Most fatal house fires occur during the night, giving you little time to react. We encourage you to take preventative measures to keep you and your loved ones safe. This includes installing warning systems, such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Preventing fires at home

To prevent a fire and the spread of a fire, you should take the necessary home fire safety measures.

Smoke alarms

According to the Ontario Fire Code, all homes must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. To maintain your smoke alarms and ensure they are working, you should:

  • Test all smoke alarms monthly
  • Replace batteries annually
  • Replace alarms every 10 years

If you are over the age of 65 and live in your own home, consider learning more about our Seniors’ Smoke Alarm Program.

Smoke alarm systems

Many homes have smoke alarm systems that use an alarm monitoring service. Advantages of this type of service include:

  • Automatically transmitting alarms to a central monitoring station that will contact Milton Fire & Rescue Services
  • Savings on property fire insurance
  • Monitoring for carbon monoxide and combustible gas

Carbon Monoxide alarms

You must have at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home. You should test your CO alarm monthly to make sure it is working. Carbon Monoxide is considered a silent killer because it is odourless, colourless and tasteless and is very difficult to detect.

Carbon monoxide safety

If your CO alarm goes off, you should leave the building and contact Milton Fire & Rescue Services by calling 905-878-9251.

Protect yourself and your family from CO poisoning, by ensuring that:

  • All fuel burning appliances are inspected, cleaned and installed by a licensed professional
  • Your furnace has an adequate supply of fresh air
  • You never leave your car running in the garage
  • You have a few windows open at night to circulate fresh air

Watch our Carbon Monoxide awareness video to learn more about how to protect yourself from CO poisoning.

CO poisoning symptoms

CO poisoning symptoms are often confused with flu symptoms and include:

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Vomiting
At higher levels of concentration, CO poisoning can lead to unconsciousness or death. The most at-risk populations are young children and older adults.

Prepare a home escape plan

Fire can spread quickly through your home, leaving you with little time to respond and escape. Create a home escape plan so you can get out of your home quickly in the event of a fire. To make an escape plan, follow these steps:

  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Include all possible emergency exits
  • Include any important feature that could help you escape (i.e. windows, doors, nearby trees, porches, etc.)
  • Mark two escape routes from each room
  • Decide who will assist with young, elderly or physically challenged family members
  • Choose a meeting location outside

Once you’ve developed a plan, you need to:

  • Make sure everyone is familiar with the plan
  • Practice the escape plan

Display your house number

Having a visible address on your house is critical for emergency response. The House Numbering By-law requires all occupied residences to have a visible number displayed in front of the home. View the Town of Milton’s house numbering page for more information about numbering requirements and signs.

Get a home sprinkler system

Fire sprinklers protect your property, save lives and may reduce your insurance premiums. Purchase a home sprinkler to help extinguish fires before they get out of control. 

Schedule a home inspection

We will provide home fire safety inspections to make sure your home meets the requirements set out in the Ontario Fire Code. During the inspection, we will identify code violations and provide solutions to make sure you are prepared for a fire.

Responding to a fire in your home

Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are safe. If there is a fire in your home, you should:

  • Stay low because smoke rises, leaving air at floor level
  • Avoid opening doors or windows that indicate signs of heat or smoke
  • Stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches on fire
  • Avoid re-entering the building

Causes of fires

Common causes of house fires include:

  • Careless smoking
  • Improperly installed or improperly maintained wood stoves
  • Faulty wiring
  • Careless use of cooking equipment
  • Careless use of flammable liquids