Fire Prevention

 

April Safety Message

 

FLOODING

FIRE SAFETY and POWER OUTAGES

FLOODS

Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada and the most dangerous in Ontario in terms of property damage, civil disruption and even death. Floods are typically caused by seasonal melting snow, ice jams, heavy spring rains and summer thunderstorms. Flash flooding is often caused by violent rain storms or breaking dams, and usually occurs with little or no advance warning. When you are building your family emergency plan review and discuss these safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do.

General Tips

If you are indoors:

  • Listen to the radio or television for emergency information.
  • Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so by local officials. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Do not eat fresh food that has come in contact with flood waters.

If you are outdoors:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Be aware that flash flooding may occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Keep children away from flood water.

 

Fire Safety and Power Outages

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.

Flood Safety Information

There is a heightened risk of electric shock when water makes contact with electrical systems that could seriously injure or kill you. Follow these electrical safety steps; it could save your life, or the lives of first responders and utility personnel working in the area.

Flooding has occurredoutlet flooded
 

  1. Do not enter your basement if you know or suspect water has risen above the level of electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or is near your electrical panel. Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause a severe electrical shock.
  2. In the event that flood water has risen above outlets, baseboard heaters or your furnace, covers power cords, or is near the electrical panel, contact your local electric utility immediately and arrange for them to disconnect power to your home.
  3. Watch out for downed power lines in flood-affected areas. If you see one, stay back 10 metres or the length of a school bus and call 9-1-1 and your local electric utility to report it.

Evacuation due to flooding

If you need to leave your home because flooding is imminent and there is no floodwater in your basement:

  1. Disconnect the power to your home by ensuring that the main switch by your electrical panel is left in the “off” position before you go.
  2. Move electrical appliances and devices out of your home or to an area in the house above the expected level of flood water. Do not attempt to use these products if they have been in contact with flood water.
  3. Watch out for downed power lines in flood-affected areas. If you see one, stay back 10 metres or the length of a school bus and call 9-1-1 and your local electric utility to report it.

Returning home after a flood

If you have water contact or damage to your electrical system:

  1. If water in your basement has risen above the electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or electrical panel, DO NOT enter the basement until the power has been disconnected by the local electric utility.
  2. If your electrical system has been affected, your utility may not be able to restore power to your property until damage has been assessed and necessary repairs have been made.
  3. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to evaluate your home’s electrical system to determine if it is safe to have the local electric utility restore power to your home.
    • The contractor will file for a permit with the ESA so there is a record of the work;
    • When the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA and the ESA Inspector will confirm work has been done safely and power can be reconnected;
    • ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect;
    • The utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.
    • Ask the contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your records and insurance

Prepare Now

  • Review and discuss the safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do during a flood.
  • Put weather protection sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
  • Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • Install the drainage for downspouts a sufficient distance from your residence to ensure that water moves away from the building.
  • Move any important documents or keepsakes out of the basement and store them at a higher level to protect them from flood damage.
  • For gas and water valves, keep shut off instructions close by and read them carefully.

For more information about home fire escape planning, contact your local fire department.

 

 

 

SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

Fire Prevention

The Lincoln Fire Rescue and Emergency Services Department provides a wide range of fire prevention programs from public education to code enforcement. The fire prevention office is responsible for fire safety inspections, community fire risk assessments, fire cause and origin investigations, site and building plans examinations, and public education.

Our Fire Prevention Officers can be reached by email at fpo@lincoln.ca or by telephone 905-563-8205.

Fire Safety Inspections

If you would like an Inspection of your building you can request an inspector by using the following form fire safety inspection request form. Complete the form and either mail with payment by cheque to:

Town of Lincoln Fire Prevention Office
4800 South Service Road
Beamsville, ON L0R 1B1

or alternatively bring it to the Town of Lincoln municipal office with payment in debit, cash or cheque. 

Please note the Town of Lincoln does not accept credit card payment for inspections.

Town of Lincoln Fees for services By-law sets the costs for fire inspections.  A copy of the by law can be found by clicking this link Town of Lincoln Fees for Service By-Law
If you are aware of an IMMEDIATELY LIFE THREATENING fire code violation you are advised to contact the fire prevention office directly. Inspections are done on a regular, request or complaint basis.

Fire Safety Education

Lincoln Fire Rescue & Emergency Services offers information on a variety of important safety topics, everything you need to know to keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe from fire and related hazards. Browse the categories below to find the topic you're looking for.

•    TAPP-C The Arson Prevention Program for Children

•    Fire Safety Information for Teens heading out on their own
 
•    Home Escape Plans

•    Safety tips for the Holiday Seasons

•    Cooking Safety

•    Carbon Monoxide

•    Smoke Alarms
 
•    Older Adult Fire Safety
 

Fire Code Enforcement

  • The Town of Lincoln fire prevention division has a responsibility to enforce the requirements of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 97 (FPPA) to ensure a minimum level of Life Safety is maintained in the various occupancies in the town. Enforcement of the FPPA and all of its regulations is taken very seriously.
  • It is the responsibility of a property owner to ensure that all applicable regulations and statutes are complied with. Property owners who fail to ensure that their properties meet the minimum standards of fire and life safety can be charge under the Provincial Offences Act and are subject to penalties as outlined in the FPPA. These fines can be up to $50,000 for an individual, imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both, or $100,000 for a corporation​

Town of Lincoln By-Laws 

Open Air Burning

  • An “open air fire” is defined as a fire in any open place, yard, field or area which is not contained or enclosed by a building or structure, and includes agricultural fires, outdoor fireplaces and chimineas, bonfires, and campfires.
  • Open air burning in the Town of Lincoln is regulated by By-Law No. 2013-03 and requires a valid Open Air Fire Permit. Permits are available from the Town of Lincoln Municipal Offices at 4800 South Service Road, Beamsville. There is a $30.00 application fee to cover administrative costs.  There is no fee for a Farm Permits on lands zoned for agricultural purposes used for bona fide farming operations.  Open Air Fire permits are valid for the calendar year, and expire on December 31 of each year. 
  • Barbecues, gas-fired appliances, and fires of limited size covered by a metal screen or grate and used strictly for the purpose of cooking do not require an Open Air Fire Permit.
  • A summary of the rules for open air burning are printed on the back of the Open Air Fire Permit, and can be viewed here: Burn Permit Quick Reference 
  • Please burn safely and responsibly. Setting or maintaining an open air fire without a permit, or in contravention of the By-Law is a violation of the Fire Code, which may result in prosecution and fines and/or imprisonment upon conviction. In addition, if the fire department is required to respond to extinguish an unlawful open air fire, cost recovery fees of $650 per vehicle dispatched for each hour or part will be charged.
  • Town of Lincoln By-Law 2013-03 sets out fees for ticketable offences.​

Fire Lanes and Parking Bylaw

  • Be aware that there are enforced restrictions throughout the town related to public parking and fire lane access. Signs post where parking is disallowed related to general parking as well as fire lane access. Illegally parked vehicles that may impede timely and efficient emergency equipment access will be ticketed by By-Law Enforcement Officers.  

Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms are the single most important tool towards combating loss of life due to fires. These simple yet cost effective alarms have saved countless lives and millions of dollars in property loss. The installation and maintenance of these devices is essential in protecting your family. Additionally, the design, practice and use of a very basic home evacuation plan in the event of a fire may be the difference between life and death. A working smoke alarm on every level of your home is required by Ontario law.

Where should I install my smoke alarm?

The smoke alarm should be installed between each sleeping area and the remainder of the building or where a sleeping area is served by a hallway, install the alarm in the hall. Always install the smoke alarm on or near the ceiling in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions. (see diagram)

 

All Ontario homes must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. The Ontario Building Code requires newer homes to have smoke alarms in all bedrooms.  The fire department strongly advices the installation of smoke alarms in bedrooms of all homes as well.  It is hoped there will be a reduction of the number of preventable fire-related injuries and fatalities. 

How do I maintain my smoke alarm?

Smoke alarms must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Models are available with limited battery life, life of the alarm batteries, hardwired to your household electric wiring or a combination so it is important that you read and follow the maintenance instructions for your smoke alarms.

Dust can clog a smoke alarm, so carefully vacuum the inside of a battery powered unit using the soft bristle brush. If electrically connected, shut off the power and vacuum the outside vents only. Restore power and test the unit when finished.

Smoke alarms do wear out, so if you think your alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new ones.

Smoke Alarm – Landlords and Tenants

  • Landlords are responsible for installing and maintaining Smoke alarms in their rental units
  • Landlords are required to test Smoke alarms in rental units annually and when changes are made to the electric circuit or a change of tenancy occurs.
  • Landlords are required to provide tenants with smoke alarm maintenance instructions.
  • Tenants must not remove the batteries or tamper with Smoke alarms in any way.
  • Tenants are required to inform the Landlord when a smoke alarm is disconnected; not working or the operation has been impaired in any way.
  • Smoke alarms must be tested every month by pressing the test button.

Any person who disables a smoke alarm will be charged under the Provincial Offences Act.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. It is produced by gas or oil furnaces, space and water heaters, clothes dryers, ovens, wood stoves and other household appliances that run on fuels such as wood, gas, oil or coal. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America. 

Over 80% of CO-related injuries and deaths in Ontario occur in the home (source: TSSA).

 
Why is carbon monoxide so deadly?

When you inhale CO, it can cause brain damage, suffocation or death. Because you cannot see, smell or taste this deadly gas, poisoning can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Everyone is at risk but pregnant women, young children, senior citizens and people with heart and lung problems are at greater risk.

Warning signs

CO poisoning and the flu seem a lot alike at first. Early warning signs of low-level poisoning include tiredness, headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and shortness of breath. Your skin may also turn pink or red. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and should call 9-1-1 as well as talk to your doctor.

Carbon Monoxide Law

Carbon monoxide alarm installation requirements

  • If your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage, install a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to each sleeping area.
  • If there is a fuel-burning appliance in your condo/apartment, install a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to each sleeping area.
  • If your building has a service room, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area above, below and beside the service room.
  • If your building has a garage, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area above, below and beside the garage.
  • For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of the home according to manufacturer’s instructions

Fuel-burning appliances include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.

“adjacent to each sleeping area” means the hallway serving or area outside the sleeping area. For instance, a CO alarm must be installed in the hallway adjacent to multiple bedrooms in a house or apartment. However, there may be situations where “adjacent to each sleeping area” refers to the area around the bed, within the bedroom or sleeping area itself.

Compliance with the legislation will be phased-in:

  • Homeowners and property owners/tenants in buildings that contain no more than 6 suites must comply as of April 15, 2015.
  • Residential occupancy owners of buildings with more than 6 suites have 12 months to comply (October 15, 2015).
  • CO alarms that have already been installed must be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Maintenance

Have a qualified service technician inspect and clean your fuel-burning appliances, furnace, vent pipe and chimney flues once a year. Bird’s nests, twigs and old mortar in chimneys can block proper ventilation and lead to build-up of carbon monoxide gas in the home.

Test your carbon monoxide alarm regularly to make sure it is operating properly. The owner’s manual should tell you how to test your alarm. Remember to check the manual for information on when to buy a new carbon monoxide alarm.

What should you do if the Carbon Monoxide Alarm sounds?

If the alarm sounds, you and all members of your household should leave your home immediately. From outside the home, call 9-1-1. Don’t go back inside until the problem has been found and corrected. Fire Service personnel will inspect your home to find the source of the carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Landlords and Tenants

  • Landlords are responsible for installing and maintaining CO alarms in their rental units
  • Landlords are required to test CO alarms in rental units annually and when the battery is replaced, changes are made to the electric circuit or a change of tenancy occurs.
  • It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or tamper with CO alarms in any way.
  • Test CO alarms every month by pressing the test button.
  • Replace batteries every year.
  • Replace CO alarms according to manufacturer's instructions

Student Safety

Lincoln Fire Rescue & Emergency Services is proud to have supported and be a part of Niagara College, Brock University, the Niagara Regional Fire Chiefs Association and the Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officers Association, Niagara Chapter with the Knowfire fire safety awareness program for young adults who are venturing out into the world on their own for the first time. For more information on this program please follow the link: Knowfire

 
4800 South Service Road
Beamsville, Ontario
L0R 1B1
  

TEL: 905-563-8205
FAX: 905-563-6566
Emergency After-hours: 905-641-0971
info@lincoln.ca

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