Fire Prevention Week from October 8 to 14, 2023

Fire Prevention Week runs until October 14, 2023, under the theme “You are the first responsible !”, and it’s an opportunity to remember the precautionary measures that can save lives, injuries and property losses.

The theme of Fire Prevention Week is “You are the first responsible! It reminds us that the majority of residential fires are still the result of human error.

Every year in Quebec, fires account for an average of:

  • 14 houses damaged every day;
  • 400 people injured;
  • 29,000 people evacuated;
  • One fire out of four starts in the kitchen, and all too often it’s the result of a distraction;
  • 45% of fire victims are over 65. If you’re a senior or someone close to a senior, be especially vigilant.

Knowing and adopting safe behaviors helps improve safety for all. Follow the recommendations of the Ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec:

Proper use of rechargeable devices

Many of the items you use every day are rechargeable:

  • cell phone;
  • laptop and tablet;
  • smartwatch;
  • robot (e.g. robot vacuum cleaner);
  • electric bikes and scooters;
  • vaping equipment;
  • cordless drill, etc.

To prevent fire when using rechargeable devices :

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow them at all times.
  • Respect the maximum charging time (e.g. by using a timer).
  • Use the charger supplied with the device, or an approved model.
  • Avoid exposing the charger to water, heat or extreme cold.
  • Do not modify or tamper with the charger.
  • Regularly check the charger for damage.
  • Dispose of batteries at a depot or ecocenter. Never put them in the garbage or recycling bin, as they could start a fire if crushed by equipment.

Cooking in complete safety

To prevent a kitchen fire:

  • Avoid distractions (phone, tablet, laptop, TV).
  • Always keep the saucepan lid within easy reach, and use a timer to calculate cooking time.
  • Never heat oil in a pot to fry food. Use a deep fryer.
  • Never place combustible objects on top of the stove or in the oven.
  • Do not wear loose clothing when cooking.
  • When using the stove or barbecue, delegate other responsibilities to another person to assist you.
  • Before leaving the kitchen, make sure all cooking appliances are securely closed.

Functional smoke and gas alarms

At all times, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (if required) are working:

✅ During the year, if your horn emits an intermittent beeping sound ????, replace the batteries.
✅ Choose long-life batteries such as lithium, or use rechargeable batteries only if recommended by the device manufacturer.
✅ Remember to replace the batteries in your alarms when you move into a new home, and never paint them.
✅ As smoke alarms have a limited lifespan, you should replace them every 10 years.