Learn more about fire safety equipment and planning via the list below.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless, and tasteless poisonous gas referred to as 'the silent killer'. You need a CO alarm if you have an attached garage, wood or gas fireplace, or any one of these gas appliances: furnace, water heater or range.

CO is produced when fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood, propane, and kerosene don't get enough air to burn up completely. The best defence is proper maintenance of fuel burning appliances, equipment and venting systems.

CO alarms are the only way to determine if carbon monoxide is present — other than physical symptoms similar to the flu — nausea, headache, burning eyes, confusion and drowsiness — except there is no fever. If symptoms appear, it is imperative to get everyone, including pets, outside to fresh air immediately and call 9-1-1.

Since CO alarms do not detect fire or smoke and smoke alarms do not detect CO, your home needs both CO and smoke alarms.

It is essential that you install CO and smoke alarms on every level of your home or cottage in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. There are units available that combine the function of both CO and smoke alarms into one device.

Remember to test your alarms once a month by pressing the test button on the units. Batteries need to be replaced twice per year. It is recommended that you change your alarm's batteries when you change your clocks.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every 5-7 years.

Fire Extinguishers

In most cases, the best thing to do in a fire situation is get everyone out and call the fire department from outside the home.

If you have a fire extinguisher in your home, learn how to use it correctly.

  • An extinguisher with ABC or Multipurpose rating can be used on most types of fires.
  • Only use a fire extinguisher if you have learned how to do so. Remember the acronym PASS:
    • Pull the pin
    • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
    • Squeeze the trigger
    • Sweep the fire extinguisher from side to side until it is empty
  • Never let the fire get between you and the exit.
  • Only use fire extinguishers on small, contained fires — after the fire department has been called.
  • Most fire extinguishers empty in less than 30 seconds. If the fire is not out by then, leave the premises immediately.
  • Store the fire extinguisher in plain view, out of the reach of children and away from stoves and heating appliances.
  • Many stovetop fires can be safely extinguished without the use of a fire extinguisher. Slide a lid over the pot to smother the flames and turn off the stove, and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the pot.

Hotel Fire Safety Requirements

Effective January 1, 2007 hotels are subject to full compliance with the Ontario Fire Code — including Parts 1 to 8 and Section 9.1 and Section 9.9 Hotels, which addresses retrofit requirements for existing hotels. See the Ontario Fire Code link at right to see the relevant section of the Code.

Ontario Fire Code requirements (including the mandatory building audit template) and the phased compliance schedule for Section 9.9 can also be located on the Ontario Fire Marshal's website (see link at right).

Some common questions and answers about hotels and the Fire Code are provided by visiting the Ontario Fire Marshal's Q&A link, also posted at right


Property owners/operators will be contacted by Kingston Fire & Rescue to book fire safety inspections of their properties. At the time of inspection, property owners will be required to provide the required audits, approved fire safety plans, and inspection and maintenance records of fire protection equipment.

Smoke Alarm Requirements

Some of the most law-abiding people are unknowingly breaking the law every day. Not for robbery, or speeding, or assault. But simply because they don't have working smoke alarms in their homes. The Ontario Fire Code requires homes to have working smoke alarms on every level. In addition to the requirement of having smoke alarms outside all sleeping areas. This applies to all single-family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented.

For homeowners, that may mean purchasing additional smoke alarms and installing them on every level of their home and outside all sleeping areas. Failure to do so could result in a ticket for $235.

Landlords must make sure their rental properties comply with the law. Individual landlords who fail to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can face penalties of up to $50,000.

Tenants of rental properties are encouraged to contact their landlords immediately if they do not have the required number of smoke alarms. Once smoke alarms are installed, tenants cannot remove the batteries or tamper with the alarm in any way. If they do so, the tenant could receive a ticket for $235.

Ontario fire statistics reveal that in about 50 per cent of fatal home fires, the victims had no smoke alarm warning.

"Think of smoke alarms as seatbelts for your home," said Chief Tulk. "and they protect you and your family from harm, you are forever grateful that they were there and that they were working."

Smoke Alarm Facts

  • Test your smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries at least once every year.
  • Smoke alarms don't last forever. Replace smoke alarms if they are more than ten years old.
  • Make sure everyone in the household knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds. Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it with the entire household.

Dealing with Nuisance Alarms

  • Only working smoke alarms save lives.
  • Never remove the batteries from smoke alarms. If nuisance alarms are a problem, try relocating the alarm or purchase an alarm with a "hush feature" that temporarily silences the alarm.
  • If your smoke alarm goes off when cooking or showering, don't remove the battery. There are solutions to deal with the problem.
  • Keep stove burners and ovens clean, adjust the timer setting on the toaster, use the range hood fan when cooking, and turn on the bathroom fan while showering.
  • Install smoke alarms with a hush button that will temporarily silence the alarm. The smoke alarm will reset itself after several minutes.
  • Relocate smoke alarms that are too close to kitchen or bathrooms to a different place.
  • Try replacing ionization smoke alarms located near kitchens or bathrooms with photoelectric smoke alarms.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are more than ten years old with new ones.
  • Contact Kingston Fire & Rescue for suggestions.

Tanker Shuttle Service Accreditation

Kingston Fire & Rescue has successfully completed the Fire Department Water Tanker Shuttle Service Accreditation for all rural areas of the City.

The purpose of the Accreditation is to provide hydrant protected insurance gradings in areas of the City that are not protected with hydrants. The requirements for accreditation are as follows:

  • The test site must be a minimum of five (5) kilometres by road from the water fill site and within eight (8) kilometres by road of the fire station
  • Within five minutes of the first pump arriving at a fire scene, firefighters must be able to pump a minimum of 900L/min (200gal/min) for residential properties and 1800L/min (400 gal/min)for commercial Property and
  • Maintain that water flow for a period of two hours
  • The water source must be from a recognized water source that is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year

What this means for you

With this accreditation, both residential and commercial property owners should be eligible (depending on their individual insurance companies) for a rate reduction in the fire portion of their insurance. Residents are encouraged to contact their insurance agents for details regarding their specific policy.

CO2 Fire Extinguishers