Fire Prevention Week will be held October 3-9, 2021 with the theme "Fire prevention is your responsibility!"

Each year in Québec, fires cause an average of

  • 13 houses damaged per day.
  • 400 injuries.
  • 24,000 evacuees.

Nearly 49% of fires that occur in homes are related to human distraction or error.

Fire safe behaviour

When you are cooking:

  • always keep an eye on the stove when it is on and keep pot lids within reach;
  • user a timer to gauge food cooking times;
  • never place combustible items on the stove or in the oven.

If you use a wood-burning appliance:

  • have the chimney swept at least once a year, preferably in the spring, since residues are easier to dislodge then;
  • use a barbecue lighter to reduce the risk of burns;
  • never use liquid or gel accelerants to feed the fire.

If you smoke:

  • completely extinguish cigarettes in a deep ashtray with a broad edge or in a tin can filled with sand if you are outdoors;
  • never smoke in bed or in a position in which you risk falling asleep;
  • store lighters, matches and other smokers’ supplies out of the reach of children.

Be prepared in case of fire

If fire breaks out in your home, you will have less than three minutes to evacuate the burning house. Consequently, you must have smoke detectors in good operating condition.

Make sure that you have sufficient smoke detectors and that they are installed in the right places in the home.

Test the detectors at least twice a year when the time changes.

Preparing an evacuation plan

Your evacuation plan should include

  • emergency exits (main door, windows, patio door).
  • two access ways to the emergency exits per room.
  • the meeting point, located outside and accessible in all seasons.
  • the location of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, and portable fire extinguishers.

Know what to do before, during, and after a fire.

Learn what to do if you have to evacuate your home and  conduct a yearly evacuation drill.

Conducting an evacuation drill

Think of a possible fire scenario.

Choose the date and time of your evacuation drill and the fictitious location in the home where the fire would start.

Check that your smoke detector alarms are working properly before conducting your evacuation drill. If they are connected to a central monitoring station, inform your provider first before testing them.

Conduct an evacuation drill at least once a year, with everyone living in your home, following these steps:

  • Sound the smoke alarm.
  • Time your evacuation.
  • Evacuate your home, according to your evacuation plan, trying to do so in less than three minutes.
  • Once outside, proceed to the meeting point.
  • Review your evacuation and make improvements for the future.

A little history

Fire Prevention Week is always held in early October, during the full week that includes October 9, in both the United States and Canada. The event commemorates the great Chicago fire of October 9, 1871, when 250 people died, 100,000 were left homeless, and 17,400 buildings were destroyed. In Québec, Fire Prevention Week was first held in 1990.