Fire Prevention Week

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Fire Prevention Week is October 3 to 9. This year's Fire Prevention Week theme is:

Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!

This week is a great time to discuss fire safety with your loved ones, and to learn how to stay safe from fire.

Do you know what to do when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds?

When an alarm makes noises -- a beeping sound or a chirping sound, you must take action to keep you and your family safe.

When your smoke or CO alarm sounds, get outside to fresh air as soon as possible and call 9-1-1.

In the event of a fire, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape safely. A fast, pre-planned escape plan -- with two ways out -- is critical to survival. Home escape plans should be practiced regularly with your family because when there's a fire, there are no second chances!

Home escape plan infographic

Emergency responders and Markham Fire and Emergency Services will provide information for safe home re-entry.

Most fatal fires happen at night when people are sleeping. A working smoke alarm will detect smoke and sound to alert you. Learn more about smoke alarms.

Home smoke alarm placements

If someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, there are smoke alarms and devices that can alert via strobe lights when the smoke alarm sounds. Pillow or bed shakers designed to work with smoke alarms can also be purchased and installed. Learn more on the National Fire Protection Association website.

What's the difference between a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?

Smoke alarms sense smoke and alert of danger.

CO is an odourless, tasteless and invisible poisonous gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can leave you unconscious. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from CO poisoning in a short time. In the home, CO can come from heating and cooking devices.

Since we can’t see, smell, or taste CO, we need to rely on alarms to help with early detection and warning of poisonous gas in our homes. CO alarms detect the presence of CO and alert you when the gas is present.

Provincial legislation requires that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in all homes across Ontario. Specifically adjacent to all sleeping areas in residential homes, and in the service rooms and outside all sleeping areas adjacent to service rooms in multi-residential units. Smoke alarms must be installed on every storey of the home and adjacent to each sleeping area.

What do smoke alarms and CO alarms sound like?

Smoke alarms have three long beeps and go “beep, beep, beep pause beep, beep, beep.”

Carbon monoxide alarms normally have four quick beeps and go “beep, beep, beep, beep (pause) beep, beep, beep, beep.”

Hear the difference:


Test your alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds, and knows what to do when the alarm activates.

Helpful tip:

Write on the battery or your alarm device to remind yourself when it was installed and when it should be replaced (Usually every 8 to 10 years).

Learn more about Fire Prevention Week from the National Fire Protection Association website.

For more fire safety tips and information, visit the Markham Fire and Emergency Services web page and click on Fire Safety.

Fire Prevention Week is October 3 to 9. This year's Fire Prevention Week theme is:

Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!

This week is a great time to discuss fire safety with your loved ones, and to learn how to stay safe from fire.

Do you know what to do when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds?

When an alarm makes noises -- a beeping sound or a chirping sound, you must take action to keep you and your family safe.

When your smoke or CO alarm sounds, get outside to fresh air as soon as possible and call 9-1-1.

In the event of a fire, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape safely. A fast, pre-planned escape plan -- with two ways out -- is critical to survival. Home escape plans should be practiced regularly with your family because when there's a fire, there are no second chances!

Home escape plan infographic

Emergency responders and Markham Fire and Emergency Services will provide information for safe home re-entry.

Most fatal fires happen at night when people are sleeping. A working smoke alarm will detect smoke and sound to alert you. Learn more about smoke alarms.

Home smoke alarm placements

If someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, there are smoke alarms and devices that can alert via strobe lights when the smoke alarm sounds. Pillow or bed shakers designed to work with smoke alarms can also be purchased and installed. Learn more on the National Fire Protection Association website.

What's the difference between a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?

Smoke alarms sense smoke and alert of danger.

CO is an odourless, tasteless and invisible poisonous gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can leave you unconscious. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from CO poisoning in a short time. In the home, CO can come from heating and cooking devices.

Since we can’t see, smell, or taste CO, we need to rely on alarms to help with early detection and warning of poisonous gas in our homes. CO alarms detect the presence of CO and alert you when the gas is present.

Provincial legislation requires that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in all homes across Ontario. Specifically adjacent to all sleeping areas in residential homes, and in the service rooms and outside all sleeping areas adjacent to service rooms in multi-residential units. Smoke alarms must be installed on every storey of the home and adjacent to each sleeping area.

What do smoke alarms and CO alarms sound like?

Smoke alarms have three long beeps and go “beep, beep, beep pause beep, beep, beep.”

Carbon monoxide alarms normally have four quick beeps and go “beep, beep, beep, beep (pause) beep, beep, beep, beep.”

Hear the difference:


Test your alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds, and knows what to do when the alarm activates.

Helpful tip:

Write on the battery or your alarm device to remind yourself when it was installed and when it should be replaced (Usually every 8 to 10 years).

Learn more about Fire Prevention Week from the National Fire Protection Association website.

For more fire safety tips and information, visit the Markham Fire and Emergency Services web page and click on Fire Safety.