Fire Prevention 101: Protect yourself from tragedy

Even as incidents of fires are on the decline, on average eight Canadians lose their lives in fires every week, according to Fire Prevention Canada. The non-profit organization offers the following fire safety tips to help Canadians protect themselves and their families.

Tip 1: Prevent cooking accidents – Taking precautions to prevent cooking fires will significantly help in protecting your family and home. Cooking related fires are the leading cause of home fires in Canada, resulting in many deaths and hundreds of injuries each year. Don't leave cooking appliances unattended when in use and be very cautious when cooking with oil. All cooking fires are preventable, so remember to select the proper heat level for the food being prepared and keep your stovetop clean and clear at all times.

Tip 2: Prevent smoking accidents – Smoking is another significant source of home fires. In fact, Fire Prevention Canada reports that careless smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. If you are a smoker, take care to avoid falling asleep while smoking. Do not smoke in bed. Never smoke or allow someone to smoke in your home when they are impaired by medication, alcohol or drugs.

Tip 3: Check your smoke detectors – Working smoke detectors will alert you if there is smoke accumulating in your home, giving you crucial notification to escape if needed. Smoke alarms are the first line of defence against a deadly fire. Test battery-operated smoke detectors once a month, and replace the batteries twice a year – once when the clocks go forward, and again when they go back!

Develop a fire escape plan and practice it often to prepare yourself and your loved ones to react if a residential fire occurs. More information on fire prevention is available at