Fire Prevention Resources
Most fires are caused by human carelessness and are both predictable and preventable. The loss of lives and property can be significantly reduced by following some simple fire prevention measures.
Basic fire safety for everyone
- Working smoke alarms save lives. Ensure that the batteries in your smoke alarm are fresh and test the alarm often. More on smoke alarms below.
- Practice home fire drills regularly. Plan two escape routes from every room and make sure everyone knows how to get out safely.
- Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths. Never smoke or allow someone to smoke when they are under the influence of medication, alcohol or drugs.
- Cooking-related fires are the number one cause of home fires. Never leave cooking appliances unattended when in use.
- Keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach of children.
Working smoke alarms save lives
It's a sad fact but most fatal fires occur in the home at night while people are sleeping. However, you can increase your chances of surviving a fire. Working smoke alarms (also called smoke detectors) give early warning so you can get out quickly.
- Ensure you have smoke detectors on every floor, as well as every sleeping room.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years (at least) and tested monthly.
- Test each smoke alarm regularly.
- Refresh batteries in all smoke detectors when you change your clocks in the spring and fall.
Carbon monoxide, the invisible killer
Carbon monoxide (CO) is called the invisible killer because the gas cannot be seen or smelled. In the home, heating and cooking appliances can be sources of carbon monoxide, so can any device that burns fuel.
- CO alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- If the CO alarm sounds, make sure everyone in the home gets to fresh air right away. Call 911 from a fresh air location.
You can help avoid CO poisoning by following a few safety precautions:
- Don't idle (or warm up) your vehicle inside the garage, even if garage doors are open.
- During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
- A generator should only be used outdoors in a well-ventilated location away from windows, doors, and vent openings.
- Don't barbeque indoors, not even in a garage with the doors open.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in.
Keep anything that burns at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heaters.
Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection. Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over. Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
Fire safety information sheets
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides important information on a variety of fire and life safety topics.
- Download fire safety tip sheets covering topics such as cooking, candle safety, using wood and pellet stoves, escape planning, pet fire safety, and seasonal fire safety indoors and out.
- NFPA also has additional safety information for people with disabilities, newcomers and provides information sheets in additional languages.
- Children can learn about fire safety and have fun at the same time. Check out the home of Elmer the Safety Elephant for lots of great resources.
- Fire Prevention Week is held the second week of October.
Laws everyone should know
- It is against the law to burn grass, brush, tree parts or any other vegetation without a burning permit. As well, the landowner is responsible to notify the local fire department of the time and place for the proposed fire, and to have enough people and equipment on hand to control the fire.
- For information on burning permits, contact the Forest Service Office in your region: Wellington (854-7260), Charlottetown (Beach Grove Road 368-4800 and Upton Road 368-4700), or Southampton (961-7296).
- These regulations apply to burning sites outside towns and cities. Residents of towns and cities should contact their municipal office to ensure they follow their local bylaws on burning.
- The display, sale, and possession of fireworks is prohibited everywhere in Prince Edward Island at all times, except by special permit.
- Fireworks may be set off only by a person who is licensed through Natural Resources Canada and has a permit to hold and display fireworks.
- Contact the Fire Marshal's Office (below) for information about permits.
- The sale and use of flying lanterns is banned in Prince Edward Island under the Fire Prevention Act. This ban applies to any device in which a fuel cell is lit with an open flame in the base, heating the air to elevate the lantern into the sky.
- Flying lanterns are also known as sky lanterns, wish lanterns, Kongming or Chinese lanterns, fire balloons, and by other names.
Where can I get more information on fire prevention?
You can contact your local fire department.
The Provincial Fire Marshal and Deputy Fire Marshals can also present safety talks on fire and life safety issues to local groups or individuals, upon request.
Contact the Fire Marshal's Office
David Rossiter (Provincial Fire Marshal)
Robert Arsenault (Deputy Fire Marshal)
John Chisholm (Deputy Fire Marshal)
Bob Kenny (Building Safety Inspector)
Vicki Tse (Media Contact)