Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Fire Safety and Flooding

Keep fire safety in mind during flooding situations

Flooding is a significant natural hazard in Ontario that can happen at any time. Heavy rains, rapid snowmelt, spring break-up and ice jams, wind-related storm surges across large lakes or the failure of dams can all cause floods.

Power outages can often occur in association with flooding conditions. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management offers the following fire safety tips if power outages occur during a flood:

  • To reduce fire risk, use flashlights, glow sticks, or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles.
  • If using candles, place them in a secure holder and cover with a glass chimney, away from children and pets.
  • Make sure electric stove elements and small appliances are OFF or unplugged to prevent fires from occurring when the electricity is restored.
  • Propane and charcoal barbecues are for outdoor use only. Do not bring them inside.
  • Make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Electrically-connected smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-ups.
  • Use only portable space heaters that have been designed for indoor use. Provide adequate ventilation and refuel the heater outside, when required.
  • Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home.

Electrical Safety

Electrical equipment impacted by flood water can be extremely dangerous.

For important information about electrical safety during floods, visit the Electrical Safety Authority’s website at:

Emergency Preparedness

When you are building your family’s emergency plan, review and discuss these safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do:

Current Flooding Conditions For up-to-date information about flooding conditions, visit