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November 10, 2004
Fire safety reminders
Toronto Fire Services expresses its deepest condolences to the relatives,
community and emergency services workers in the wake of yesterday's tragic
residential fire where a mother and seven children died in rural Ontario.

Seven out of ten fires in Canada occur at home. Protect your family and home
from fire with smoke alarms and by planning your escape. Toronto Fire Services
urges everyone to reduce fire danger in their home by exercising good fire
safety practices:

Install and maintain smoke alarms
· Smoke alarms warn you of a fire in time to let you escape.
· Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near each
sleeping area.
· Test smoke alarms regularly and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
· Replace weak or dead batteries immediately with new ones.
· Remember, if your smoke alarms are hardwired they will not function during a
power failure - install a backup battery-powered smoke alarm.

Plan and practice your escape
· Prepare and practice a fire escape plan with every member of your household.
· Look for two ways out of each room.
· Arrange an outside meeting place and a safe location to call 9-1-1.
· If you live in a multi-storey building, in the event of fire, don't use

Be careful when cooking
· Be alert when you cook, and keep children out of the way.
· Don't wear loose fitting clothing and be careful not to reach over hot
· Never leave cooking unattended.
· If a pot catches fire, cover it with a lid to smother the flames and turn off
the burner.
· Keep pot handles turned inward.

· Always stand candles in stable, non-tip candleholders before you light them.
· Keep candles away from combustible decorations and displays.
· Never leave candles burning unattended or within reach of pets or small
· Extinguish candles by wetting their wicks before you leave a room or before
going to sleep.

Smoking is hazardous
· Set up a designated smoking area outside with large, deep ashtrays, and soak
the butts with water before dumping them in the trash.
· Ask smokers to take it outside to reduce the risk of indoor fires and protect
people from being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.
· Smokers need watchers. Before going to sleep, check under and around sofa
cushions and upholstered furniture for smouldering cigarettes.

Space heaters need space
· Keep portable space heaters at least one metre (three feet) from anything
that can burn.
· Never leave heaters on when you leave the house or go to bed.
· Keep children well away from heaters.

Matches and lighters are for adults
· Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
· Teach children that matches and lighters are only for adults.

Use electricity safely
· If an appliance smokes or smells like it is burning, unplug it immediately
and have it repaired.
· Check all of your electrical cords and replace any that are cracked or
· Don't overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under rugs or
· Don't tamper with the fuse boxes or use fuses of improper size.

· Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney at least once a year.
· Always use a fire screen.
· Burn only materials appropriate for a fireplace.
· Never burn trash or paper - burning paper can fly out of your chimney.
· Put ashes in metal containers and never store them in your home.

Stop, drop and roll
· If your clothes catch fire, don't run.
· Stop where you are.
· Drop gently to the ground.
· Cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs.
· Roll over and over until to the flames are smothered.

Crawl low under smoke
· If you get caught in smoke, the cleanest air will be near the floor.
· Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit.

For more information about fire safety, visit:

Media contacts:
Captain Mike Strapko, Toronto Fire Services, 416-338-9319,
pager 416-334-5223
District Chief David Craig, Public Education, Toronto Fire Services, 416-338-



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