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Safety Tips

The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Department is committed to fire education and prevention and making our Municipality a safer place to live and work. Services provided include fire code inspections, safety presentations, code enforcement and fire investigations.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness

Did you know that every year, more than 400 people in Northern America are killed from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings? Even worse, did you know that young children are at even greater risk, with a quarter of all calls to poison control centers being for children 19 and under?

There’s a reason they call carbon monoxide the “silent killer” – it’s colorless, odorless, tasteless and can’t be detected by humans without the help of an alarm or detector. As the weather gets colder and more people are using heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and other appliances that produce CO the dangers of CO in your home increase. A working CO alarm is the only way you can detect CO in your home.

Carbon Monoxide Tips:

1. Make sure there’s a working CO alarm on every level of your house and near every bedroom. Test them every month to make sure they’re working correctly and replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. If you need to turn on your vehicle to warm it up, make sure to take it out of the garage right away. Even if the door is open, don’t leave it sitting in the garage while the engine’s running.

3. Make sure to use generators and grills outside the home, away from any windows and doors.

4. Check the vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace outside your home to make sure they’re clear of any snow or other debris.

5. If the CO alarm sounds, leave the house immediately. Call 911 as soon as you and your family are outside the home. Stay outside until emergency personnel arrive.

  • Before setting up a campfire, be sure to check the Municipality's Fire Danger Rating and obtain a campfire permit.
  • If you have obtained a campfire permit, ensure that the fire is located at least 25 feet away from any structure and anything that can burn.
  • Clear away dry leaves and sticks, overhanging low branches and shrubs.
  • Avoid burning on windy, dry days. It is easier for open burning to spread out of control in these conditions.
  • Attend the campfire at all times. A campfire left alone for only a few minutes can grow into a damaging fire.
  • Watch children while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire
  • Keep the campfire small which is easier to control.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids.
  • Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to put out the fire. Make sure it is completely out before leaving the site.

  •  Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period time, turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags – away from your stovetop.
  • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid handy. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on the oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.

To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the fire service recommends the following cottage fire safety tips:

Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. 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.

  • Test smoke alarms at least monthly or each time you return to the cottage. Pack a new smoke alarm and extra smoke alarm batteries in case they need replacement.
  • Install and ensure carbon monoxide alarms in your cottage if it has a fuel-burning appliance.
  • Develop and practice a home fire escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your cottage’s emergency sign number, in case of emergency.
  • 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 Ministry of Natural Resources 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 on 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.
  • If you must smoke, do so outside. Keep a large can with water nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded. If you drink, do so responsibly. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are contributing factors in many fires and can lead to serious injuries.
  • Burn candles in sturdy candleholders that will not tip and are covered with a glass shade. When you go out, blow out!

  • Keep lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs away from anything that can burn, such as lamp shades, bedding, curtains, and clothing.
  • Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords.
  • Use extension cords for temporary wiring only. Consider having additional circuits or receptacles added by a qualified electrician.
  • Homes with young children should have tamper-resistant electrical receptacles.
  • Check electrical cords for damage such as fraying or nicks. A damaged cord can expose wires and result in a potential shock or fire hazard.
  • Call a qualified electrician or landlord if you have recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, discolored or warm wall outlets, flickering lights or a burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance.

Keep fire safety in mind during flooding situations

Flooding is a significant natural hazard in Ontario that can happen at any time. Heavy rains, rapid snowmelt, spring break-up and ice jams, wind-related storm surges across large lakes or the failure of dams can all cause floods.

Power outages can often occur in association with flooding conditions. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management offers the following fire safety tips if power outages occur during a flood:

  • To reduce fire risk, use flashlights, glow sticks, or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles.
  • If using candles, place them in a secure holder and cover with a glass chimney, away from children and pets.
  • Make sure electric stove elements and small appliances are OFF or unplugged to prevent fires from occurring when the electricity is restored.
  • Propane and charcoal barbecues are for outdoor use only. Do not bring them inside.
  • Make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Electrically-connected smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-ups.
  • Use only portable space heaters that have been designed for indoor use. Provide adequate ventilation and refuel the heater outside, when required.
  • Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home.

Electrical Safety

Electrical equipment impacted by flood water can be extremely dangerous.

For important information about electrical safety during floods, visit the Electrical Safety Authority’s website at:

Current Flooding Conditions For up-to-date information about flooding conditions, visit

  • Ensure woodstoves, fireplaces and fireplace inserts are installed by a qualified technician according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Have your heating system, vents and chimneys inspected and cleaned annually by a qualified service technician
  • Ensure all outside heating vents are not blocked
  • Allow ashes from your woodstove or fireplace to cool before emptying them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the container outside.
  • Always use a fire screen around the fireplace!

Many people rent homes or cottages as Short-term Accommodations within the MNBP. These rentals are not regulated like hotels and motels. Practice home safety in rentals just like you do at home. 

Make Sure:

  • Everyone knows the address of the rental
  • There are working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area and on every storey of the rental
  • Everyone knows two ways out of every room and out of the rental if there is an emergency
  • All doors and windows that lead outside can be easily opened
  • You choose an outside meeting place a safe distance from the rental where everyone can meet and be accounted for in the event of a fire

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