Fire & Safety

Fire Prevention Within the Norwich Fire Service

Fire Prevention Within the Norwich Fire Service The Norwich Fire Service is committed to fire prevention and education within the Township. The Norwich Fire Service utilizes volunteer firefighters who are provincially certified as Fire Inspectors. Working under the Fire Chief, these individuals carry out fire inspections throughout the Township based on complaints and requests as well as regular inspection scheduling. The Fire Protection and Prevention Act mandates that all care and treatment occupancies be inspected annually.

The Norwich Fire Service also has a volunteer firefighter who is a Fire and Life Safety Lead Educator. This individual works under the Fire Chief and oversees all Fire and Life Safety Education within the Township. The Lead Educator also possesses provincial certifications pertaining to that role. Fire Education is conducted by a team of volunteer firefighters from all 4 stations. There are approximately 40 public education events across the Township each year where fire and life safety messaging is delivered to targeted audiences with the goal of reducing injury and educating members of the public about safe fire practices.

TThe Township of Norwich Fire Department offers many programs for area school children. Fire Safety programs are offered to local schools for any grade students during fire prevention week or by request at any other time of the year. The Grand River Conservation Authority has also published the Kid’s Guide to Playing it Safe, Playing it Cool!, a water safety brochure for waterways and dams. The Township of Norwich has many beautiful waterways including the Otterville Dam, and it’s important that our children know the right way to play.

Students who are living away from home, should contact the fire department of the community they are residing in to learn if their student residence has been recently inspected.  Make sure there is a working smoke alarm on every floor of the building you are living in and prepare and practice an escape plan.  The following videos on the website may be helpful to consider while planning for your safe school year. 

Older adults are especially vulnerable when it comes to fire risk.  As we age, our reaction time slows, medical or mobility issues impair our ability move quickly and medication may increase drowsiness or forgetfulness.  Many Seniors who survive a fall never fully recover, they face chronic pain and reduced mobility which then puts them at risk for being injured or succumbing to a fire.  All of these issues contribute to the fact that Seniors in Ontario are at a high risk of dying in a fire.

Cooking is the #1 cause of residential fires in the Province of Ontario and is responsible for 12% of the fire deaths for Seniors.  Of all fatalities of Seniors 65 and older, 26% of them had a disability of some type.  Follow these fire safety tips so you don't become a statistic.

  1. When cooking, wear tight sleeves or short sleeves. 
  2. Keep a pot lid handy when cooking.  If a pot or pan catches fire, carefully slide the lid over the top of the pot and turn off the heat.  Don't ever try to carry a burning pot or pan outside or to the sink.  Never put water on a grease fire! Pouring baking soda or salt on a grease fire may cause burning oil to splatter onto you.
  3. If you have something on the stove, stay in the kitchen until it is finished.  If you have to leave the room, turn the stove off or bring an item such as a potholder or oven mitt with you to remind you.
  4. If your clothing catches fire, STOP DROP and ROLL! If you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from dropping to the ground, keep a towel or oven mitt handy to smother the fire. 

A barn fire is a farmer’s worst nightmare and often, it brings significant emotional and economic damage to a farming community. The Ontario Fire Marshal has indicated that between 2007 and 2011, barn fires in Ontario accounted for over $175 million in property losses. For more information on barn fires, please visit the Ministry of Agriculture and Food website.

Fire Prevention

The Ontario Fire Marshal in association with the Ontario Farm Safety Association has published a Farm Safety Checklist to assist farmers to reduce the risk of fire on their properties.

View the Farm Safety checklist.

Effective Oct. 15, 2014, Ontario made carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all homes and other residential buildings.

The new regulation updates Ontario's Fire Code following the passage of

Bill 77.

These updates are based on recommendations from a Technical Advisory Committee which was led by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and included experts from fire services, the hotel and rental housing industries, condo owners and alarm manufacturers.

Carbon monoxide alarm will now be required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Carbon monoxide alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.

Carbon Monoxide - Questions and Answers

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that you can't see, smell or taste. It's produced by the incomplete burning of fuels like natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood, due to inadequate air. Improperly installed or poorly maintained appliances that run on these fuels can create unsafe levels of CO. In enclosed spaces like your home, cottage or vehicle, even a small amount of CO is dangerous. For more information, please visit the Office of the Fire Marshal website.

What causes a CO hazard?

  • Fuel-burning appliances, venting systems and chimneys that haven’t been serviced or regularly maintained by a qualified heating contractor.
  • A chimney blocked by a bird or squirrel nest, snow and ice or other debris.
  • Improper venting of a furnace and cracked furnace heat exchangers.
  • Exhaust fumes seeping into your home from a car running in an attached garage.
  • Using fuel-burning appliances designed for the outdoors (like BBQs, lanterns, chainsaws, lawnmowers, snow-blowers) in a closed area (like a tent, recreational vehicle, cottage, garage).
  • Combustion gases spilling into a home if too much air is being consumed by a fireplace, or exhausted by a kitchen or bathroom fan, in a tightly-sealed house.

Be Aware of these Danger Signs

  • You or others in your family are feeling the symptoms of CO exposure.
  • You notice a sharp, penetrating odour or smell of gas when your furnace or fuel-burning appliance turns on.
  • The air feels stale or stuffy.
  • The pilot light of your gas furnace or other fuel-burning appliance goes out.
  • Chalky, white power forms on the chimney/exhaust vent pipe, or soot build up around the exhaust vent.
  • Excessive moisture forms on windows and walls.
  • The carbon monoxide alarm sounds.

The Township of Norwich Fire Service would like to take this opportunity to inform all residents that the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services has amended the Ontario Fire Code to require smoke alarms on every level, as well as outside all sleeping areas, in all single family, semi-detached and townhouse dwelling units, whether owner occupied or rented. This law came into effect in March 2006. For more information, please visit the  Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management website.



Smoke Alarm Regulation

Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas- it's the law!   

Failure to comply with the fire code smoke alarm requirements could result in a ticket of $235, or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for Corporations.

  • Homeowners:  It is the responsibility of homeowners to install and maintain smoke alarms on every storey of their home and outside sleeping areas.
  • Landlords:  It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure their rental properties comply with the law. 
  • Tenants:  If you are a tenant of a rental property and do not have the required number of smoke alarms, contact your landlord immediately. It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or tamper with the alarm in any way.

Forms are available from the Township of Norwich Fire Department for landlords and tenants regarding the installation of smoke alarms in rental properties.

When installing smoke alarms, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for information about correct placement. Test your smoke alarms every month using the test button.

Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, and whenever the low-battery warning chirps. Replace smoke alarms with new ones if they are more than ten years old. Steam from the shower or cooking in the oven, stove or toaster can cause smoke alarms to activate.  

Do not remove the battery. 
Instead, try moving the alarm to a different location, or purchase a smoke alarm with a hush feature that will temporarily silence the alarm. 

Fire escape planning is essential for Seniors and for anyone with a disability which may impair their ability to hear an alarm or escape from your home during a fire.  Plan ahead and practice your escape so you can address any possible issues before emergencies arise.  Can't crawl on your hands and knees?  Not sure if your window opens?  All these should be considered beforea fire happens.

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are required on every story of the home - it's the law! 

Test them every month.  If you are not able to stand on a ladder or chair, gently push the button with a cane or broom handle.  If your smoke alarms are battery operated, change the batteries when you change your clocks. 

If you have difficulty climbing a ladder or a chair, please have a friend or family member install the smoke alarm for you as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.  If you have no one to assist you, please contact us.