Home Safety

Learn how to identity fire risks in your home and plan ahead so that your family knows what to do during a fire emergency.

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Alarms

Make a Plan

Check for Hazards in your home

Older Adult Home Safety Program

Alarms

You must install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home outside of all sleeping areas.

Make a plan

During a fire, you don't have a lot of time. Make a plan with your family so that they know what to do in an emergency and how to escape a fire.

Take a few minutes with everyone in your home to make a home fire escape plan, following these instructions.

How to make a Home Fire Escape Plan
Use this guide/checklist to help create your Home Fire Escape Plan.
 Draw a floor plan of your home
Use this grid to draw a floor plan of your home. You should draw a plan for each storey of your home.
Include all possible emergency exits
Draw in all the doors, windows and stairways. This will show you and your family all possible escape routes at a glance. Include any features, such as the roof of a garage or porch, that would help in your escape.
Show two ways out of every room, if possible
The door will be the main exit from each room. However, if the door is blocked by smoke or fire, identify an alternate escape route, which could be a window. Make sure that all windows can open easily and that everyone knows how to escape through them to safety. If windows have security bars, equip them with quick-releasing devices.
Does anyone need help to escape?
Decide in advance who will assist the very young, older adults or people with disabilities in your household. A few minutes of planning will save valuable seconds in a real emergency.
Choose a meeting place outside
Choose a meeting place a safe distance from your home that everyone will remember. A tree, street light or a neighbour’s home are all good choices. In case of fire, everyone will go directly to this meeting place so they can be accounted for.
Call the fire department from outside your home
Don’t waste valuable seconds calling the fire department from inside your home. Once you have safely escaped, call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.
 Practice your escape
Review the plan with everyone in your household. Walk through the escape routes for each room with the entire family. Use this walk-through exercise to check your escape routes, making sure all exits are practical and easy to use. Practice your escape plan twice a year and time how long it takes. In a real fire, you must react without hesitation as your escape routes may be quickly blocked by smoke or flames.
Remember
  • Plan two ways out of every room, if possible
  • Practice your escape plan twice a year
  • Install smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas
  • If you live in a high-rise apartment building, contact the building management for information on what to do if there's a fire in your building

Draw your plan

Draw a floor plan of your home that marks two ways out of every room. Detail all escape routes available in each room and especially from sleeping areas.

Practice twice a year

You should practice your escape plan at least twice a year. Schedule a home fire drill and have the whole family participate.

Make your exit drill realistic. You can pretend that different exits are blocked by fire or filling up with smoke each time that you practice and everyone can use alternative escape routes.

You want everyone to get out quickly but carefully. A fire drill is not a race.

Check for hazards in your home

Most causes of home fires are preventable. You should check your home for potential hazards and keep matches away from heat sources and children.

Cooking tips

You should supervise any cooking and keep a lid close by when cooking oils to prevent pots from boiling over.

Make sure that you:

  • Keep your stove clean and free of grease
  • Keep paper towels, tea towels, and curtains away from sources of heat

Electrical equipment tips

Electrical equipment failure and overheating can create a house fire. To prevent overheating, only plug in one heat-producing appliance into an electrical outlet at a time.

If a fuse blows or circuit breaker trips often, you should find out why and fix the problem. You can have a qualified electrician have a look and have them install more outlets if needed.

Make sure that you:

  • Turn off and unplug any malfunctioning appliances
  • Use the proper lightbulbs for your lamps and light fixtures
  • Replace any damaged or broken cords and plugs before using them
  • Never use cords that have been tightly wrapped as it can overheat
  • Replace any missing, cracked or broken cover plates

Natural gas and propane appliance tips

Make sure that natural gas and propane appliances are properly installed and maintaining in your home. This greatly reduces the risk of fire and the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep anything that's powered by gasoline outside of your home.

You should check your heating appliances and make sure that your furnace is inspected and cleaned before the winter season starts. Make a housecleaning plan for all of your heating and cooling systems and appliances.

Make sure that you:

  • Never use or store flammable and combustible materials or liquids near heaters
  • Ensure that all fuel-burning equipment has proper ventilation to the outside
  • Keep exhaust vents clear and free of any obstructions

If you ever smell gas coming from an appliance, do not try to light it. Turn off all of its controls and open all windows and doors close by. Call a gas service technician and get them to have a look.

Wood-burning fireplace and stove tips

Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves account for many preventable fires. To keep your family safe, make sure that you're using them safely and maintain them.

Your woodstoves, chimneys and chimney connection must be installed properly and should follow all of the manufacturer's instructions. You can have a professional technician install them for you to be safe.

Allow ashes to cool before you get rid of them. It can take up to three days for any embers and ashes to cool completely.

Make sure that you:

  • Keep any doors closed unless you're adding wood or stoking a fire
  • Only burn wood that's split, well-seasoned and has been allowed to dry for 12 months
  • Clean and inspect them annually

Older Adult Home Safety Program

A free program from Caledon Fire and Emergency Services that provides education and home safety checkups for Caledon’s older adults aged 65+.
How does the program work?

Older adults 65+ or their family members or caregivers can apply for the program by completing an application form online or in print. Community agencies and healthcare providers can also submit an application on behalf of a resident.

Qualified applicants will be contacted by Caledon Fire and Emergency Services to schedule a home visit with a Public Educator.

How to apply for the program

Apply online here: Older Adult Home Safety Application Form

If you need assistance, please call 905-584-2272 ext. 4303 or email us at fire@caledon.ca

The Home Safety Check

Caledon Fire and Emergency Services will schedule a convenient date and time to visit the older adult's home. During the 1-hour visit, the Public Educator will conduct a thorough inspection of the home with the homeowner,
including:

  • Inspecting and testing all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Examining fire extinguishers to ensure they are up to date and accessible.
  • Identifying and discussing potential fire hazards and how to mitigate them.
  • Creating a comprehensive home fire escape plan with the homeowner.
  • Providing the homeowner with a Safety Information Package.
  • Recommendations and additional support or resources if needed to ensure their safety.
Home Assessment Check-ins

The Older Adult Home Safety Program will offer annual follow-ups with residents, upon request, to ensure that all
safety measures are in proper working order.

This assessment will be to review any changes in the resident's mobility, care, and/or health and providing additional recommendations or resources if needed.

Keeping Older Adults safe at home

Older adults over the age of 65 face a higher risk of being injured or killed in home fires as they age. In recognition of this risk, Caledon Fire and Emergency Services has developed this program to support and educate older adults to keep them
safe in their homes.

How can you help?

To support the Older Adult Home Safety Program, individuals and community partners can inform older adults about the program, share the information on social media, refer older adults to it, and work together to promote home safety
education in the community.

Together we can ensure older adults feel safe, comfortable, and educated when it comes to fire safety in the home.

Program Goals
  • To ensure that older adults are living in a safe environment with working smoke and CO alarms properly installed in their homes.

  • Increase awareness of Home Fire Safety among older adults.

  • To provide older adults with safety education so they are prepared in the event of a fire.

  • Connect Older Adults to local community support services.

Program Funding

Government of Ontario logo

Funding for this project was made possible by the Seniors Community Grant Program from the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility.