Our Fire Department are community leaders in fire education and prevention. Our fire prevention officer also performs fire code inspections, safety presentations, code enforcement and fire investigations. These important tasks make the Town a safer place to live and work.

Some other Fire Department duties include:

  • Plans examination
  • Fire safety consulting
  • Public relations
  • Programs related to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
  • Issuing burn permits
  • Issuing fireworks permits
  • Records maintenance

Smoke alarms

smoke alarm poster

Smoke alarms are very important fire prevention tools to protect you and your family. The smoke alarms save lives by providing early warning. Most fatal fires take place at night when you are sleeping. Make sure everyone in your home knows the sound of a smoke alarm and what to do in case of fire. Have your escape routes and meeting area planned.

The Ontario Fire Code requires every home in Ontario to have working smoke alarms. It's the law.

Where to install smoke alarms

You must install smoke alarms on every level of your home and near sleeping areas. Because smoke rises, you should place them on the ceiling.

Smoke alarm maintenance

Follow these steps to properly maintain your smoke alarms:

  • Test your smoke alarm monthly. Press the alarm test button to make sure the alarm still works.
  • Change your smoke alarm's batteries at least once a year. A good rule is to change the batteries each time you change your clocks in the spring and fall.
  • Dust buildup can clog the alarm. Gently vacuum your alarms often with a soft bristle brush.
  • If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, replace it with a new one.

Responsibilities of landlords and tenants

If you live in a rental unit or home, the landlord must:

  • Install, maintain and replace smoke alarms to keep them in working order.
  • Let tenants know how to operate the alarms.

The tenant must:

  • Not interfere or disable smoke alarms.
  • Notify the landlord if the smoke alarm stop working.

It is against the law for anyone to disable a smoke alarm, including homeowners, landlords and tenants. Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code can result in a $360.00 fine.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colourless, tasteless and odourless gas. A carbon monoxide alarm is essential in providing early warning when the deadly gas is present.

Where to install carbon monoxide alarms

  • Carbon monoxide alarms must be placed near all bedrooms if you have any fuel fired appliances or an attached garage.
  • Generally, carbon monoxide alarms may be installed at any height. This is because the gas mixes with air and does not rise like smoke. 
  • If you use a combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm, it must be installed on or near the ceiling in order to detect smoke effectively.
  • Always check the manufacturer's instructions when installing alarms.

Carbon monoxide alarm maintenance

Follow these steps to properly maintain your carbon monoxide alarms:

  • Test your smoke alarm monthly. Press the alarm test button to make sure the alarm still works.
  • Change your alarm's batteries at least once a year. A good rule is to change the batteries each time you change your clocks in the spring and fall.
  • Dust buildup can clog the alarm. Gently vacuum your alarms often with a soft bristle brush.
  • Replace the alarm within the timeframe indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions. This is usually between 7 and 10 years.

Responsibilities of landlords and tenants

If you live in a rental unit or home, the landlord must:

  • Install, maintain and replace carbon monoxide alarms to keep them in working order.
  • Let tenants know how to operate the alarms.

The tenant must:

  • Not interfere or disable smoke alarms.
  • Notify the landlord if the smoke alarm stop working.

Fire safety and home escape plans

Fire safety plan

A fire safety plan ensures the effective use of lifesaving features in a building to protect occupants from fire. The plan should be designed based on the resources of each unique building or complex. 

Emergency Planning is mandated by the Ontario Fire Code and the requirements within apply to, but not limited to, the following buildings containing any of the following:

  • Assembly occupancy or care or detention occupancy
  • Residential occupancy where the occupant load exceeds 10
  • Business and personal services occupancy where the occupant load exceeds 300
  • Mercantile occupancy where the occupant load exceeds 300
  • High hazard industrial occupancy where the occupant load exceeds 25
  • Medium hazard industrial occupancy where the occupant load exceeds 100
  • Low hazard industrial occupancy where the occupant load exceeds 300

If you have questions or do not know whether your business or building requires a fire safety plan, please contact the Saugeen Shores Fire Department.

Home Escape Plan

No matter where you live, you should have a home escape plan. Everyone in your home should know what to do when they hear an alarm or recognize an emergency. A basic home escape plan includes:

  • Making sure all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms work.
  • Planning two ways out of every room.
  • Designating a meeting spot outside.
  • Practicing your plan with everyone in your home.

Green flashing lights on vehicles

emergency firefighter sign

If you see a green flashing light on a vehicle, it means that a volunteer firefighter is responding to an emergency in his/her own vehicle.

What to do if you see a green flashing light

  • Safely pull over to the side of the road and allow the vehicle to pass.
  • Look before you re-enter the road. There may be more firefighters following.
  • Remember that the emergency the volunteer firefighter is responding to may be yours.

Fire inspections and presentations

Our Fire Department conducts regular inspections of commercial buildings to ensure compliance with the Ontario Fire Code. You can also request a home inspection by contacting the department.

Contact our department to request a fire safety presentation for large groups and residents.

Tanker service and property insurance premiums

Our tanker trucks provide fire flows to areas not serviced by fire hydrants. If your property is not serviced by a fire hydrant, but is located within eight kilometres of the Port Elgin Fire Station or the Southampton Fire Station, you may qualify for a reduction in property insurance premiums.

You can print the Port Elgin Fire Station Certificate of Accreditation or the Southampton Fire Station Certificate of Accreditation, depending on which station serves your property, and take it to your insurance agent. Your agent will let you know if your property qualifies for an insurance premium reduction.