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Fire safety programs and outreach

Public Education

Public Education educates the public about fire / life safety and fire safety regulations. This is completed through carrying out the following:

  • Hosting and participating in public education events and training sessions to promote fire safety
  • Developing and distributing education materials
  • Utilizing social media to advocate fire safety

Our Public Education Services:

  • Fire Station Tour
  • Fire Extinguisher Training
  • Fire Safety Presentation
  • Fire Truck Visit
  • OFS Public Education Event Information
  • OFS attendance at a community event
  • Public Education Program Information
  • Sparky/Fire Safety House/Display Table

The delivery of Public Education and Fire Prevention is mandated for every municipality under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

Details on scheduling station tours and community events

Dates and Time Frame

All inquiries, by the public or personnel, are to be directed to: fireeducation@ottawa.ca or (613) 580-2658

Mondays:
13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00
Thursdays:
18:30 – 21:00
Saturdays:
09:00 – 11:00; 13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00

Exceptions:

Station #12
Wednesdays:
13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00
Thursdays:
18:30 – 21:00
Saturdays:
09:00 – 11:00; 13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00

Station #44
Wednesdays:
13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00
Fridays:
18:30 – 21:00
Saturdays:
09:00 – 11:00; 13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00

Station #53
Tuesdays:
13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00
Thursdays:
18:30 – 21:00
Saturdays:
09:00 – 11:00; 13:00 – 15:00; 18:30 – 21:00

*Please note that other exceptions may apply when Ottawa Fire Services is taking part in annual campaigns. 

Wake Up! Program

Wake Up! Get a Working Smoke Alarm.

Firefighters visit Ottawa homes each spring and fall and have been doing so since the Wake Up! program began in 2005. They visit homes within the community to encourage residents to install, test and ensure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in their homes are present and in working condition.

Homeowners who need new or additional alarms are given information on how to acquire one. Meanwhile homeowners who do not have any working smoke alarms may have one immediately installed for them on-site, or be provided with new batteries.

Firefighters are in uniform and residents are not obligated to provide them access to their home. This is a courtesy call and only select areas each year are visited. If no one is home when OFS comes calling, fire safety information is left in the mailbox. 

Two eight-day blitzes took place in 2016 as part of the annual Wake Up campaign. The first was held from June 6 to 13 and the second blitz took place September 14 to 21.

2017 Wake Up! dates will be announced at a later date.

Did you know?

A working smoke alarm can save your family's lives in the event of a fire in your home.

Did you know that 90 per cent of residential fires are preventable? In Ontario, from 1995 to 2004, almost half (48 per cent) of the preventable fatal fires had no smoke alarm warning. Out of those fires:

  • 60 per cent had no batteries or power removed
  • 7 per cent had dead batteries
  • 4 per cent the batteries were not properly installed

In Ottawa, 44 people have lost their lives due to fires since 2002.

Legal responsibility

In Ontario, you must have a working smoke alarm outside every sleeping area in your home. As of March 1, 2006 you must also have at least one working smoke alarm on every storey that does not contain a sleeping area. It's the law!

If you live in a rental unit, it is the owner's legal responsibility to make sure that you have working smoke alarms.

It is also against the law to disable a smoke alarm.

Furthermore, the Ontario Fire Marshal recommends that each bedroom has a smoke alarm installed within it.  The revised Ontario Building Code requires that new homes have smoke alarms installed each bedroom and the Fire Marshal is asking that all fire departments in Ontario support this initiative and advocate for smoke alarms in bedrooms.

Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep.  In fact, one quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. If you need more reasoning to ensure you have working smoke alarms, three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Quick Tips:

  • Smoke alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area or where a sleeping area is served by a hallway, install the alarm in the hall.  Ensure the smoke alarm is installed on or near the ceiling, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install a new battery at least once a year; however we recommend changing them each time we change our clocks. That means once in the spring, and once in the fall.
  • Smoke and Carbon Mononxide (CO) alarms should be tested once a month to ensure they are working properly.  
  • Dust can clog a smoke alarm, so carefully vacuum the inside of the unit if possible. Remember, if it’s electrically connected, shut the power off first. 

Test your smoke alarm

To make sure your smoke alarm is working, you should test it once a month by pushing the test button.

If you think your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new ones.

Change your clock, change your battery

To make sure that the batteries are always fresh, change the battery in your smoke alarm when you change your clock in the spring and fall.

If you do not have a working smoke alarm or if you want more information about smoke alarms and fire safety, contact Ottawa Fire Services at 613-580-2860.

Public attitude towards fire safety

A national study commissioned by Duracell and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) showed:

  • One in 10 Canadians experiences a fire in their home, but 48 per cent believe it won’t happen to them
  • 64 per cent of Canadians claim to have an escape plan, but 63 per cent never practice it
  • 28 per cent have replaced a smoke alarm
  • 19 per cent have never replaced their batteries

A fire can destroy your home in minutes.

Energy source for smoke alarms

As an energy source for smoke alarms, the Ontario Building Code states:
9.10.19.3. Power Supply(1) Except as permitted in Sentence (2), smoke alarms shall be installed by permanent connections to an electrical circuit and shall have no disconnect switch between the overcurrent circuit device and the smoke alarm.

Many homes in Ontario have smoke alarms that rely solely on the supply of household electricity as an energy source. When power to your home is disrupted for any reason, the smoke alarms are no longer energized. Often, a power outage is planned and managed. For many customers, it is desirable to have the power outage during the night, when their demand for electricity is minimal. Unfortunately, this is when most people are at home sleeping, and depend on a working smoke alarm for early warning of a fire.

Many retailers offer smoke alarms with various features. One such feature is dual power. This smoke alarm option is designed to satisfy the requirements of the Ontario Building Code, and offer an additional energy source from a 9 Volt battery. This unit provides continuous protection when household electricity is not available. The dual power smoke alarm does not have battery charging capability and just like any other battery operated smoke alarm, the battery should be changed twice a year. Another option to ensure continuous protection during a power outage is to install additional battery operated smoke alarms within your home.

Remember, change your clocks, change your batteries.

Smoke alarm tips

Which type of smoke alarm should a homeowner purchase?

It is the consumer's responsibility to assess the circumstances of their household and to select the most appropriate alarm. However, an important consideration in the purchase of a smoke alarm is conformance to a recognized standard. In Ontario, CAN/ULC-S531 is the recognized standard for both the ionization and photoelectric types of alarms. Both ionization and photoelectric type products conforming to this standard are available on the market. A homeowner will know that a smoke alarm meets the requirements of this standard by the ULC or cUL label on the device.

Which type of alarm is more effective?

There is no simple answer to this question. The two types operate on different principles and therefore may respond differently to various conditions. Some advantages to each type are set out below:

Ionization
  • Fastest type to respond to flaming fires
  • Lowest cost and most commonly sold
  • Some models have a hush or temporary silence feature that allows silencing without removing the battery
  • Some models are available with a long life battery
Photoelectric
  • Fastest type to respond to slow smouldering fires and white or gray smoke
  • Less prone to nuisance alarms from cooking

Notwithstanding these differences, to achieve ULC listing, both alarms must be tested to the same standard and meet the same requirements. Photoelectric smoke alarms may respond slightly faster to smouldering fires, while ionization alarms respond slightly faster to flaming fires. Since you can't predict the type of fire that will occur, it is difficult to recommend which is best. Both alarms will detect all types of fires that commonly occur in the home. Installing both types of smoke alarms in your home can enhance fire safety.

Information provided by the Office of the Fire Marshal

What should tenants do if they don't have a working smoke alarm?

The Ontario Fire Code states that the owner is responsible for both the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms. It also states that "Smoke alarms shall be maintained in operating condition by the owner." This means at all times. Tenants should test the smoke alarms as per the manufacturers recommendations.

Where should I install my smoke alarms?

The Ontario Fire Code states:" Effective March 1, 2006, it is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. With this previously announced Fire Code amendment now in effect, it is hoped there will be a reduction of the number of preventable fire-related injuries and fatalities.

The amendment covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented."

When should I replace my smoke alarm?

Studies have shown that alarms should be replaced after seven to 10 years.

Why does my smoke alarm go off a lot?

It may be dirty. Clean the unit with a vacuum cleaner - dust particles can and often do set off false alarms.

The alarm may also need to be moved or replaced. It could be too close to the kitchen, bathroom, or heat register. If the alarm appears to be defective, replace it as soon as possible.

Why does my alarm beep?

It may have a weak or inappropriate battery. Check the manufacturer's instructions.

Ontario Fire Marshal

Working smoke alarms: it's the law

Vehicle Donation Program

Program Overview:

Ottawa Fire Services responds to thousands of emergencies each year that involve extricating drivers and passengers from vehicles after a collision. Often there are serious injuries and before a victim can be removed, firefighters must use specialized tools and techniques to remove parts of the vehicle from around the accident victim.

Auto extrication has become a very specialized field. With an increased use of lightweight vehicle components, airbags, computer controlled security and alternate fuel/hybrid systems; it has become even more important that firefighters keep their knowledge current and are informed of changes in both vehicle designs and in extrication techniques.

As part of Ottawa Fire Services’ training program, firefighters take part in training sessions which use scrap vehicles usually donated or obtained from a recycler. Ottawa Fire Services have implemented a program to facilitate the donation of scrap vehicles directly to the Fire Service for training purposes in exchange for a $300 tax receipt (as you would receive for other charitable donations).

STEP 1: REGISTER 

To donate a vehicle to the program, please register by sending an e-mail with the information (in bullets) below to OFSVehicleDonationProgram@ottawa.ca

  • Vehicle Year
  • Vehicle Make
  • Vehicle Model
  • Vehicle Color
  • VIN#
    Full Name of Registered Owner(s)
  • Phone Number
  • Location of Vehicle (for pick up)
  • Mailing address for Tax Donation Receipt
  • An electronic copy of the vehicle’s permit (back and front) is also required. You send a scanned copy (a clear photograph of the permit) as an e-mail attachment with the above information.

STEP 2: COMPLETE AND SUBMIT VEHICLE PERMIT – APPLICATION FOR TRANSFER

After your email with the above information is received, your information will be reviewed and you will be contacted again with a request to submit the vehicle’s permit to the Ottawa Fire Services.

The original left-hand side of the vehicle's permit, called "PERMIT - VEHICLE PORTION", must be submitted with the back section called "Application for Transfer" filled out. 

Under the "Application for Transfer" heading, there are 3 fields which need to be filled in:

  • “The City of Ottawa” is to be written in the first field, as the “Name of Buyer” (1st line)
  • The signature(s) of all registered owners (if more than one) are to be written in the field as the “Signature of Seller” (5th line down, next to the Date)
  • Write in the date on which you sign over the vehicle to the City of Ottawa in the "Date" field

Once the “Application for Transfer” portion of the permit has been filled out, you must send it to the Ottawa Fire Services before we can make arrangements to pick up your vehicle. (The right-hand side of your permit, known as the “PERMIT – PLATE PORTION” should stay with your license plates.)

You can either mail or drop the original signed permit off in person at 1445 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1Z 7L9, attention: OFS Vehicle Donation Program. Our building is attached to Fire Station 23 at the corner of Carling and Kirkwood, should you decide to deliver the document in person. The office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

STEP 3: PICK-UP APPOINTMENT & TAX DONATION RECEIPT

Once the vehicle is registered for the program and we have received the vehicle’s permit signed over to the City of Ottawa, your contact information will be shared with one of our vehicle recycling partners. Within 48 hours, one of our partners will call you to make an appointment to pick up the vehicle. This is done at no cost to the owner. Please ensure that your license plates and any personal belongings are removed from the vehicle prior to pick-up. At the time of pick-up, you must show a current photo ID (Driver's License, Government ID, or passport) to verify your identity.

After the vehicle has been picked up by one of our vehicle recycling partners, the City of Ottawa’s Finance Department will begin to process your $300.00 Tax Donation Receipt. The receipt will be mailed to you at the address that you have specified in your registration email.

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

My vehicle is not in great shape. Can I still donate it?

Yes, we accept any vehicle regardless of its age or condition.

My car does not have a battery. Can I still donate it?

Yes, but please indicate this in your registration email.

My car does not have any tires. Can I still donate it?

Yes, but please indicate this in your registration email.

need my vehicle to be picked up as soon as possible. How do I arrange this?

The Ottawa Fire Services requires the signed permit before we can schedule the vehicle’s pickup, so the sooner we receive the permit from you, the quicker we are able to arrange the pickup.

Can I leave the vehicle’s permit inside the vehicle for the tow truck operator instead of dropping it off in person or mailing it?

No, our program requires that the Ottawa Fire Services have the original, signed permit in our possession before we can schedule the vehicle’s pick up. The permit can be mailed to us at the address specified above, or it can also be dropped off in person during our business hours.

I want to donate my vehicle, but I’d like to keep the tires. Is this possible?

Yes, you can keep the tires, but the vehicle must first be towed with the tires on. Arrangements can be made with the towing partner to pick up the tires afterwards.

Can I watch my vehicle being used for extrication training?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate this request.

Can I have the Tax Donation Receipt issued to someone other than the registered owner?

The Tax Donation Receipt can only be issued to the person whose name is on the Vehicle’s Permit (the registered owner).

I want to donate a vehicle belonging to a deceased family member. How do I do this?

The process for donation is the same; however the Tax Donation Receipt will be issued to the Estate of the deceased person, not to the person who is helping to facilitate the donation.

How long does it take to receive the Tax Donation Receipt in the mail?

It takes approximately 60 days to receive the Tax Donation Receipt in the mail.

Can I have the Tax Donation Receipt emailed to me?

We are not able to provide electronic receipts at this time.

Fire Prevention Week

October 9th to 15th October 2016

“Don’t wait – check the date! replace smoke alarms every 10 years,” represents the final year of the three-year effort to educate the public about basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety.

Why focus on smoke alarms three years in a row? Because National Fire Protection Association’s survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire.  For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced.

As a result of those and related findings, we’re addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages:

  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years;
  • Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home;
  • To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

This message serves as a reminder of our personal responsibilities for fire safety:

  • The prevention of fires in the first place;
  • The detection of smoke and fire with working smoke alarms as a second line of defence; and
  • The evacuation to safety by having a well-rehearsed escape plan as the third and most important action.

Here are a few tips on fire safety at the workplace:

  • Do not install personal heaters in your cubicle or office;
  • Do not use or install appliances such as kettles or microwaves outside of the designated kitchen areas;
  • Do not store combustibles or flammables such as hand sanitizers outside of approved containers; and
  • Do not hold onto used batteries.  Ensure that they are promptly recycled.

Fire Prevention Week - Public Events

October 7th-17th

Display

Ottawa Public Library Main Branch - 120 Metcalfe

October 8th / 10am-1pm

Display Table

Lowe's - 5577 Hazeldean Road

October 9th / Game Time 2:00pm

Display Table

TD Place - Fury Game

October 11th / 10:30am-11:15am

Story Time OPL

Alta Vista Branch - 2516 Alta Vista Ottawa, K1V 7T1

October 11th / 10:30am-11:15am

Story Time OPL

Rideau Branch - 377 Rideau Ottawa, K1N 5Y6

October 12th / 10:30am-11:15am

Story Time OPL

Centennial Branch - 3870 Richmond Ottawa, K2H 5C4

October 12th / 1:00pm-1:45pm

Story Time OPL

Blackburn Hamlet Branch - 199 Glen Park Ottawa, K1B 5B8

October 12th / 1:00pm-3:00pm

Fire Safety Presentation / Learning Centre

424 Chapman Mills Drive

(Punjabi Seniors Group)

October 12th / 11:00am-1:00pm

Display Table

Tim Horton’s - 2495 Bank Street

Tim Horton’s - 2162 Prince of Wales Drive

Tim Horton’s - 1665 Hunt Club Road

Tim Horton’s - 372 Hunt Club Road

October 12th-14th / 11:00am-2:00pm

Display Table

St. Laurent Shopping Centre - 1200 St. Laurent Boulevard

October 13th/10:00am-1:00pm

Display table

Movati Athletic Centre - 3772 Innes Road

October 13th / 11:00am-1:00pm

Display Table

T & T Supermarket - 224 Hunt Club Road

October 13th / 11:00am-1:00pm

Display Table

Food Basics Grocery Store - 3712 Innes Road

October 13th / 10:30am

Storey Time

North Gloucester - 2036 Ogilvie Ottawa, K1J 7N8

October 14th / 11:15am

Story Time OPL

Beaverbrook Branch - 2500 Campeau Ottawa, K2K 2W3

October 14th / 1pm-3pm

Display Table

Metro Grocery Store - 1021 St. Laurent Boulevard

October 14th / 10:00am-10:45am

Story Time OPL

St Laurent Branch - 515 Côté Ottawa, K1K 0Z8

October 14th / 10:30am-11:15am

Story time OPL

Rosemount Branch - 18 Rosemount Ottawa, K1Y 1P4

October 15th / 10:30am-11:15am

Story Time OPL

Ruth E Dickinson Branch - 100 Malvern Ottawa, K2J 2G5

October 15th / 10:00am-1:00pm

Display Table

Home Depot - 1900 Baseline Road

Home Depot - 2121 Tenth Line

Home Depot - 2056 Bank Street

Home Depot - 3779 Strandherd Drive

October 19th/9:00am-12:00pm

Display table

Movati Athletic Centre - 19 Frank Nighbor Place

October 19th / 11:00am-2:00pm

Display table

Movati Athletic Centre - 15 Crestway Drive

October 19th / 11:00am-2:00pm

Display Table

Movati Athletic Centre - 195 Trainyards Drive

October 20th / 6:00pm-9:00pm

Display Table

River Ward Community Safety Night - 3320 Paul Anka Drive 

Contact Public Education

Contact Public Education to Request the following:

  • Fire Station Tour
  • Fire Extinguisher Training
  • Fire Safety Presentation
  • Fire Truck Visit
  • OFS Public Education Event Information
  • OFS attendance at a community event
  • Public Education Program Information
  • Sparky/Fire Safety House/Display Table

By Email

For Public Education: FireEducation@ottawa.ca

By Phone:

Telephone Directory: 613-580-2860

Fax: 613-580-2864 

Please allow 2-3 business days for an initial response after leaving a voicemail or sending an email.

Please note phone lines are monitored during standard office hours Monday to Friday. For after-hours information and non-emergency support or assistance please dial 3-1-1 and a City of Ottawa client service agent will assist you. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only.

Public Education Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you offer birthday party events?

No, although we’d like to wish everyone a Happy Birthday, we are an emergency service that provides educational information such as station tours, fire extinguisher training, and fire safety presentations.

2. Do you offer fire extinguisher training?

Yes*, free of charge. We visit 1 work location every 6 months.

Bullex Training: Indoor training all year round

Tutor Training: Outdoor training held from spring to fall *Please note for the Tutor training you must provide your own fire extinguisher. (One 10lb extinguisher can train 3-4 people)

For more information please contact the Fire Education Division at 613-580-2424 x15376 or at fireeducation@ottawa.ca

3. Do you offer display tables at events and fairs?

We offer a free display tables at fairs, and events with a Fire Prevention Officer who will promote fire safety and hand out information material. For more information please contact the Fire Education Division at 613-580-2424 x15376 or at fireeducation@ottawa.ca

4. What is the availability of the Fire Safety House & Learning Centre?

Fire Safety House is only available for grade 3-4 students through the spring and fall & The Learning Centre is only available for grade 7-8 students through the spring and fall

For more information please contact the Fire Education Division at 613-580-2424 x15376 or at fireeducation@ottawa.ca

5. Do you offer Fire Station Tours?

Yes, minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 25 people per group, this is an educational tour only and does not offer a party room to hold events.  For more information please contact the Fire Education Division at 613-580-2424 x15376 or at fireeducation@ottawa.ca

6. Can you send a fire truck to an event?

Yes, if it is a non profit event with a minimum of 50 participants.  We require a minimum of two weeks’ notice in order to schedule the trucks.

Friendly reminder: Personnel in the Fire Station are emergency responders and at any time and point may have to leave or may not be present if an emergency occurs.

7. Do you do Fire Safety Presentations?

Yes for high rises, ESL schools, elementary & high schools, as well as for senior residences. For more information please contact the Fire Education Division at 613-580-2424 x15376 or at fireeducation@ottawa.ca

8. Do you offer Youth Fire Safety Programs?

We offer a Juvenile Fire Setters Program. For more information please contact the Fire Education Division at 613-580-2424 x15376 or at fireeducation@ottawa.ca