiabank and there will be prize draws between periods as the Blades take on the Georgetown Raiders. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.  For ticket information, visit the Oakville Blades website.

For a safe holiday celebration, add these tips to your list and check it twice: 

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking. If a pot catches fire, don’t try to move it. Cover the pot with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
  • Keep things that can burn such as cooking utensils and paper towels a safe distance from the stove as they can easily ignite.
  • Keep an eye on anyone drinking alcohol and make sure all cigarettes are properly extinguished and the stove is off before going to bed.
  • Check sofas and chairs for cigarettes that may have fallen between the cushions. Cigarettes can smoulder among upholstered items for hours before igniting. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers.
  • Drink responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption is a contributing factor in many home fires.
  • Install and maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas of the home. Smoke alarms are also required on every storey. Failure to comply with the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements can result in a ticket for $360 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for corporations.

For more tips, visit the holiday fire safety page.