Be Fire-Safe While Participating in Earth Hour

Be Fire-Safe While Participating in Earth Hour
Ontario Fire Marshal Strongly Recommends Use of Flashlights, Battery-Operated Lanterns & Flameless Candles

March 25, 2010

To prevent property loss and fire-related injuries, the Ontario Fire Marshal is strongly recommending that people use flashlights, battery-operated lanterns or flameless candles for light, instead of candles, during Earth Hour on March 27. On that evening, millions of Ontarians are expected to turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. to help reduce electricity consumption and create awareness about climate change.


“While I do encourage everyone to get involved in this worthy initiative, I hope everyone will take every precaution to prevent fires while doing so,” said Ontario Fire Marshal Pat Burke. “If people do choose to light candles for Earth Hour, they should test all of the smoke alarms in their homes ahead of time to ensure they are working. With an increase in candle use, there is an increased risk of fire.”

Quick Facts

If candles must be used, special care should be taken to prevent a fire:

  • Use sturdy candleholders that won't tip or burn. Those with glass shades or chimneys are best.
  • Keep lit candles a safe distance away from anything that can burn.
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Always stay in the room where candles are being used. Blow all candles out before leaving a room.
  • Keep candles out of all bedrooms.

Learn More

It's the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of the home. Smoke alarms can provide an early warning of fire and a home fire escape plan will help ensure everyone knows what to do in a fire. Visit to learn more about smoke alarm requirements.


  • Gina Pontikas, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416-325-3155
  • Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416-325-3178