Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Fire Safety for Older Adults

Fire Safety for Older Adults

der woman and child, fire scene, text that says No Time To Spare

Ontario adults 65 years and older are at higher risk of dying by fire than any other age group.

Common fire scenarios involving adults 65 years and older:

  1. People smoking in their living area or bedroom while sleepy. Burning cigarettes or ashes ignite furniture/bedding or clothing.
  2. People reaching over a hot burner on the stove and igniting clothing.

Make sure a fire never starts by following these simple tips:

  • If you smoke use large, deep ashtrays. If anyone in the home smokes, smoke outside. Never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t reach for danger! Wear tight-fitting or rolled-up sleeves when cooking and don’t reach over a hot burner. Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking.
  • Always blow out candles before leaving the room.
  • Ensure items that can burn are one metre away from space heaters.
  • Avoid overloading the electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection.
  • Avoid running cords under rugs, which can damage the cord and cause a fire.
  • Install a smoke alarm on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms once a month and replace the battery once a year, or whenever the low-battery warning sounds.
  • Know exactly what to do and where to go if there is a fire. Plan and practice your escape! Develop a home fire escape plan or refer to your building’s fire safety plan.
  • Know your local emergency number. It may be 9-1-1 or the fire department’s phone number.