Fire Prevention & Safety

On This Page: Fire extinguisher

Get Out & Stay Out - Plan Your Escape

Please click here to read this important message from the Office of the Fire Marshall & Emergency Management.

Ontario's New Carbon Monoxide Alarm Law and What It Means to You

For more information please click here and to watch the video "Ontario's New CO Alarm Law:  A Call to Action for Homeowners", please click on this link:

Fire Prevention Week

Clipart of calendarFire Prevention Week takes place the second week of October.  The Elizabethtown-Kitley Fire Department meets with students in elementary schools throughout the area in order to provide instruction on issues such as fire prevention, fire drills and general fire safety.

Fire Extinguishers

Some of the best prevention is preparedness. Here is some helpful information regarding Fire Extinguishers, including maintenance and usage. Used properly, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives.

Extinguishers Have Limits

  • The operator must know how to use the extinguisher. There is no time to read directions during an emergency.
  • The extinguisher must be within easy reach and in working order, fully charged.
  • The extinguisher must be kept near the exit, so the user has an escape route that will not be blocked by fire.
  • The extinguisher must match the type of fire you are fighting. Extinguishers that contain water are unsuitable for use on grease or electrical fires.Clipart of extinguisher
  • The extinguisher must be large enough to put out the fire. Most portable extinguishers discharge completely in as few as eight seconds.

Choosing Your Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are tested by independent testing laboratories. They will be labeled for the type of fire they are intended to extinguish.

Class of Fires

There are three basic classes of fires. All fire extinguishers are labeled using standard symbols for the classes of fires they can put out. A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire. A missing symbol tells you only that the extinguisher has not been tested for a given class of fire.

  • Class A
    • Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics.
  • Class B
    • Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer, and flammable gas.
  • Class C
    • Energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances.

Many household fire extinguishers are "multipurpose" A-B-C models, labeled for use on all three classes of fire. If you are ever faced with a Class A fire and don't have an extinguisher with an "A" symbol, don't hesitate to use one with the "B-C" symbol.

WARNING: It is very dangerous to use water or an extinguisher labeled only for Class A fires on a grease or electrical fire. The "C" in a rating indicates that you can use the unit on electrical fires.

Extinguisher Sizes

Portable extinguishers are also rated for the size of fire they can handle. Normally, an extinguisher that has a rating of 2-A:10-B:C on its label is recommended for each floor level. The larger the number, the larger the fire that the extinguisher can put out. Higher-rated models are often heavier. Make sure you can hold and operate the extinguisher before you buy.


Extinguishers should be installed in plain view, above the reach of small children, near an escape route and away from stoves and heating appliances. Ask your local fire department for advice on the best locations.

Extinguishers require routine care. Read your operator's manual and ask your dealer how your extinguisher should be inspected and serviced. Rechargeable models must be serviced after every use. Disposable fire extinguishers can be used only once, and must be replaced after use. Following manufacturer's instructions, check the pressure in your extinguishers once a month.

Remember the PASS-word

Clipart of extinguisherKeep your back to an exit and stand six to eight feet away from the fire. Follow the four-step PASS procedure. If the fire does not begin to go out immediately, leave the area at once.

P - PULL the pin: This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. Some extinguishers may have other seals or tamper indicators.

A - AIM low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the fire.

S - SQUEEZE the lever above the handle: This discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge. (Some extinguishers have a button instead of a lever.)

S - SWEEP from side to side: Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out. Watch the fire area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process.

Always be sure the fire department inspects the fire site, even if you think you've extinguished the fire. 

Fire Safety Tips

Plan Ahead

Prevention is the first and best line of defense against fire. Below you will find a collection of Fire Safety Tips that are designed to help provide you with the means to protect your home and your family. For more safety tips, visit the Safety Tips webpage by clicking here.

Know Your Civic Address

Image of 911In an emergency call 9-1-1. You will need to know your civic/municipal address = street name and property number (ex. 1457 Kilkenny Road or 45 Victoria Street). Is your civic number sign visible from both directions of travel? Is your sign hidden by vegetation/snow/decorations? Ensuring emergency personnel can find your house quickly may save a life!

We can't help you if we can't find you!

Escape Plan

No matter where you are, or what type of building you are in, if a fire occurs it's too late to start developing an escape plan. People need to know how to respond immediately in a variety of situations, and that takes education, planning and practice.

An adequate escape plan for a single family home includes:

  • Everyone in the household knowing two ways out of every room
  • Establishing an outdoor location in front of the house where everyone will meet upon exiting the home; and
  • A safe place from which to call 911
  • Consider writing a joint plan with your extended family and neighbours to establish several safe alternatives.
  • Know your civic address (house number and correct road name)

Smoke Detectors Clipart of extinguisher


$235 fine (total payable) under Part 1 (Certificates of offence) of the Provincial Offences Act;


  • a maximum $25,000 fine or up to one year in jail or both for individuals, and a maximum $50,000 fine for corporations, under Subsection 28.(3) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.

Test Your Smoke Alarm

TVO Kids wants you to Push the Button and test the smoke alarm in your home.  To see the poster, click here.

Change your clocks, change your batteries.

Perhaps we should think of smoke alarms as seatbelts for the home. If, despite observing fire safety rules and practices the unthinkable happens and a fire occurs, a working smoke alarm will greatly increase your chances of survival.

Most people would not entrust their children to a broken or faulty seatbelt. They must be encouraged to apply the same principle at home and test their smoke detectors for life. Install a new battery at least once a year and if the low battery warning beeps, replace the battery immediately.

We change our clocks each spring and fall and this would be a good time to change your smoke alarm batteries too! Clipart of battery

Smoke alarms electrically connected to your home’s AC power supply will not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-ups. Find out what type of alarms you have in your home and ensure you are protected by battery operated smoke alarms in the event of a power failure. Test all smoke alarms now. 

  • Install only approved smoke alarms and replace every 10 years.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and near sleeping areas. If you sleep with the bedroom door closed, consider installing one in each bedroom as well.
  • Because smoke rises, install smoke alarms on the ceiling. If that is not possible, install them as high on the wall as possible.
  • Avoid certain locations such as near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows or close to ceiling fans.
  • Test your smoke alarm monthly using the alarm test button. Following the owner’s manual, test your alarm annually using smoke from an incense stick or follow manufacturer’s instruction.
  • Change the batteries in the spring and fall when you change your clocks.
  • Dust can clog a smoke alarm so gently vacuum it with a soft bristle brush every six months.
  • Smoke alarms do wear out so if they are 10 years old or more, install new ones.

Safety Tips

To learn more about seasonal safety, fire safety and more visit the Safety Tips webpage by clicking here.  

Barn Fire Prevention

Barn fires can be tragic events for farmers, and the loss of livestock, buildings and equipment can be devastating in many ways. Approximately 40 per cent of all barn fires are caused by faulty electrical systems, which is one of the leading causes of barn fires. Regular inspections and maintenance are key to reducing the risk of a barn fire.

For more information about steps you can take to lessen the risk of a barn fire, please visit OMAFRA's website here.

Wildfires/Forest Fires

Every year wildfires destroy homes and threaten communities. You've invested a lot of money in your home, Picture of wildfireso invest just a little time to keep it safe from fire. Wildfires travel fast and can destroy your home in a matter of seconds.

Is Your Home Safe From Wildfires?

Ontario can have more than 1,200 wildfires in a given year. These fires can threaten communities and destroy homes and cottages. While those living in forested regions face a serious risk of wildfires, the following simple preventative measures limit the ignition potential of your home and reduce the risk of property loss, damage and injury.

Tip #1: Manage the vegetation around your home

Any kind of vegetation around your home or cottage is combustible and can aid a fire in spreading from the forest to your structures. Trees, shrubs, grass, your wood pile - even fallen leaves - can act as fuel to a wildfire. A good fuel free space gives firefighters a better chance to save your home from an advancing fire.

Priority Zone 1

The first 10 metres of space around your home needs to be your first priority. It is the most critical area to consider for fire prevention. Remove any shrubs, trees, fallen trees or dead branches in that space and use fire resistant plants for landscaping. Deciduous trees have low flammability rates while evergreens are much more combustible.

Keep your lawn well watered and the grass mowed short. This will help prevent a grass fire from spreading directly to the house.

Firewood should be stacked at least 10 metres away from the house and covered with a non-flammable cover. Sparks from a wildfire can land in the woodpile and a fire there will spread quickly to the house.

Remove all flammable material within five metres of any fuel tanks on your property. If a wildfire spread to the tank, it could explode and the area would be too dangerous for firefighters to stay.

Priority Zone 2

This priority zone extends from 10 to 30 metres. Prune trees to a height of one to two metres to inhibit the spread of fire up a tree. Reduce the number of evergreens and ensure that the tops of neighbouring trees do not touch.

Priority Zone 3

This zone extends from 30 to as far as 100 metres or more. If possible, reduce and manage potential fuel sources by removing trees, dead, woody dribs and thick shrubbery that might allow fire to climb up into the canopy and spread from tree top to tree top. The idea here is not to remove all combustible material but to thin the area so that fires will be of a low intensity and easier to extinguish.

Tip #2: Upgrade your home's building materials and construction techniques to lower its combustibility.

When you are building or remodeling, consider using materials such as steel, asphalt, tile and ULC treated shanks as they are ignition-resistant, and steep steel roofs do not collect leaves or tree needles. Sparks from wildfires landing on these types of roofs are less likely to start on fire.

Similarly, siding materials such as stucco, metal, brick, concrete and aluminum or steel offer superior ignition-resistance and log walls are thick enough to be fire-resistant for a period of time.

Large, single pane windows will not prevent radiant heat from a wildfire from igniting materials such as curtains inside the house. Double or triple glazed energy efficient glass provides insulation and reflects radiant heat. Also use non-flammable blinds inside your windows.

The eaves around your roof should be boxed in and screens should cover attic vent openings to keep sparks out of the attic. Embers can collect in open eaves and set the house on fire. Similarly, the underside of wood decks attached to the house should be enclosed. Dry grass or sparks and embers under the deck can set the house on fire.

Tip #3: Should a wildfire approach your property, damage can be limited if firefighters have easy access to your home.

If the access road to your home is not named or marked, post a sign with the name of the road in reflective letters where it can be easily seen in the dark. Similarly, post the house number in reflective numerals so it can be seen from the road.

If a fire truck can't get close enough to your house, firefighters may not be able to protect it. Keep your driveway as short and wide as possible to allow access for a fire truck.

If your driveway includes a bridge, build a bridge that is wide and strong enough to hold emergency vehicles such as fire trucks. Remove flammable vegetation from at least five metres on each side of the driveway. Flammable vegetation too close to the road will make it unsafe to travel during a wildfire.

While these tips may not prevent a wildfire from approaching your home or cottage, they will help increase the chance that your home will survive the threat of wildfire.

Things You Can Do To Protect Your Home from Wildfires

  1. Perform an assessment of your home and see what you need to do to reduce your risk.
  2. Move your firewood pile out of your home's defensible space.
  3. Clean your roof and gutters of leaves and pine needles (best done in October).
  4. Clear the view of your house number so it can be easily seen from the street/road.
  5. Put a hose (at least 30 metres long) on a rack and attach it to an outside faucet.
  6. Trim all tree branches if they overhang your house.
  7. Trim all tree branches from within 6 metres of your house.
  8. Remove trees closer than 3 metres along the driveway.
  9. Prune branches overhanging the driveway to have 4 metres overhead clearance.
  10. Maintain a green lawn for three metres around your home.
  11. If new homes are still being built in your area, talk to the developer and local zoning officials about building standards.
  12. Plan and discuss an escape plan with your family. Develop and practice a fire escape plan. Include your pets.
  13. Get involved with your community's disaster mitigation plans.
  14. Check your fire extinguishers. Are they still charged? Are they easy to get to in an emergency? Does everyone in the family know where they are and how to use them?
  15. Clear deadwood and dense flammable vegetation from your home's defensible space.
  16. Remove conifer shrubs from your home's defensible space especially if your home is in a high-risk area.
  17. Review your homeowner's insurance policy for adequate coverage. Consult your insurance agent about costs of rebuilding and repairs in your area.
  18. Talk to your children about not starting fires or playing with matches.
  19. If you have a burn barrel (incinerator) that you use for burning trash, STOP!
  20. Compost leaves in the fall - do not burn them.
  21. Do not burn your brush piles or grass in the spring. Chip or shred and use as mulch or take it to the dump.
  22. Always have a shovel on hand and hook up the garden hose BEFORE you start a fire.
  23. Never burn if the smoke and flames are blowing towards your home (or your neighbour's home).
  24. Be a FireSmart advocate (for more about the FireSmart program visit the Ontario Fire Marshal's website - the link is found at the bottom of this page).

Minimal Cost Actions ($10-$25 and a little time)

  1. Install highly visible house numbers (at least 10 cm tall) on your home
  2. Install big, highly visible house numbers (at least 10 cm tall) at the entrance of the driveway onto the street. Use non-flammable materials and posts.
  3. Install metal screens on attic, foundation and other openings of your home to prevent accumulation of leaves and needles.
  4. Hold a neighbourhood meeting to talk about fire safety. Invite your local fire chief. Have coffee and donuts for neighbours.
  5. Install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and the garage.
  6. Install a metal shield between your home and attached wood fence.
  7. Replace conifer and evergreen shrubs with low-flammable plants in your home's defensible space.
  8. Trim and prune conifer trees for 10 to 30 metres around your home.
  9. Purchase and use a weather alert radio. Many types of emergencies are announced through this service.
  10. Replace vinyl gutters and downspouts with non-flammable, metal gutters and downspouts.
  11. Install a spark arrester or heavy wire screen and mesh opening less that 5 mm on wood burning fireplaces and chimneys.

Moderate Cost Actions ($50-$250 and a little more work)

  1. Build a gravel turn around near your house big enough to allow a fire truck to turn around.
  2. Join your neighbours in having an additional access road into your neighbourhood. Share the costs.
  3. Treat flammable materials like wood roofs, decks, and siding with fire retardant material.
  4. Modify driveway gates to accommodate fire trucks. They should be at least three metres wide and set back at least 10 metres from the road. If locked, use a key box approved by your local fire department or a chain loop with a lock that can be cut in an emergency.
  5. Install an independent water supply for a sprinkler system with a non-electric (ex. gas) powered pump capable of running unattended for 24 hours.
  6. Replace wood or vinyl siding with non-flammable material.
  7. Replace single-pane glass windows and plastic skylights with tempered, double-pane glass.
  8. Box in eaves, fascias, and soffits with aluminum or steel materials with metal screens to prevent entry of sparks.
  9. Improve driveway culverts and bridges to accommodate the weight of a fire truck.
  10. Relocate propane tanks inside the defensible space but at least three metres from the house. Have non-flammable ground cover such as gravel around them for three metres.
  11. Have electric service lines to your house placed underground.
  12. Improve your driveway by straightening sharp curves and filling in sharp dips that would hinder a fire truck.
  13. Enclose decks to prevent accumulation of leaves, needles, and debris. Include a metal screen with a 5 mm mesh opening to prevent sparks from getting under the deck.
  14. Replace your roof with fire-resistant materials such as Class A shingles.
  15. Install a roof irrigation system to protect your home's roof.

For More Information

For more information on this topic, or on fire prevention in general, please visit the following websites.

Natural Resources Canada

Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario  

Contact Us

Fire Chief Jim Donovan
Administrative Assistant Barbara Brownell
Deputy Fire Chief A. Guilboard

Fire Department
6544 New Dublin Rd
RR 2 Addison, ON K0E 1A0




Stop By:
Station 1 at 44 Main St. Lyn

Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley, 6544 New Dublin Rd, RR 2  Addison, ON, K0E 1A0
Tel. 613-345-7480 or 1-800-492-3175, Fax. 613-345-7235, Email:
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

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