Home fire hazards and safety tips

Did you know most house fires start in the kitchen? Visit any room of this interactive house to discover where fire and safety hazards could hide. Explore the kitchen, living room, bedroom, office, attic, and basement—the roof and windows too!

Click or tap the house to begin:

Safety tips for your attic

Safety tips for your attic

  • Insulation should be the only item in your attic
  • Storing items in your attic is hazardous

Additional tips

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Safety tips for your bedroom

Safety tips for your bedroom

Most fatal fires occur at night, when people are sleeping. To stay safe:

  • Sprinkers are mandatory in all new Vancouver homes
  • Install a smoke alarm in the hallway leading to sleeping areas; it's a great idea to install smoke alarms in bedrooms, too
  • Test smoke alarms monthly, and change backup batteries once a year
  • Plan for two ways out of every room; if smoke is in the hallway, close the door and call out the window for help
  • Candles are major fire hazards; blow them out before sleeping or leaving a room unattended
  • Make sure you use the correct wattage light bulbs; don't drape items over lamps
  • Use laptop computers on a hard surface like a tray or table
  • If someone requires extra help getting out, make sure there is a good plan in place
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors save lives; place a CO detector in the hallway near the bedrooms, away from any heat source

Additional tips

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Safety tips for your office or den

Safety tips for your office or den

Keep papers in your home office from catching fire. Follow these tips:

  • Use power bars with surge protectors to prevent circuit overloading
  • Sprinklers save lives; don't hang items on sprinklers
  • Make sure you use the correct wattage light bulbs; don't drape items over lamps
  • Make an escape plan with two ways out of every room; pick a meeting place out front
  • Practise your plan

Additional tips

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Safety tips for your living room

Safety tips for your living room

Most living room fires are caused in areas where you relax, and stop paying attention to possible hazards:

  • Make sure you use the correct wattage light bulbs; don't drape items over lamps
  • Sprinklers save lives; don't hang items on sprinklers
  • Make sure any smokers dispose of materials safely
  • Use laptop computers on a hard surface like a tray or table
  • Make sure your fireplace has a safety screen, and that children stay away from it
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure the chimney gets cleaned at least once a year

Additional tips

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Safety tips for your kitchen

Safety tips for your kitchen

Most house fires started in the kitchen. Follow these safe cooking tips:

  • Never leave pots unattended while cooking on a stove
  • Keep paper towels, dish towels, pot holders, and other flammable items away from hot surfaces
  • Don't overload a circuit with too many appliances
  • Don't wear loose fitting clothing when cooking
  • If a pot catches fire, slide a lid over the top and turn off the burner
  • Never use water to put out a grease fire
  • The hood fan filter should be cleaned when necessary
  • Natural gas smells like rotten egs; if you smell gas, open all windows, get out of the house, and call 9-1-1
  • Microwaves and toaster ovens can burn you; wear oven mitts
  • Keep a well-maintained fire extinguisher near the kitchen entrance, and close to an exit

Additional tips

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Safety tips for your basement

Safety tips for your basement

In addition to the general safety tips to prevent fires around the home, the basement often contains additional safety hazards.

  • Circuit breakers should be labeled for easy access
  • The furnace should be cleaned when necessary
  • Water tanks should be strapped to the wall to be earthquake proof
  • Make sure you have an emergency kit with supplies to last at least 72 hours (estimate 4 litres of water per person per day)
  • The dryer filter should be cleaned after each use
  • Gasoline and propane should not be stored indoors
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Safety tips for your outside fixtures

Safety tips for your outside fixtures

Your home ventilation system pumps heat to the outdoors. Learn to be safe:

  • External vents like chimneys should be cleared regularly
  • Inside air and heating ducts should be serviced once a year

Additional tips

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Safety tips for your windows and doors

Safety tips for windows and doors

  • If your window has bars, make sure they can be removed from the inside without keys
  • Make sure outdoor lighting works; use motion detector lights outside for safety
  • Make sure your house number can be seen at night
  • If you need to call 9-1-1, tell the dispatcher your cross streets
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Last modified: Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:41:00