Fire Fatalities Across Ontario Increase by 65% Since Last Year

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Fire Services crestFire fatalities across Ontario have increased by 65% compared to the same time last year. In March alone 17 Ontarians died in fires. Peterborough Fire Chief Chris Snetsinger reminds everyone it’s important to keep fire safety top of mind.  

“I urge you to be vigilant in preventing fires in your home, especially now with so many people at home practicing physical distancing because of COVID-19,” said Fire Chief Chris Snetsinger.

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

There are simple things that residents can do to prevent a fire from happening in their home:

  • always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking
  • thoroughly extinguish all smoking materials in water or sand
  • avoid overloading electrical outlets - extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection
  • 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.

Residents should have a fire safety plan and ensure that everyone knows what to do if a fire starts:

  • ensure everyone in your household knows two ways out in the event of a fire
  • determine who will help young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape
  • choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post

“Early warning is essential to saving lives in a fire. Make sure to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button,” reminded Snetsinger.


For more information, contact:

Amanda Nichols, Public Educator

Peterborough Fire Services