Fire safety tips for newcomers

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Fire safety is important

Fire kills eight people each week in Canada. Around 73% are caused by home fires (Fire Prevention Canada). Common causes are cooking, home heating, electrical problems, smoking, candles and children playing with fire. Prevent this from happening. Know the tools for fire safety in your new home.

Ask your landlord about fire prevention tools if you live in an apartment. Go to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) if you are a homeowner. For example, you must have smoke alarms in every level of your house. It is the law in Canada. Carbon monoxide detectors are required in some areas. These warn you when there is a gas leak.

Know common home features in Manitoba. Look for the electricals, furnaces, heaters, and fireplaces. Know how they work.


Fire safety tips

Be prepared

  1. Teach your fire safety to your kids. Child-proof your home and tools. Use socket covers. Buy “child resistant” lighters. Make sure that kids can’t reach knobs of gas stoves or ovens.
  2. Know the Fire Safety Plan for your building. Look for the fire escapes and fire extinguishers in the building.
  3. Make an emergency plan. Do a fire drill with your family. Tell them where to go in case of fire. Decide where to meet outside of the house in case you get separated. Fire fighters suggest meeting at your mail box outside your house.
  4. Teach the “Stop, Drop, and Roll”. Tell them to do this if their clothes catch fire.

In an actual fire

  1. Get everybody out if you see flames, smell smoke or hear the alarm. Check if the front door handle is hot. Open it slowly and move out.
  2. “Get low and go.” The air near the floor is safer to breathe.
  3. Use the stairs, not the elevators. Stop at your meeting place outside the building or house. Check if your family members are complete.
  4. Call 911.
  5. When trapped inside the building or room: Seal the spaces around the door with blankets, sheets or towels. Prevent smoke from coming in. Call 911. Signal for help from the window.

Take extra care

  1. Blow out candles before leaving a room. Don’t leave them burning if you are about to sleep. Don’t put candles near curtains, windows, electrical wiring, or where children or pets can reach them. Use sturdy, fire-resistant containers that collect dripping wax.
  2. Do not plug in too many appliances. You can overload electrical outlets.
  3. Turn off heaters before leaving the room.
  4. Put up a barrier to keep children and pets away from fireplaces.
  5. Be careful when cooking with oil. Do not leave your stove on unattended.

Sources: CMAS Canada/Fire Prevention Canada brochure on Fire Safety and the Canada Safety Council website.

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Community Resources

Get fire safety pamphlets from the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner site or at Winnipeg 311 City Services.

Get a fire safety brochure in Arabic from the Windsor Fire and Safety Services. Other languages are also available. See the list on the left side of the page.

Go to the Canada Safety Council website. Get more tips on using extension cords, lights, plugs and other safety measures.

Get the home safety checklist for new renters or homeowners.

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