Did you know that cooking is the number one cause of residential fires in Ontario? Keep your home safe by completing these checklists for your kitchen, bedroom, living room and storage areas.

Print this page to check items off the list.

On this page:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Bedroom
  3. Living room
  4. Cellar, attic, storage and work areas
  5. 12 days of holiday fire safety 


  • keep appliances in good repair
  • only use appliances that have been approved as safe through electrical testing like microwaves and pressure cookers
  • inspect gas appliances annually
  • unplug your appliances you’re not using them
  • keep appliances a good distance away from the sink and stove
  • fix any frayed cords or exposed wires on appliances
  • roll up excess electrical cord to prevent an accident
  • do not use the area above your stove for storage
  • keep spray cans and flammable liquids away from the stove
  • keep wastebaskets and other items that can burn away from the stove


  • keep bedding and laundry away from radiators and electric heaters
  • check your windows to make sure they are easy to open
  • only use an extension cord to hold one plug
  • do not run cords under rugs, over doorways or hang them over nails
  • keep a clear path to the exit that would be your escape from a potential fire
  • do not smoke in the bedroom

Living room

  • if you smoke, you are responsible for your smoking materials
    • use proper ashtrays and not cups, cans or lids
  • keep ashtrays on tables and not on the arms of a chairs or sofas
  • keep your fireplace screened and free of ashes
  • do not put furniture or other items in front of potential exits that could be used to escape a fire
  • keep lamps away from burnable decorations, including drapes
  • hang drapes away from radiators

Cellar, attic, storage and work areas

  • discard newspaper and garbage
  • store items that can burn away from the heat source and never under stairs
  • store all gasoline outside the house
  • store paints, solvents, turpentine, lighter fluid, rags or brushes soaked and locked in metal storage containers marked "flammable"
  • use fuses or circuit breakers that are the right size
  • clean the furnace or heating system every year

12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety

  1. Water fresh trees daily
    If you're using a real tree, make sure your tree stand holds a lot of water. Trees can drink up to four litres of water per day. Check the water level every day and add water as needed. Always place your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, television sets, and any other sources of heat.
  2. Inspect all cords and lights before decorating
    Inspect your decorative lights and cords before putting them on the tree, in a window or outdoors. If wiring is frayed or damaged, or the lights are old or broken, they should not be used.
  3. Test smoke alarms
    In Ontario, it is the law to have working smoke alarms on every floor of a building and outside of all sleeping areas. Test your alarms monthly to make sure they will alert your household members if a fire occurs, giving you the time you will need to safely escape.
  4. Test carbon monoxide alarms
    If you have a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or garage attached to your home, you must install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm outside of all sleeping areas. CO is an invisible, odourless gas that can quickly kill you. Test your CO alarms monthly and learn the signs of CO exposure
  5. Practice your fire escape plan
    It's important that everyone in your residence knows what to do if there is a fire. Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with everyone staying in your household or anyone staying with you.
  6. Use extension cords wisely
    People often use extension cords for extra lights to decorate their residence or tree. Make sure cords never go under rugs or ground coverings as this can cause damage to the cord and lead to a fire. Extension cords should only be used as a temporary connection.
  7. Give space heaters space
    If you are using space heaters to help stay warm, keep them at least one metre (three feet) away from anything that can burn like curtains, upholstery or decorations. Make sure decorations are also kept a safe distance away from any fireplaces or heat sources, too.
  8. Blow out before you go out
    Candles can make your space smell nice, but never use candles on or near a Christmas tree, and avoid the use of decorations that can easily burn, like paper. Remember to place candles in sturdy holders so they can't be knocked over and remember to blow them out before walking away or going out.
  9. Safely store matches and lighters
    Matches and lighters can be deadly if they get in the hands of children. It's important to store them out of the reach of children. If you smoke, have only one lighter or book of matches and always keep them with you.
  10. Watch what you heat
    It's easy to get distracted when you are cooking holiday meals. Cooking fires most commonly occur when cooking is left unattended. Always stay nearby when you are cooking, especially if you are using oil or high temperatures.
  11. Encourage smokers to smoke outside
    Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires. Smoking outside creates less of a risk. If you do allow smoking indoors, use large, deep ashtrays that can't be knocked over and make sure to properly extinguish.
  12. Drink responsibly
    Many fire deaths are caused by people attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. If you drink, drink responsibly and keep an eye on others in your household who are drinking.