Practicing Holiday Fire Safety

Practicing Holiday Fire Safety
Know How to Prevent a Fire Before it Starts

December 9, 2010

The holidays are heating up and December can be one of the most dangerous times of the year for home fires. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Toronto Fire Services are teaming up to alert Ontarians to many of the causes of holiday home fires and to provide tips on how to prevent cooking and drinking-related fires.

Important steps to prevent home fires include:

  • Staying in the kitchen while cooking, particularly when using oil or high temperatures.
  • Keeping combustible items such as cooking utensils and paper towels a safe distance from the stove as they can easily ignite if they are too close.
  • Keeping a proper fitting lid near the stove when cooking. If a pot catches fire, slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove.
  • Drinking responsibly and keeping an eye on those who do not. Excessive alcohol use is a contributing factor in many residential fires.


“Prevention is your best defence against home fires. By practicing fire safety we can all enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.” -- Jim Bradley, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires, particularly around the holidays when people are easily distracted. It is important that everyone stay in the kitchen and pay attention when cooking.” -- Doug Crawford, Acting Fire Marshal of Ontario

“We've had some significant injuries and property loss due to disabled smoke alarms so far this year. Everyone must have working smoke alarms for early warning, on every storey of their home as well as outside all sleeping areas.” -- Bill Stewart, Chief, Toronto Fire Services

Quick Facts

In Ontario, it is the law to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.

Learn More

Visit the Office of the Fire Marshal for additional information on fire safety and prevention.


  • Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416-325-3138
  • Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416-325-3178