How should I protect myself in case of a fire?

Learning about fire safety is the best way you can protect yourself. If you have a fire emergency get to a safe place and call 9-1-1.

Fire Prevention and Preparedness

There are some things you can do in advance so that you have a better chance of preventing or surviving a fire emergency.

One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from a serious fire is to install fire alarms and test them regularly. In Ontario, it is the law to have a working fire alarm on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Make sure to check the batteries often and replace them when necessary. A good habit is to change the batteries when you change your clocks in the spring and autumn. You should replace your fire alarms every 10 years.

You can also take these steps to protect yourself from a fire:

Make sure that your children understand what to do in a fire and that you have safety plans in place for any seniors and family members with disabilities.

If There is a Fire in Your Home

If there is a fire leave your home, stay outside and call 9-1-1 for help. If not all members of your family are comfortable speaking English, let them know they can still call and say "fire" and the language they speak in English and they will be connected with a translator (i.e. "Fire! Urdu" and they will be connected with a Urdu translator to help complete the call).

If you are caught in a fire:

  • Remember to stop, drop and roll if your clothes are on fire.
  • Crawl low under smoke. This makes it easier to breathe.
  • If you are able, close the doors of your home to contain the fire.
  • Do not use elevators to escape, use stairs instead.
  • Test door handles and feel the door before entering another room. If they are hot there may be a fire on the other side.
  • Signal to people outside for help if you are not able to leave your home. If you are in a high rise building, hang a sheet out your window or from your balcony to show emergency personnel where you are.

For More Information

  • Safety and Fire Prevention - Information about how to prevent home fires and the equipment that can protect you. From the City of Toronto.
  • Multilingual Resources on Fire Safety – Information sheets and resources from various municipalities on fire prevention and safety. From the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services.
  • No Time to Spare [video] – This video shows how quickly fire can spread and how to best prepare in case of a fire. From the Fire Marshal of Ontario.
  • How can I get help in an emergency? - An article outlining how to call 9-1-1 and what to do in a crisis situation. From Settlement.Org.
Last updated: October 15, 2018 4001333