Website Feedback

Fire Safety and Prevention

COVID-19 Update: Programs and presentations have been put on hold. However, we are happy to offer virtual options for many of our programs. To find out more, please contact our Fire Prevention Division at 705-324-5731 extension 586 or fireprevention@kawarthalakes.ca.

Public education programs and presentations

There are many public education programs available for students, residents, organizations and groups in the City. You can contact Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service to request a presentation that will meet the needs of your audience.

Alarm assistance program

Is your home fire safe? We can help.

Join the Alarm Assistance Program to receive a free, on request home safety visit with fire prevention or firefighters from your neighbourhood fire station.

Who is this program for?

This program is offered to Kawartha Lakes residents over the age of 65 or residents with a disability that prevents them from maintaining their home's smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. This program is for people with no support network or agencies available to assist.

Arson prevention program for children

The Fire Service works with mental health partners to help youth and their families reduce the risks that come from playing with fire. Mental health professionals will assess the risk of continued unsafe behaviour and try to find out why your child is setting fires. The Fire Service will teach your family about fire safety. The program is free and available to children from two to 17 years of age.

 Community events

Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue may be available to attended and participate in community events such as barbeques and fundraisers. These events must be booked at least one month in advanced and be approved by the Fire Chief.

Please keep in mind that fire crews must always be ready to respond to emergencies so attendance or arrival time can't be guaranteed.

Contact us for more information or fill out a request form.

Our Fire & Emergency Services team is available to attend and participate in community events such as barbecues, fundraisers and picnics. Book in advance and keep in mind that fire crews must always be ready to respond to emergencies so attendance or arrival time can't be guaranteed.

Contact us for more information.

Our Fire & Emergency Services team is available to attend and participate in community events such as barbecues, fundraisers and picnics. Book in advance and keep in mind that fire crews must always be ready to respond to emergencies so attendance or arrival time can't be guaranteed.

Contact us for more information

Day care and camp programs and presentations

We offer fire safety presentations for daycare centres, after-school programs, children's camps and Montessori schools. We introduce children to the basics of fire safety, firefighters and community helpers. They learn what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if they hear one. For students to get the most out of the visit, the minimum age for this program is 4 years old.

We encourage camp organizers to book well in advance. 

Please keep in mind that fire crews must always be ready to respond to emergencies so attendance or arrival time can't be guaranteed.

Contact us for more information or fill out a request form.

Door-to-door smoke alarm program

Firefighters go door to door to make sure homes have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. We talk about fire safety information and make sure you have a fire escape plan for your home. Participation in the program is voluntary. You can contact the Fire Service to request a home visit.

 Elementary School Programs

Kawartha Lakes is proud to offer a fire and life safety programs for students in elementary schools. These interactive presentations encourage effective learning and "edu-tainment." Children are provided with the information and skills they need to make smarter choices about their personal safety.

Contact us for more information or fill out a request form.

Each grade has a different program organized by our Fire Prevention Public Educator. Our program includes the following grade levels:

Learn Not to Burn Kindergarten

Our fire safety program teaches kindergarten students that firefighters are community helpers and to get out said and stay outside when they hear the smoke alarm. Learning points and activities include:

  • Firefighters are community helpers
  • Gear firefighters wear
  • What is 9-1-1
  • Lighters and matches are for grown ups
  • The sound smoke alarms make
  • Smoke is poision
  • Never hide in a fire
  • Fire truck tour (upon request)

The full Learn Not to Burn program is available free on the Sparky School House website.

Learn Not to Burn Grade 1-2

Our fire safety program teaches grade one and two students what to do when the smoke alarm sounds and where smoke alarms should be located. Learning points and activities include:

  • Review of 9-1-1 and remembering a home address
  • Smoke alarms - and how many, why are needed and where to put them
  • Get low and go
  • Stop, drop and roll
  • Fire truck tour (upon request)

The full Learn Not to Burn program is available free on the Sparky School House website.

 Home Hazards  Grade 3 – 4 

Our fire safety program teaches grade three and four students how to keep their home safe from fires. Learning points and activities include:

  • What is a hazard
  • Carbon monoxide, what is it and where does it come from
  • The fire triangle
  • Home fire prevention
  • Making smart choices and preventing injuries
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Home escape planning

Fire is Fast Grade 5 – 6 

Fire is getting faster, because of synthetic materials, furniture, and construction, fire spreads faster than ever before. Learning points and activities include:

  • The fire triangle
  • Top causes of home fires
  • Furniture fire comparison video
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements
  • Home escape planning
  • Consequences of fire play
 Whats' Cooking for Pre-Teens Grade 7-8
 Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires in Ontario. Learning points and activities include:
  • Kitchen/cooking fire safety
  • No Time to Spare video, recreation of a fire highlighting the importance of smoke alarms and escape planning
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements
  • Home escape planning
 Close Before you Doze Grade 7-8

Make a 900° difference, research proves a closed door can mean the difference between 1,000 degress and 100 degrees in the event of a fire. Learning points and activities include:

  • The difference having a closed door can make
  • Close before you doze video
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements
  • Home escape planning

visit the close your door webpage for more information.

 Fire Extinguisher Training

Fire and Emergency Services runs hands-on fire extinguisher training sessions for adults. Programs are for groups of 10 or more people and run between April 1 and October 31. Training sessions include a 20-minute indoor presentation and 20 minutes of outdoor training including putting out a live fire.

Organizers must provide a good outdoor location with water hook up, at least one fire extinguisher for every two people and an indoor area for the presentation part of the training. Contact us for more details or fill in our request form to arrange a presentation.

Fire and Emergency Services runs hands-on fire extinguisher training sessions for adults. Programs are for groups of 10 or more people and run between April 1 and October 31. Training sessions include a 20-minute indoor presentation and 20 minutes of outdoor training including putting out a live fire.

Organizers must provide a good outdoor location with water hook up, at least one fire extinguisher for every two people and an indoor area for the presentation part of the training. Contact us for more details or fill in our request form to arrange a presentation.

Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service offers hands-on fire extinguisher training for high school students, adults, and workplace groups. Programs are for 10 or more persons. Training may be conducted at your location or at your local fire station.

Our training goal is to educate participants on the use and understanding of portable fire extinguishers with respect to personal and fire safety. The intent of this training program is to raise participant awareness and does not result in any form of certification or accreditation.

Free for education purposes (students, adult and older adult groups.) 

Training for staff $80.00 plus HST (2 hour minimum.)

Contact us for more information or fill out a request form.

Option 1: BullEx™ Propane Fire Simulator

The BullEx™ Propane Fire Simulator uses clean-burning propane gas to generate flame output with no cleanup needed. A rechargeable water extinguisher eliminates the need to clean up dry-chemical after a training session.

  • The use of portable fire extinguishers is to be conducted outside between April 1 and October 31 (weather dependent)
  • Outdoor space clear of combustibles must be provided
  • A competent water source with garden type hose is required at the training location
  • Indoor facilities may be required for in class training and require access to electrical outlet(s), table and a screen/clear wall space (for display presentation)

Option 2: NEW Bullseye™ Digital Fire Simulation Panel

The BullsEye™ Laser-Driven Fire Extinguisher Training System allows you to train safely in any setting. Utilize LED-driven digital flames and a laser training extinguisher to provide a dynamic and realistic simulation for trainees while eliminating the hazards associated with conventional fire extinguisher training.

  • Training prop can be used year round indoors.
  • Indoor facilities required for in class training and require access to electrical outlet(s), table and a screen/clear wall space (for display presentation)

In the summer of 2021, the Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service received a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada for $27,340.35 to go towards the Bullseye™ Digital Fire Simulation Panel.

Fire Prevention Week

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

visit our Fire Prevention Week webpage for events happening within the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Fire station tour

Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue has 19 fire stations located within the city.

Visitors learn about the different types of vehicles, what they do and what kinds of equipment they carry. Firefighters also show and talk about their protective fire gear.

There is a maximum of 30 people per tour. To book a tour, please complete the Community Relations and Education Request Form.

Adults must remain with the children at all times and are responsible for their supervision. We ask that you notify us in advance of any information concerning your group or individual group members that may affect the fire department interaction you are requesting. For the safety of your group, you are required to follow all directions given by on-duty Fire Department personnel at all times.

Please keep in mind that fire crews are in service and must always be ready to respond to emergencies. Should a fire or related emergency occur the tour will end.

 Hospital and long-term care facility staff presentations

We offer free presentations for hospital and long-term care staff. Presentation topics for this program include:

  • Emergency procedures to follow when there's a fire
  • What to do if you find a fire
  • Workplace fire alarm systems
  • Responsibilities of staff when there's an emergency
  • Evacuation techniques and procedures
  • When and how to use a fire extinguisher
  • How to spot and get rid of fire and life safety hazards in your workplace

Fire extinguisher training may be included as an additional cost.

Contact us for more information or fill out a request form.

Residential Apartment Building Presentation

There are free fire safety presentations in Kawartha Lakes for residents living in multi-residential buildings. You must have a group of 10 or more people to book a presentation, and a computer and projector are required. Safety topics include:

  • Importance of escape planning
  • What to do if you find a fire
  • What to do when you hear a fire alarm in your building
  • When and how to use a fire extinguisher
  • What to do if you see smoke in the hallway or stairwell
  • Deciding to go or stay
  • How to protect yourself when you decide to stay in your apartment
  • Importance of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • How to prevent fire hazards in your apartment

Contact us for more information or fill out a request form.

 Seniors Fire Safety

Our senior safety presentations include:

  • Preventing the Leading Causes of Home Fires
  • Smoke alarm requirements
  • Carbon monoxide alarm requirements
  • Home fire escaping / Planning around your needs
  • Fall prevention
  • Fire extinguisher training can be provided upon request

Contact us for more information or fill out a request form.

Fire safety information

Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can save your life in an emergency. All residential dwellings must have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

There are many ways you can improve fire safety including:

Cooking safely

  • Keep your cooking space clean and free of anything that can burn;
  • Don't store anything on the back of your stove;
  • Reaching over hot burners and pots can cause burns;
  • Roll up your sleeves or wear a short sleeved shirt;
  • Keep pot lids close to the stove while you cook;
  • If there is a small fire you can slide lid onto the pot or pan and turn off burners to put it out.
  • In the summer of 2019, the Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service has received a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada for $8,972.20 to go towards a Fire Hazard Kitchen Simulator. The Kitchen Simulator is a tool that Fire Prevention Inspectors use to promote kitchen safety during public education initiatives throughout the municipality.

Heating your home safely

  • Keep anything that can burn at least one metre away from furnaces, baseboard heaters, woodstoves and fireplaces;
  • Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms outside sleeping areas in your home;
  • Get regular maintenance on your heating equipment from a qualified professional;
  • Turn off portable heaters every time you leave the room and when you go to bed;
  • Put ashes into a metal bucked far from combustible materials to cool down;
  • It can take three days for ashes to cool completely;
  • Maintain chimneys to make sure there are no blockages.

Home escape planning

  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Mark all windows and doors
  • Plan two ways out of every room, the primary escape should be the door and the secondary should be the window
  • Make sure all windows and doors can be opened easily
  • In a two-storey building, plan your escape through a window onto a roof or porch
  • If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it. Children should practice with an adult
  • Choose a meeting place for family members outside and mark it on the floor plan, a good meeting place would be a tree, a telephone pole or a neighbours house
  • Make sure everyone understands the planned escape routes
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with everybody in your home
  • Remember to practice with visitors and guests too
  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Mark all windows and doors
  • Plan two ways out of every room, the primary escape should be the door and the secondary should be the window
  • Make sure all windows and doors can be opened easily
  • In a two-storey building, plan your escape through a window onto a roof or porch
  • If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it. Children should practice with an adult
  • Choose a meeting place for family members outside and mark it on the floor plan, a good meeting place would be a tree, a telephone pole or a neighbours house
  • Make sure everyone understands the planned escape routes
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with everybody in your home
  • Remember to practice with visitors and guests too
  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Mark all windows and doors
  • Plan two ways out of every room, the primary escape should be the door and the secondary should be the window
  • Make sure all windows and doors can be opened easily
  • In a two-storey building, plan your escape through a window onto a roof or porch
  • If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it. Children should practice with an adult
  • Choose a meeting place for family members outside and mark it on the floor plan, a good meeting place would be a tree, a telephone pole or a neighbours house
  • Make sure everyone understands the planned escape routes
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with everybody in your home
  • Remember to practice with visitors and guests too
  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Mark all windows and doors
  • Plan two ways out of every room, the primary escape should be the door and the secondary should be the window
  • Make sure all windows and doors can be opened easily
  • In a two-storey building, plan your escape through a window onto a roof or porch
  • If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it. Children should practice with an adult
  • Choose a meeting place for family members outside and mark it on the floor plan, a good meeting place would be a tree, a telephone pole or a neighbours house
  • Make sure everyone understands the planned escape routes
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with everybody in your home
  • Remember to practice with visitors and guests too
  • Draw a floor plan of your home
  • Mark all windows and doors
  • Plan two ways out of every room, the primary escape should be the door and the secondary could be an alternate door or a window
  • Make sure all windows and doors can be opened easily
  • In a two-storey building, plan your escape through a window onto a roof or porch
  • If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it. Children should practice with an adult
  • Choose a meeting place for family members outside and mark it on the floor plan, a good meeting place would be a tree, a telephone pole or a neighbours house
  • Make sure everyone understands the planned escape routes
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with everybody in your home
  • Remember to practice with visitors and guests too

Using candles safely

  • Always stay in the room when candles are burning, put out the flame every time you leave the room or go to bed;
  • In a power outage use battery powered lanterns or battery powered candles to reduce the risk of fire;
  • Keep candles away from anything that can burn such as furniture or curtains;
  • Keep candles away from pets;
  • Keep candles in sturdy candle holders that won't tip or burn.

Clearing fire hydrants

  • Keep fire hydrants visible and accessible;
  • Keep grass and vegetation away from fire hydrants;
  • In winter make sure there is one metre of clear space around fire hydrants and clear paths to reach fire hydrants.

Seasonal tips

  • Make sure cottages, boats with sleeping areas, trailers and recreational vehicles have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms;
  • Follow the city fire works by-law and all manufacturer's directions when you use fireworks;
  • Keep your barbeque clean and inspect hoses and burners, make any needed repairs and have it inspected by a licensed gas professional;
  • Follow open air by-law regulations when you have a fire.

Fire safety in your apartment building

 Learn what to do if a fire happens in your building. This is the best way to protect yourself and those around you.

 Fire safety begins with you
  • Talk to your landlord, superintendent or building manager
  • Know the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan
  • Create a home escape plan and practice it with everyone in your home
  • Every fire is different. You must act quickly when you hear the alarm or discover a fire
  • Remember, most people die from the smoke, not the fire. Here is what to do:
 If there is a fire in your unit

If there is a fire in your suite, it is not safe to stay inside! Stay away from poisonous smoke!

  • Everyone evacuate immediately
  • Close, but don’t lock, all doors behind you
  • Pull the red fire alarm pull station next to the stairwell on your floor and yell “fire”
  • Leave the building using the nearest exit stairway
  • Do not use the elevator
  • Never go to the roof, smoke rises! Doors to the roof are locked and you could become trapped
  • Call the fire department at 9-1-1 from a safe location outside. (Never assume this has been done)
  • Meet the firefighters when they arrive and tell them where the fire is
  • Once out, stay out
  • Do not go back into the building until the fire department tells you it’s safe
 When you hear the fire alarm

To go or to stay?

Most of the time the best thing to do in a fire is leave the building as soon as possible. But in some cases you may not be able to leave and you may have to stay in your apartment. In either case you must act quickly. No matter what you decide, you must protect yourself from smoke.

Leaving the building:

  • Check the door to your apartment, if it is hot or smoke is entering from around the door, do not open it. Stay in yout unit and protect yourself from smoke
  • If the door is cool and there is no smoke, brace yourself and open the door a little
    • If you see smoke or feel heat, close the door quickly and protect yourself
    • If the corridor is clear, exit your unit and go to the nearest stairway
  • Do not use the elevator
  • Open the nearest stairway door carefully
    • If there is no smoke, use the stairway to leave the building
    • If there is smoke, do not enter. Close the door and go to another stairway and open the door carefully
    • If there is no smoke here use this stairway to leave the building
    • If there is smoke, do not use this stairway. Ff there are other stairways try them. If there are not, return to your unit and protect yourself from smoke

If you remain in your apartment:

You must protect yourself from smoke. Stay in your apartment until you are rescued or told to leave. This may take a long time. Do not try and leave your apartment a long time after the alarm has sounded. The longer you wait, the more risk there is that heavy smoke will have spread into stairways and corridors. Your chances of survival are less. Keep smoke from entering your unit use duct tape to seal cracks around the door and place towels at the bottom. Seal vents or air ducts the same way.

When you are inside the stairway
  •  If you find smoke on your way down the stairs, leave that stairway as soon as you can
  • Use another stairway if it is clear of smoke
  • if you can't use another stairway, return to your apartment if you can, or go to any corridor and bang on apartment doors until you find a place to take shelter
  • Never go to the roof. Smoke rises to the top of the stairway. Doors opening onto the roof are locked and you could be trapped
  • Remember, wherever you are, if there is smoke get low and go under the smoke to safety. The air is cleaner near the floor
 If smoke enters your unit, protect yourself

 If smoke starts to enter your suite (and you are unable to evacuate):

  1. Call the fire department at 9-1-1 and tell them where you are and then move to the balcony. Close the doors behind you.
  2. If you don’t have a balcony, go to the most smoke-free room, close the door and seal it with wide tape and towels. If necessary, open the window for fresh air. Show emergency personnel where you are by hanging a sheet from the window or balcony.
  3. Keep low to the floor where the air is cleaner.
  4. Listen for instructions from authorities

Fire safety links

Carbon monoxide (CO) - The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide alarms are required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Carbon monoxide alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, toxic gas that enters the body through the lungs during the normal breathing process.  It replaces oxygen in the blood and prevents the flow of oxygen to the heart, brain and other vital organs.

It Kills: Many Canadians die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning in their own homes, most of them while sleeping.

It Injures: Hundreds of Canadians are hospitalized every year from carbon monoxide poisoning, many of whom are permanently disabled.

 Where does carbon monoxide come from?

Produced when carbon-based fuels are incompletely burned such as:
  • Wood
  • Propane
  • Natural Gas
  • Heating Oil
  • Coal
  • Kerosene
  • Charcoal
  • Gasoline

Main sources of carbon monoxide in my home

Many Ontario homes have an average 4–6 fuel-burning appliances that produce carbon monoxide.

  • Stove
  • Furnace
  • Fireplace
  • Dryer
  • Water heater
  • Barbecue

  • Portable fuel fired generator
  • Portable fuel heater
  • Vehicles

 How can you protect your family 

Regularly maintained appliances that are properly ventilated should not produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide.

  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping area(s) of the home
  • Install the carbon monoxide alarm(s) in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected by professionals every year before cold weather sets in. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you
  • Ensure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, fireplace and other fuel-burning appliances are clear of snow and other debris
  • Gas and charcoal barbecues should only be used outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings
  • Never use barbecues inside garages, even if the garage doors are open
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents and other building openings
  • Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home
  • Open the flu before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it

 What to do if the carbon monoxide alarm sounds

Know the Sound of the CO Alarm:

  • Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.

  • Know the difference between the CO alarms' low-battery warning, end of life warning and an emergency alarm – consult the CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions.

What to do if the CO Alarm Sounds:

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.

  • If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.

  • If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life" before calling 9-1-1.

Contact Us