Fire Safety - Smoke Alarms and an Escape Plan


Fire Chief Urges Residents to Install Smoke Alarms and Practice Home Fire Escape Plans.  “A working smoke alarm will provide you and your family with the early warning necessary in order to safely escape a fire in your home” says Fire Chief David Cunliffe

Just as important as having working smoke alarms is making sure everyone in your home knows exactly what to do before a fire occurs. Practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in your home.

“In most cases the loss of life in a house fire is preventable. It is up to you to make sure these types of tragedies do not happen in the City of Hamilton. I am asking all residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their residence by testing their smoke alarms today. If help is required to test your alarm or you need assistance, call us at 905-546-3382 and we will come and help” continued Chief Cunliffe.

Simple smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tips:

  • Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home. For added protection, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of your home according to manufacturer’s recommendations.  
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Change the batteries every year.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms wear out over time. Replace alarms according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Simple steps for home fire escape planning include:

  • Everyone should know two ways out of each room, if possible. 
  • All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use. 
  • If someone in your home has a disability, develop a home fire escape plan with your household that takes into account their unique needs. Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.
  • Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for. 
  • Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.
  • Practice your home fire escape plan.
  • Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.

For people who live in apartment buildings and need assistance to escape:

  • Make sure you tell the superintendent or landlord if you need assistance.
  • Make sure your name is added to the persons who require assistance list in the fire safety plan, so the fire department knows which apartment you are in.
  • Know the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan.

For information on fire safety, contact our Fire Prevention Division at 905 546-2424 ext. 1380, weekdays between 8:30am and 4:30pm or visit our web-site at