Between January 1 and May 4, 2019, there were 31 fire fatalities in Ontario. Over that same period in 2020, there have been 51 fire fatalities.

There are simple things that you can do to prevent a fire from happening in your home and ensure that everyone knows what to do if a fire starts. How to protect yourself and your loved ones Reduce fire risks in your home:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires.
  • Keep a close eye on anyone drinking alcohol and attempting to cook or smoke.
  • Encourage smokers to smoke outside the home and outside the garage. Thoroughly extinguish all smoking materials in water or sand.
  • Always blow out candles before leaving the room.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. Avoid running electrical cords under rugs, which can damage the cords and cause a fire.
  • Ensure items that can burn are at least one metre away from space heaters.
  • Do not attempt to sterilize or decontaminate face masks for re-use by heating them in a microwave oven. Various fabric or metal components can overheat or create sparks and cause a fire if heated in a microwave.

Kenora fire chief Todd Skene is reminding families to stay safe, during the pandemic.

"We did have a recent fire over in Norman. It was caused by electrical. They were charging a lithium battery for a drill. It was plugged in constantly, and it overloaded the systems," he noted.  

Skene adds this is a good time for everybody to go over emergency plans, in case of a fire. This would include testing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as going over any emergency escape plans.

“Only you can make sure these types of tragedies do not happen in Kenora,” continued Skene. “You need to do everything you can to prevent a fire in your home.”

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Electrical fire in Norman, everyone safe