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Enjoy a Fire-safe Holiday Season

Archived News Release

Enjoy a Fire-safe Holiday Season

Ontario Fire Marshal Offers Tips to Protect Your Family

Ministry of the Solicitor General

While the holiday season is a great time to cook and decorate with family and friends, it is also a time to pay extra attention to fire safety.

Here is a list of 10 fire prevention tips from the Ontario Fire Marshal's 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety campaign that will help keep you safe during the holidays:

  1. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  2. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially when using oil or cooking at high temperatures.
  3. Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke alarms should be on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.
  4. Check and throw away old and damaged lights before decorating.
  5. Keep the base of your Christmas tree in water at all times, and keep it away from fireplaces, heaters and candles.
  6. Keep candles away from children and pets and always remember to blow them out before leaving a room.
  7. Make sure everyone knows two ways out of your home and practise a home escape plan with everyone in your household.
  8. Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults or anyone else that may require assistance to escape.
  9. Check that all exits and escape routes are kept clear and easy to access at all times.
  10. In case of fire, call the fire department from outside the home, from a cellphone or neighbour's home.

Quick Facts

  • The top five causes of fires in December are from heating equipment, unattended cooking, electrical distribution equipment, cigarettes and appliances.
  • Last December, there were 60 injuries and eight fatalities related to home fires in the province.
  • Last year, there were either no smoke alarms or the alarms were not working in 35 per cent of preventable fires.

Additional Resources


“We can all do our part to ensure a fire-free holiday season by following a few simple tips, such as keeping Christmas trees away from ignition sources and putting out candles before leaving the house. Adopting simple precautions can protect you and your family and help you have a safe and happy Holiday Season.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“It’s a tragic reality that in many of Ontario’s fatal fires, the victims had working smoke alarms but did not have a home escape plan.For that early warning of fire, install smoke alarms. To ensure everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarms activate, develop a home escape plan and practise it with the entire family so that everyone can safely escape. Get out and stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.”

Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek

Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management

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