Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations

Carbon monoxide alarms are required outside all sleeping areas of your home if your home has either a fireplace, a fuel burning appliance, or an attached garage. In condo and apartment buildings with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the service room. In condo or apartment buildings that have a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the garage.

Get to Know CO - a three-part youtube video series:

How to Comply with The Law

Sources and Symptoms

Protecting Your Family with CO Alarms

What is CO?

  • CO is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
  • CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators and vehicles.

Prevent CO In Your Home

  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances in your home are inspected annually by a registered contractor.
  • Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked. Never use a portable fuel-burning appliance inside (i.e. barbeques, portable heaters and generators).

Know The Symptoms Of CO

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 911 from outside the building.
  • If your CO alarm sounds and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life" before calling 911.

Know The Sound Of Your CO Alarm

  • Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
  • Don't be confused by the sound of your CO alarm's low-battery warning. Follow your CO alarm manufacturer's instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the "end-of-life" warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.

Fire Escape Planning

Fire Escape Planning At Work

At your workplace do you know:

  • Your fire escape plan?
  • Your designated meeting place in the event of a fire?
  • Who your floor fire emergency officer is?
  • The location of the nearest fire extinguisher?
  • The location of the nearest fire alarm pull station?
  • The location of the nearest two exits?
  • Any co-workers that need assistance in the event of an emergency?

When the fire alarm sounds call 911 once safely outside.

Develop and Practice a Home Fire Escape Plan

Statistics reveal that most fire deaths occur in the home between 2am and 4am while occupants are asleep. It is critical to develop a fire escape plan because you need to react quickly when your smoke alarm sounds. Your plan must be practiced so your entire family knows what to do in the event of a fire. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test your smoke alarms monthly. Replace batteries annually and replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.

Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room. When possible, plan two exits from each room. Ensure everyone understands that if they hear the smoke alarm, or someone shouting "FIRE", they should immediately evacuate the home. If anyone in your home is unable to evacuate without assistance, assign someone to assist them. Designate a meeting place a safe distance from your home. Once safely outside call 911 from a neighbour's house or from a cell phone. Never re-enter a burning building.

If you live in an apartment building, develop your escape plan taking into account fire escape procedures provided by building management.

Fire Safety Plans

A Fire Safety Plan is required in buildings containing a:

  • Group 'A' (Assembly) or Group 'B' (Health-care) occupancy,
  • Group 'C' (Residential) where the occupant load exceeds 10 persons,
  • Group 'D' (Offices) where the occupant load exceeds 300 persons,
  • Group 'E' (Stores/Mercantile) where the occupant load exceeds 300 persons,
  • Group 'F' Division 1 (High Hazard Industrial) where the occupant load exceeds 25 persons,
  • Group 'F' Division 2 (Medium Hazard Industrial) where the occupant load exceeds 100 persons,
  • Group 'F' Division 3 (Low Hazard Industrial) where the occupant load exceeds 300 persons.

The requirements for a Fire Safety Plan also apply to buildings or premises:

  • Containing four storeys or more, including storeys below grade
  • Outdoor tire storage yards
  • Buildings and open areas where the quantities of flammable and combustible liquids exceeds 500 L in total or exceeds 250 L of Class I liquids
  • Laboratories
  • Boarding, lodging and rooming homes
  • Subject to the provisions of Sentence Ontario Fire Code used as a convalescent home or children's custodial home providing sleeping accommodation for more than 3 persons.
  • Recreational camps regulated under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.


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Fire Safety Plan Single Stage Fire Alarm System

Fire Safety Plan No Fire Alarm System

Fire Safety Plan Two-Stage Fire Alarm System

Fireworks Safety

To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, we do not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays. We recommend attending public firework displays hosted by the municipality and other responsible organizations.

If you choose to set off your own fireworks, ensure the person setting them off owns the property they are on or has permission from the property owner to do so.

Our Fire Rescue team recommends following these safety tips:

  • Appoint a responsible person to be in charge.
  • Carefully read and follow the directions on the fireworks packaging.
  • Keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.
  • Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials such as buildings, trees and dry grass.
  • Keep onlookers a safe distance away.
  • Light one firework at a time and never light a firework in your hand.
  • Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.
  • Keep sparklers away from children as the sparkler wire remains hot for some time after it burns.

Home Fire Safety Checklist

Use this Fire Safety Checklist to keep you and your family safe.

  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas.
  • Plan and practice a home fire escape plan.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas.
  • House number is visible from the street.
  • Look while you cook, never leave cooking unattended.
  • Smoke outside and discard cigarette butts in noncombustible containers that are kept outside. Never smoke in bed.
  • Keep combustibles away from any heat source (furnace, heaters, stoves etc).
  • Never use extension cords in place of permanent wiring.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets, use CSA approved power bars.
  • Blow out candles when you leave the room and use stable, non-combustible candleholders.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are required on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas. We strongly recommend installing smoke alarms inside sleeping areas. Only a working smoke alarm can provide you with the early warning needed to safely escape a fire.

  • Test your smoke alarms every month.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Replace all smoke alarms (hardwired and battery operated) every 10 years.
  • Clean your smoke alarms with a soft bristle attachment from your vacuum.

Remember that only working smoke alarms can save your life.

Station Tours, Pumper Visits and Educational Visits 

Station Tours

Tours of local fire stations are available upon request. Station tours last approximately 45 minutes and include viewing the fire apparatus and firefighting equipment, as well as talking to the firefighters about their job.

Fire Department Policy restricts the number of people attending to 30 per tour. All school-age children are welcome to participate in group tours. For every four children attending, one supervisor is required.

View Fire Station Locations

Station Tour Request Form

If you are unable to bring your group to a Fire Station, you may request a Pumper attend your event or organization.

Pumper Visit

All Pumper Visits are approximately 1 hour in duration unless otherwise specified for promotional events. The Pumper will need an access area where they can make a quick and safe exit for any emergency calls that occur.

Pumper Visit Request Form

All requests must be submitted in writing on the appropriate form above to the Fire Prevention Support Clerk. Confirmation of your request will be followed up within five working days. Please do not book prior to one month in advance and no less than two weeks prior to the requested date.

Note: When we schedule a request, the firefighters may have to respond to an emergency, thus we do not guarantee availability.

Educational Visit

Educational visits are available by request for grades 1 and higher. The educational visit will be attended by on duty firefighters. Firefighters will discuss home fire safety and the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Visits will last approx. 30mins.  

Educational Visit Request Form

All requests must be submitted in writing on the appropriate form above to the Fire Prevention Support Clerk. Confirmation of your request will be followed up within five working days. Please do not book prior to one month in advance and no less than two weeks prior to the requested date.

Note: When we schedule a request, the firefighters may have to respond to an emergency, thus we do not guarantee availability.


Mail, email, fax or drop off your Request Form to the following:

City of Thunder Bay
Fire Rescue
Attention: Fire Prevention Support Clerk
Address: 330 Vickers Street N
Thunder Bay, ON P7C 4B2

Tel: (807) 625-2764
Fax: (807) 623-4545



Using A Fire Extinguisher

Only try to extinguish small fires. If the fire is too large, get out and close all doors behind you.

How to use a fire extinguisher:

  1. Pull the pin.
  2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze or pump the handle.
  4. Sweep from side to side at the base of the flame.

Not every extinguisher works on all kinds of fires, but some are effective on two or even three kinds of fires. Ensure your extinguisher will work on combustibles in the area by checking the classification of your extinguisher:

Class A - suitable for ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth and rubber.

Class B - effective on flammable liquids such as fuel oil, gasoline, cooking grease and solvents.

Class C - good for energized electrical equipment such as wiring, fuse boxes and electrical motors.

Class D - designed for combustible metals such as magnesium, sodium and zirconium.

Class K - designed to supplement pre-engineered kitchen suppression systems involving combustible cooking products.

  • Always place yourself between the exit and the fire so that you can escape if the fire does not go out.
  • Buy extinguishers which have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as U.L.C.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location and operating instructions of your extinguishers.

Never place yourself or others in jeopardy by attempting to extinguish a fire. If you cannot extinguish a small fire with a portable fire extinguisher, or if the smoke becomes hazardous, leave the area. Close the door to confine and contain the fire. Activate the fire alarm, wait outside for the firefighters to arrive and call 911.

Barbecue Grill Safety

Many people enjoy barbecuing in the summer months, but when grills are not used safely, things can go horribly wrong. Every year, our department responds to hundreds of fires involving grills and barbecues. These fires cause injuries and property damage. For safe grilling, always follow your owner's manual and practice these safety tips:

Safety First

  • Always grill outdoors.
  • Grills must be 10-feet from the side of a building unless the manufacturer's instructions say it can be closer. Make sure grills are not underneath overhanging branches.
  • Grills cannot be used on a porch, balcony or deck with a roof, overhang or wall (other than the exterior of the building).
  • Grills cannot be used on fire escapes.
  • Place grills away from the house and deck railings.
  • Keep all matches, lighters and lighter fluid away from children.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3-feet away from grills. Children should never play near grills or propane cylinders.

Gas Grill Safety

Safe Cooking

  • Open the grill lid when you light it. Propane can build up inside and when ignited, the lid may blow off.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, turn off and get away from the grill. Call 911 from a safe location. Do not move the grill.
  • Always turn off the burners and close the propane cylinder when done cooking.
  • Never leave a burning grill unattended.

Handling Propane

  • Keep all propane outdoors, at least 10-feet away from building openings such as doors, windows and dryer vents, and 20-feet away from air intake vents and ignition sources.
  • Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
  • Store propane cylinders upright in an outdoor, shaded area; do not leave cylinders in a vehicle; cylinders should not be used, stored, or transported where they can be exposed to high temperatures. 

Care and Maintenance

Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for the care and maintenance of your gas grill.

  • Check that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
  • Detect leaks by dabbing the connections with a solution of soapywater and turning on the gas momentarily. If bubbles occur, there is a leak that must be fixed before the grill is used. Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
  • Check the tubes to the burners for blockages resulting from insect nests or from grease. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockages.
  • Clean the grease trap every time you grill.
  • Take tanks and grills that need repair to a propane dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.
  • Replace propane cylinders that are old, rusty, or showing any other signs of disrepair.

Charcoal Grill Safety

  • Use only charcoal starter fluid. Gasoline and kerosene should not be used to start a fire in a grill. Never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals. Doing so may cause a flash fire and result in serious burn injuries.
  • Charcoal briquettes give off carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly. Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Never use charcoal grills indoors.
  • For proper disposal of grill ashes, allow the coals to burn out completely and then cool for 48 hours before disposal.
  • If you must dispose of ashes before they are completely cooled, thoroughly soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.

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