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FAQ

Contact(s)

Can I have a fire in my back yard?

Open air burning is banned in urban populated areas and in what is called "hamlet residential'' areas as set out in Clarington's Official Plan.

Can I burn leaves in my yard?

Burning leaves in banned under By-law 2012-062.

How can I obtain a fire report?

Anyone can request a fire report by simply asking for a Freedom of Information request from the Clerks Department. Clarington Emergency and Fire Services will not release any fire report unless a Freedom of Information request (FOI) has been completed.

I am purchasing a property and require a file search on the respective property, how can I obtain this?

You can request a file search for any outstanding Ontario Fire Code violations against a property directly through our Fire Administration. Clarington Emergency and Fire Services requires written authorization from the property owner or a copy of the Offer to Purchase stating that a file search must be conducted. If a fire inspection is requested, written authorization from the property owner must be provided. For both a File Search and Inspection, you must pay for both services in full before your request will be processed.

How can I have a fire safety inspection done on my property?

Requests for a general fire inspection of a property can be submitted directly to the Fire Prevention Office. You must provide written authorization from the property owner, along with the appropriate payment. Please note, we will not charge a fee for a fire safety inspection of a single-family home.

I own property in the Municipality of Clarington and would like to know what the Ontario Fire Code Requirements are for my property and where I can find them?

It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that all requirements of the Ontario Fire Code are followed. You can view the Ontario Fire Code online.

What should I do if a fire department vehicle approaches behind my moving vehicle with emergency lights on?

The Driver must immediately pull their vehicle over as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the road without blocking an intersection. If you're on a one-way road with more than two lanes, pull over to the nearest curb or edge, clear of an intersection.

Is it against the Law to follow a fire department vehicle?

You cannot follow any Fire Department vehicle at a distance of less than 150 metres when the vehicle is responding to an alarm

How close can I park to a fire hydrant?

Cars must park at least three metres from a fire hydrant.

Why does a fire truck come when you call for an ambulance?

Full-time firefighters have Emergency Medical Responder training and volunteer firefighters have Emergency First Responder training as a result they can respond to medical calls when patient symptoms include:

  • Respiratory arrest (absence of breathing)
  • Cardiac arrest (absence of pulse)
  • Unconsciousness
  • Profuse and uncontrolled bleeding
  • Acute chest pain and/or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Motor vehicle collision with EMS attending

Why do firefighters bring a fire truck just for a building inspection?

These inspections are conducted by on-duty crews that must be ready to respond to an emergency call from the field. Also safety inspections are used to familiarize firefighters with buildings and businesses in Clarington. While they check for hazards and consult with business owners on how best to eliminate or minimize the likelihood of a fire, they also familiarize themselves with access points and the layout of the facility in case they need to respond to an emergency in that building.

Why do firefighters break out windows and cut holes in a roof during a fire?

This helps fire crews ventilate or air out smoke, superheated, poisonous, or explosive gases for safety and visibility. It also allows firefighters to get inside the building to find and extinguish the fire, reducing property damage. It can also reduce the chance of a possible dangerous explosion.

Why do you block traffic lanes at auto accidents, sometimes more lanes than necessary?

We block traffic lanes for the safety of our crews and patients. Blocking extra lanes keep firefighters safe when they go back and forth to access more equipment and help protect the victim we are trying to assist. Over 25 firefighters are killed or injured each year while working at incidents on streets and highways.

Why do fire trucks block lanes of a roadway at an emergency?

Fire trucks are strategically positioned on roadways to make sure vehicles slow down and change lanes accordingly when they approach an emergency scene. It also establishes a safe work zone for emergency responders.

Why can't I drive over a fire hose?

Firefighters are very concerned about running over fire hoses because the hose can be damaged and any firefighter at the end of a nozzle will have the water flow interrupted. It could possibly cause injuries or death. Any hose that is driven over without protection has to be taken out of service and tested.

Why do I need to keep weeds and bushes away from fire hydrants on my property?

Weeds and bushes should be kept three feet from fire hydrants for visibility and accessibility.

Can you get my cat out of a tree?

Fire Services do not typically assist in rescuing animals. You can contact Animal Services at 905-623-3379.

How do I schedule a fire drill?

To schedule a fire drill, contact a member of the Fire Prevention team by email or by calling 905-623-5126.

What if I smell gas in my home?

Get out of the house and then call 9-1-1 for the Fire Department from outside of the house or from a neighbour's house. Using a phone inside your home could cause the gas to ignite.

What other responsibilities do firefighters have outside of fighting fires?

Emergency calls represent a small percentage of the work Clarington firefighters perform. The number of residential and commercial fires has steadily decreased over the years due to a variety of factors including: improvements in construction, a greater public awareness of the risk factors leading to fires and a significant reduction in smoking nationwide. Clarington Emergency and Fire Services respond to a variety of emergency situations. Nearly eighty percent of the calls we respond to are medical in nature, including illness/accidents at home and work, and injuries resulting from vehicle crashes. Other calls for emergency response involve hazardous material releases, technical rescues, response to fire alarms and other calls for public assistance. Firefighters also spend a lot of their time maintaining equipment, doing routine public safety inspections for businesses and single-family homes, training and associated administrative work.

My smoke alarm is chirping, what does that mean?

Most modern smoke alarms will chirp to alert you the batteries are low, you should replace the batteries and test your smoke alarm. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. We recommend that you change the batteries in your smoke alarm every six months. An easy way to remember is to change the batteries when you reset your clock for daylight savings time.

Does the Fire Services refill fire extinguishers?

We do not refill fire extinguishers. You can find local fire extinguisher businesses in the yellow pages that will do that.

Why do so many fire trucks and firefighters respond to a fire?

Depending on the size of a fire, it can take many firefighters to complete various roles at the scene. These tasks can put firefighters and the public at risk. We set up a command and control approach when managing a fire scene to ensure public safety and the occupational health and safety of firefighters responding to the fire.

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