Student Fire Safety
Living independently or with a group of friends for the first time? Make sure you go over these fire prevention basics. This course only takes a few minutes and could save your life.
Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the semester!
When you get to your new home, make sure the property is ready for you and your roommates to enjoy. Is everything functioning as expected?
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find items that are broken or not working properly.
Use the checklists below to make sure your home is free of fire hazards – and that you are able to exit it safely and quickly in an emergency.
- Lighting: be sure that all switches and interior and exterior lighting work.
- Windows: open all windows to be sure they open easily and stay open. Security can be a concern, so ensure you confirm that the windows also lock.
- Doors: check all doors for proper operation and a tight seal. A dead bolt should be installed on all exterior doors, but be open-able from the inside using a knob – not a key.
- Kitchen: check all kitchen appliances for proper operation and cleanliness. Cooking is a leading cause of fires in the home so be sure that everyone knows how the appliances operate
- Bathroom: check all fixtures for both hot and cold water, and be sure there aren't any leaks in the drain lines or drips from the faucets.
Safety equipment checklist
It is best to know in advance what safety equipment is provided by the landlord.
- Smoke alarm: It's the landlord's responsibility to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms if required.
- Smoke alarms are required to be installed on every level of the dwelling.
- Check the date of manufacture to be sure the alarm is not greater than 10 years old.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are required to be installed adjacent to sleeping areas if a fossil fuel is used for heating, cooking, or if there is an attached garage.
- Check the date of manufacture to be sure the CO alarm hasn't expired.
- Some CO alarms expire at five, seven or 10 years depending on the manufacturer.
What to do if something doesn't check out
You need to determine if this is a significant issue that needs reported immediately (like a missing or non-working smoke alarm), or a routine maintenance item that can be included on your checklist and fixed in the next week or two.
- It is important to communicate your concerns to your landlord first, prior to contacting Kingston Fire & Rescue. If the landlord is not responsive to your concerns then contact Kingston Fire & Rescue at 613-548-4001, ext. 5123 if your concern is about life safety.
- If your landlord won't repair a damaged light or a broken plumbing fixture then contact property standards at 613-546-4291
Get tenant's insurance
Kingston Fire & Rescue suggests it is a great idea to get renters insurance! This is an inexpensive insurance policy that may assist you in the event of lost possessions, fire or if you cause damage to others, even by accident. Some parent's homeowner's policies may also provide some protection for students living on campus.
Food on the stove and grease fires are all too often the reason for emergency calls responded to by Kingston Fire & Rescue.
Lesson #1: Never leave cooking unattended.
The vast majority of cooking-related fires are as a result of unattended cooking. Cooking- related fires are VERY preventable with some awareness to cooking basics.
Lesson #2: Don't cook when impaired.
Late night cooking is dangerous when the chef is drunk or otherwise impaired. When you are impaired, you are easily distracted or can fall asleep allowing the food to cook unattended or the heat source to remain on.
Lesson #3: If your place catches fire, call 911 even if you put the fire out.
Another hazard is created when fires occur and are extinguished by the occupant who then doesn't notify the fire department. The smoke alarm may be disabled to silence the noise and the occupants think everything is okay and go back to sleep.
When these fires are not extinguished completely, they can spread unknowingly to nearby combustibles or to the cupboards above the stove.
Never disable a smoke alarm. Only working smoke alarms save lives.