Fire Safety

The City of Brantford's Fire department provides fire and emergency services. If there is a live fire or this is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Safety tips

Follow these safety tips to prevent fires and injuries in your home.

Apartment safety

It is important to take fires and fire drills in your building seriously. You must act quickly and follow the correct evacuation steps.

In case of fire:

  1. Follow your building's evacuation plan.
  2. If you can, exit the building using the nearest exit stairwell.
  3. Don't use elevators.
  4. If there is a fire or heavy smoke outside your door, don't leave the apartment until you receive instructions from the authorities.
  5. Secure your vents and doors to prevent any smoke from entering. You can use wet towels to seal your doors.
  6. Call 9-1-1 if you think the fire has not been reported.
  7. Don't re-enter the building until a fire official tells you it is safe.

Around your house

Follow these everyday fire prevention tips:

  • Unplug any electrical appliances that are not in use.
  • Don't leave burning candles unattended.
  • Store flammable liquids like gasoline and paint in a shed or garage.
  • Never keep propane cylinders in your house.
  • Keep your furnace and heater clear of combustible items.
  • Use outdoor grills with caution, and never use them inside.
  • Don't leave cooking unattended.
  • Don't wear loose clothes while cooking.
  • While using your oven, be cautious of any smoke or fire.
  • Have your heating appliances inspected annually.

To keep safe in an emergency, make a fire escape plan for your house.

Barbecues on apartment balconies

If your apartment's rental agreement or by-law prohibits barbeques, you must follow these rules. If they are permitted use a service elevator to transport propane cylinders if available. In the absence of a service elevator, you should take the cylinder in an empty elevator car. Learn more about technical safety standards.

Candle safety

Burn candles responsibly and learn about candle safety concerns.

Follow our candle safety tips to prevent fires:

  • Don't leave burning candles unattended.
  • Don't burn candles on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Keep burning candles away from children and pets.
  • Trim candle wicks before burning them.
  • Place candles on stable, heat resistant surfaces before lighting them.

Children and fire

Never let your children play with fire. Teach your child about the dangers of fire.

Child safety tips:

  • Teach your children that fire is not a toy.
  • Tell them not to touch lighters or matches.
  • Teach them about your home escape plan.
  • Teach them to "stop, drop and roll”, if their clothing catches fire.
  • Keep burning candles, matches and lighters out of their reach.
  • Keep children away from stoves and other heating appliances.
  • Keep flammable liquids away from children.

Contact the Brantford Fire department to help your child learn more about fire safety.

Home escape planning

You should create a home escape plan for your house. Use our fire escape guide to create one today. Begin by marking all exit doors and windows. If you practice following the evacuation plan, you will know what to do during an actual fire emergency.

Fire extinguishers

Keep a portable fire extinguisher in your house. Only use if it is safe to do so and the fire department has been contacted.

How to use a fire extinguisher:

  1. Pull the pin first to unlock the operating lever.
  2. Aim low at the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the lever.
  4. Sweep the fire extinguisher from side to side.
  5. Continue until the fire is out.

Smoke alarms

Under the Ontario Fire Code, smoke alarms are required on every level of your home. If you live in a rental unit, please contact your landlord for smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are an easy way to detect fires in your house. Replace smoke alarms as directed by the manufacturer. If the smoke alarm has batteries, change them twice per year. Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they are working properly.

Seasonal fire safety

Spring fire safety:

  • Clear your basement of unneeded combustible materials.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Check all exposed electrical wires and fuse boxes. Have a qualified electrician replace any damaged wiring or electrical service equipment.
  • Check your barbeques propane cylinder and hose. Replace any damaged items.
  • Store any fuels in a garage or shed outside of your home.

Summer safety:

Fall safety:

  • Have your furnace and chimney inspected at least once a year by a qualified professional.
  • Remove all 'trash' from your home and always keep at least 3 feet clear around your furnace and hot water heater.
  • Make sure children's Halloween costumes are not flammable and kept away from open flames and heat.
  • Use flashlights when you go out for trick-or-treating.

Winter safety:

  • Place your Christmas tree on a stable platform, away from fireplaces.
  • Check your Christmas lights for any broken wires.
  • Christmas trees with a high-moisture content are less likely to catch fire. If you must use a real tree, make sure to water often.
  • Turn off all indoor Christmas lights when you go to sleep or leave the house.
  • Burn candles responsibly.
  • Don't leave space heaters unattended and keep them clear of combustible material.

Wood stoves

Follow these fire safety tips:

  • Buy only safety certified stoves.
  • Learn about the installation, care and safety before using the woodstove.
  • Install a proper chimney for your stove to the outside.

You should hire a professional technician to install your stove and chimney and to inspect them annually.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous gas. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it.

Beeping carbon monoxide alarm

Visual instructions of what to do when a carbon monoxide alarm is beeping.

Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1 - Map of instructions of what to do when a carbon monoxide alarm is beeping

Follow this guide to assess the situation when a carbon monoxide alarm is on.

Are people in the home showing signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

YES:

  • Leave the house immediately and go to a fresh air source
  • Phone Brantford Fire at 9-1-1
  • Do NOT re-enter the home until advised to do so by officials

NO:

  • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the home
  • Close all windows and doors
  • Reset the detector and if it sounds again, call the fire department
  • If the alarm does not sound a second time, check the common sources that may cause a carbon monoxide build-up
  • Call a qualified technician to inspect and repair the problem

What creates carbon monoxide?

The incomplete burning of fuels such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood

Visual instructions of what to do when a carbon monoxide alarm is beeping.

Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1 - Map of instructions of what to do when a carbon monoxide alarm is beeping

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

You may experience flu-like symptom such as headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, burning eyes, confusion and even loss of consciousness. In severe cases, it can cause brain damage and even death.

Older adults, children, people with heart or respiratory conditions and pets may be more susceptible to it, and feel the effects earlier than others.

Protect yourself from carbon monoxide

  • Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm in your home. If you only have one, it should be on the same level as your bedroom(s).
  • Replace carbon monoxide alarms as directed by the manufacturer. If the alarm has a battery, change them twice a year. Test carbon monoxide alarms once a month to ensure they are working properly.
  • Annually have a qualified technician inspect, maintain and clean all fuel-burning appliances, vent pipes and chimney flues.

After a fire

It is very important to return to your regular routine after a fire. This can take a long time, depending on the severity of your loss, injuries and damages.

After a fire, take the following steps to get started:

  • Visit a medical professional if you have any injuries.
  • Be aware that smoke inhalation can cause persistent cough, wheezing, vomiting, high, or breathing difficulty. Call or see a medical professional if you are concerned.
  • Call your insurance company about damages. Remember to make a list of all the damaged goods for an insurance claim.
  • Call your landlord or mortgage institution about damages.
  • Find community centres that provide shelter, food, childcare and counseling, if you need them.
  • Once it is safe to enter the house, collect personal items with help from the fire department.
  • Secure and lock your property.
  • Don't consume any food or beverages from the house, as it may contain soot or other contaminants.
  • Replace your damaged documents such as passports and birth certificates.
  • Seek any professional help that you need. The sooner you get your life back on track, the better.