Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Cottage Fire Safety: News Release Template

Fire Department Letterhead

Remember Fire Safety this Weekend, Urges Local Fire Service

(insert town name) – (insert date) May is when many Ontarians get a jump on summer by opening their cottages and other seasonal homes. The (insert fire department) is urging residents to add safety and prevention to their cottage plans.

“Cottages and other seasonal homes are vulnerable to unsafe conditions that can arise over the winter such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that no longer work, and chimneys that have become blocked,” said (insert Fire Chief’s name). “Those travelling to cottages, cabins and seasonal homes should take new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and batteries in case they need replacing when you arrive. We want everyone to enjoy the summer, and that includes staying safe.”

Other cottage fire safety tips include:

  • Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of homes, cottages, cabins and seasonal homes.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home, cottage or cabin has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least monthly or each time you return to the cottage. Pack a new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm and extra batteries in case they need replacing.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if the smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds.
  • Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your cottage’s emergency sign number, in case of emergency.
  • Clean barbecues before using them. Keep an eye on lit barbecues and ensure all combustibles, as well as children and pets, are kept well away from them. Fires can happen when barbecues are left unattended.
  • Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.
  • Remember to bring a flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Inspect heating appliances and chimneys before using them.
  • Check with your local fire department or municipality to determine whether open air burning is permitted before having a campfire or burning brush. If open burning is allowed, fires should be built on bare soil or on exposed rock. Remove leaves and twigs from around the fire to keep it from spreading. Always keep a bucket of water or sand and a shovel close by and supervise the fire at all times.
  • If you must smoke, do so outside. Keep a large can with water nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded.
  • If you drink, do so responsibly. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are contributing factors in many fires and can lead to serious injuries.
  • Burn candles in sturdy candleholders that will not tip and are covered with a glass shade. When you go out, blow out!


For more information, please contact:

(insert fire department contact information)