Seasonal & Holiday Fire Safety
Barbecue & Propane Safety
Follow these safety tips for propane and natural gas barbeques to ensure a safe and enjoyable barbequing season.
- When buying a barbeque, choose one that bears the CSA, ITS or ULC label. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and have it repaired by a trained professional when necessary.
- Propane cylinders must be inspected and re-certified every 10 years. Check your propane cylinder for date of manufacture.
- Place your barbeque outside, on level ground, at least one metre (three feet) away from the house and away from wind and combustible materials.
- Barbeques should be inspected and cleaned at least once each year, preferably prior to the first use.
- Make sure burners are in good condition. Burners that are rusted or damaged should be replaced.
- Check the flexible hose. If you find cracks or damage replace the hose before using the barbeque.
- Clean the tubes underneath the burner – insects and debris can accumulate inside these tubes.
- If your barbeque connection area has an “o” ring, check it every time you connect the cylinder. Replace missing, deformed, cracked or damaged “o” rings.
Checking for leaks
- After connecting a propane cylinder, check for leaks using a solution of equal parts soap and water.
- With the appliance turned off, brush the solution over all connections – open the cylinder valve and bubbles will form when there is a leak.
- If you find a leak, close the cylinder valve and contact a certified gasfitter. After repairs are completed, repeat the leak test until there are no leaks.
Using your barbeque
- When using a match, always light it before turning on the gas to prevent excessive gas build-up. If the barbeque is equipped with an electronic igniter, follow the directions on the control panel.
- Both propane and natural gas flames should be mostly blue with yellow tips. If the flame is mostly yellow, do not use the barbeque. Contact a qualified gasfitter.
- Prevent grease from dripping onto the hoses or cylinder. Grease build-up is a fire hazard.
- Never store extra propane cylinders under or near your barbeque. Excess heat may overpressure the cylinder and cause it to release propane from the cylinder relief valve.
- Make sure children stay away from the barbeque.
- Never use a barbeque indoors; doing so causes a build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
- After barbequing, make sure the barbeque is turned off and the burner flames are out. Also make sure the gas supply is turned off and the lid is closed.
Barbecues and Propane Safety from T.S.S.A
Barbecue & Propane Safety
The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers the following fireworks safety tips:
- Purchase your fireworks from a reliable source
- Always read and follow the label directions
- Have an adult present
- Use outdoors only
- Always have water handy (a garden hose or bucket)
- Never experiment or make your own fireworks
- Light only one firework at a time
- Never re-light a 'dud' firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water)
- Never give fireworks to small children
- Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
- The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of their body over the firework
- Stay away from illegal explosives.
Fireworks Safety Video
Keep the following safety guidelines in mind to ensure you have a safe and ‘spooktacular’ Halloween!
Around the house
Many people enjoy transforming their homes into eerie scenes. Be sure to keep the path leading up to your door free of obstacles for the little ones, especially those with masks who might have trouble seeing in dim light.
Keep pets indoors on Halloween to protect them from hazards and prevent them from being aggressive to visitors.
Before you light those candles in your pumpkin, consider using inexpensive safety glow sticks or flameless candles.
Keep these safety tips in mind when helping a child choose a costume.
- Wear a light-coloured or bright costume. Use reflective tape or arm bands to heighten visibility.
- Wear a costume that is properly fitted to reduce the chance of tripping on it.
- Select a costume that is constructed from flame-retardant materials.
- Make sure vision is not restricted. Consider completing your costume with make-up rather than masks. Masks may require that the eye-holes be cut larger for the sake of good peripheral vision.
- Shoes should fit properly even if they do not go well with a costume.
- If a child's costume requires the use of props, such as a flexible plastic sword, make sure the sharp tip is cut or filed round.
- Glow sticks are an excellent way to increase a child's visibility. Consider creating a fun necklace with string to ensure kids will want to wear them as part of their costumes.
- Accessorize with a flashlight!
Rules for Parents
- Be aware of the route your children plan to follow.
- If you are unable to take them out yourself, consider asking another parent, an older sibling or a babysitter to do the honours for you.
- Ensure your child wears a watch so you can establish an agreed upon curfew.
- Teach your children to recognize the places along their route where they can obtain help: Police Station, Fire Station or any other well indicated public place.
- Although tampering of loot is rare, remind children that they must have their candy inspected by their parents or guardian prior to eating them.
Rules for Trick or Treater's
- Bring a flashlight
- Walk instead of running
- Stay on the sidewalks (if there is no sidewalk, walk on the left-hand side of the street facing traffic)
- Avoid jaywalking
- Do not cut across lawns or take short-cuts
- Take masks off when walking from one house to the next
- Do not go inside houses and do not get into vehicles
- Only visit houses that are lit
- Stay away from animals you are not familiar with
- Vandalism is not just a 'trick' - it is against the law and has consequences.
Above all, have a safe and ghoulishly good Halloween!
Opening the Cottage
Rest, Relaxation & Fire Prevention at the Cottage
It’s important to think about fire safety & prevention when you’re opening up your cottage for the season. Consider the following tips to make sure you enjoy a safe and relaxing summer:
- Power lines: Visually inspect the power lines leading to your cottage. Look for any tree limbs that are too close. If any limbs are touching the lines or might break off onto the lines, prevent any danger by having them cut back. This should be done before turning on the service to your cottage.
- Propane appliances: Propane appliances that have been sitting for the entire winter can be hazardous if they are not maintained properly. Have them serviced by a qualified technician before using them.
- Smoke alarms: Have a working smoke alarm outside any room designed for sleeping. Give yourself that early warning so you can escape safely. Always bring spare batteries to replace the old ones and replace any smoke alarms that experienced severe cold during the winter months.
- Fire extinguishers: Response times for Fire Departments could be lengthy depending on the location of your cottage, so have a fire extinguisher there just in case. Big fires start small and can be extinguished before they destroy your cottage. Place extinguishers by the exit so that you have the option of leaving if the fire is growing too fast. Don’t be a hero! If the fire is too big leave, let the professionals handle it. The cottage can be rebuilt, you can’t. It is recommended to use a minimum 10lb ABC extinguisher for your cottage.
Enjoy a safe and happy summer!
Outdoor Burning Information ** TO DO - also included under Fire Prevention section**
See “Resource” section for permit application and relevant bylaws
Snow Fort Dangers
As snow continues to fall this Winter, the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service reminds parents to keep their children from digging snow caves and snow forts in piles of snow.
One cubic foot of snow weighs approximately five pounds so if a snow cave or snow fort is six feet under the snow, a collapse could place approximately 1,000 pounds of snow on top of a child.
Snow Fort Safety
Thin Ice Safety
Don’t Be Thick About Ice Safety
Although the ice may be thickening with the cold weather we’re experiencing, it is never safe. Authorities will never give the green light to venture out onto the ice because it is unpredictable. The three main factors that determine ice conditions are water-depth, size and current.
Kempenfelt Bay is the deepest part of Lake Simcoe and is very large. There is also a current that travels from the north shore over to the south shore, which is why the south shore is shallow. These factors combine to make the ice on Kempenfelt Bay unpredictable.
You need at least four inches of ice for walking, six inches for snow mobiles and eight inches for an ice hut. Check with your local ice hut operators before heading out onto the ice. Remember, if it’s grey, stay away. Grey ice indicates the presence of water in the ice, which is unsafe.
If you do plan to travel onto the ice, remember a few simple rules:
- Ice picks are a cheap safety item that will save your life if you fall through.
- If you’re cross country skiing and you fall through the ice, don’t let go of your poles. You can use the picks at the end of the poles to pull yourself out.
- Use the buddy system. Always go out with a friend or family member. If you decide to go fishing by yourself, fish in an area where people can see or hear you.
Tornadoes in Canada
Tornadoes are relatively common in Canada, but only in specific regions: southern Alberta; Manitoba and Saskatchewan; southern Ontario; southern Quebec; the interior of British Columbia; and western New Brunswick. Tornado season extends from April to September with peak months in June and July, but they can occur at any time of year.
- Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country with the exception of the United States.
- Tornadoes are rotating columns of high winds.
- Sometimes they move quickly (up to 70 km/hour) and leave a long, wide path of destruction. At other times the tornado is small, touching down here and there.
- Large or small, they can uproot trees, flip cars and demolish houses.
- Tornadoes usually hit in the afternoon and early evening, but they have been known to strike at night too.
Warning signs include:
- Severe thunderstorms, with frequent thunder and lightning
- An extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by green or yellow clouds
- A rumbling sound or a whistling sound
- A funnel cloud at the rear base of a thundercloud, often behind a curtain of heavy rain or hail.
Canada's tornado warning system
Environment Canada is responsible for warning the public when conditions exist that may produce tornadoes. It does this through radio, television, newspapers, its internet site, as well as through its weather phone lines.
If you live in one of Canada's high-risk areas, you should listen to your radio during severe thunderstorms.
If you hear that a tornado warning has been issued for your area, find shelter and follow the instructions below.
What to do during a tornado
If you are in a house
- Go to the basement or take shelter in a small interior ground floor room such as a bathroom, closet or hallway.
- If you have no basement, protect yourself by taking shelter under a heavy table or desk.
- In all cases, stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
If you live on a farm
Livestock hear and sense impending tornadoes. If your family or home is at risk, the livestock will be a non-issue. If your personal safety is not an issue, you may only have time to open routes of escape for your livestock. Open the gate, if you must, and then exit the area in a tangent direction away from the expected path of the twister.
If you are in an office or apartment building
- Take shelter in an inner hallway or room, ideally in the basement or on the ground floor.
- Do not use the elevator.
- Stay away from windows.
If you are in a gymnasium, church or auditorium
- Large buildings with wide-span roofs may collapse if a tornado hits.
- If possible, find shelter in another building.
- If you are in one of these buildings and cannot leave, take cover under a sturdy structure such as a table or desk.
Avoid cars and mobile homes
- More than half of all deaths from tornadoes happen in mobile homes.
- Find shelter elsewhere, preferably in a building with a strong foundation.
- If no shelter is available, lie down in a ditch away from the car or mobile home. Beware of flooding from downpours and be prepared to move.
If you are driving
- If you spot a tornado in the distance go to the nearest solid shelter.
- If the tornado is close, get out of your car and take cover in a low-lying area, such as a ditch.
In all cases
- Get as close to the ground as possible, protect your head and watch for flying debris.
- Do not chase tornadoes – they are unpredictable and can change course abruptly.
- A tornado is deceptive. It may appear to be standing still but is, in fact, moving toward you.