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Fire Prevention Week 2020

Serve up fire safety in the kitchen!

Fire Prevention Week is October 4 – 10 and the Calgary Fire Department is focusing on preventing kitchen fires.

Most cooking fires start in the kitchen from overheated cooking oil or food left cooking on the stovetop unattended.


How to prevent cooking fires

  • Stay alert and never leave cooking unattended.
  • Check on your food regularly, use a timer.
  • Heat your cooking oil slowly and keep the temperature below 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Avoid cooking when you are sleepy or drowsy from medication, alcohol or cannabis.
  • Keep your cooking areas clear of children, pets and materials that can catch on fire, such as potholders, towels, drapes and food packaging.

What to do during cooking fires

  • If you have a grease fire, don’t use water to put it out. Keep the pot on the stove and slide a fitted lid over it to smother the flames.
  • If it is safe to do so, turn off the heat and the exhaust fan to stop flames and gases from spreading.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from escaping.
  • For a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the appliance if it is safe to do so.

Testing and maintaining smoke alarms

Working smoke alarms can warn you and your family if there is smoke or fire in your home, so that everyone can get out safely. Having working smoke alarms saves lives – more than one-third of all fire fatalities are associated with having no smoke alarm.

If your smoke alarm sounds and you see or smell smoke or fire, you and your family need to get out of the home as quickly as possible and call 9-1-1.

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, and in or near each sleeping area.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries at least once a year or immediately if you hear a chirping sound.
  • Replace your smoke alarm every 10 years to make sure it stays in proper working condition.
  • Learn how to check your smoke alarm’s expiry date.

How to tell if your smoke alarm is expired

Smoke alarms expire after 10 years. To find out how old your smoke alarm is follow these steps.

  • Remove the smoke alarm from the wall or ceiling.
  • Look at the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture.
  • If it was made less than 10 years ago, put the alarm back on the ceiling or wall.
  • If it was made 10 or more years ago or you cannot find the manufacture date, replace the alarm with a new one.
  • Having trouble finding the date? Sparky can teach you how if you watch this video.

Carbon monoxide alarms

You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide gas. Inhaling it can cause serious illness or death, so it is important to protect yourself and your family by having carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.

What causes carbon monoxide gas?

Combustion sources in your home such as a gas furnace, stove, wood burning fireplaces and hot water heaters, as well as exhaust fumes from a running vehicle.

What should you do when a carbon monoxide alarm beeps?

  • Check that no one is feeling carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, weakness, watering or burning eyes, nausea and vomiting.
  • If anyone has these symptoms, leave your home quickly and call 9-1-1.
  • Stay outside with access to fresh air until firefighters arrive.

Testing and replacing

  • Test all carbon monoxide alarms in your home once a month by pressing the test button.
  • Replace carbon monoxide alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions; check the package or look up the model online.

Plan your escape

Plan two ways out! You can protect yourself and your family by planning – and rehearsing -- two ways out of your home in the event of an emergency.

  • Draw a map of your home using this template, and include all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year and teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Did you know?

  • House fires can double in size every 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Kitchen fires are the greatest cause of indoor fire in Calgary.
  • Smoke alarms can save you when you are sleeping: in 2016, an estimated one-third of all fires in Calgary happened between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • If you are escaping a fire, close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in half in reported home fires. Smoke and toxic gases emitted from household contents on fire can make a person confused, disoriented or even unconscious after just a few short breaths.
  • How fast does fire move? Very fast. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), you could have less than 2 minutes to get out safely after a smoke alarm sounds.
  • Your smoke alarm has an expiry date. Learn how to check your smoke alarm’s expiry date and replace it every 10 years.
  • The Calgary Fire Department responds to a wide variety of calls for help every day: fires, motor vehicle accidents, aquatic rescue, life-threatening medical incidents, hazardous materials and more. View the interactive map to find out what incidents are happening in your community, along with fire station locations and community information.

Thank you to our 2020 partners and sponsors:

  • Atco Gas
  • Bowest Appliances
  • Cleaver Restaurant
  • Good4U
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