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Off-Campus Housing Services
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Fire Safety

The London Fire Department and The University of Western Ontario want you to be "Fire Safe". The following information has been compiled to help you check for some common fire hazards and other key issues when searching for a place to live off campus. Keep this in mind when looking at possible accommodations.


Fire regulations will vary depending on the type of building that you reside in. A home with an apartment, regardless of number, is required to have properly separated fire exits. A separated exit generally means that a fire anywhere in the building will not affect your ability to leave. Separations usually include fire doors, dry walled ceilings and walls, as well as electric smoke alarms (not battery operated) in the shared stairways and corridors. Under the fire code, an apartment contains both a kitchen and washroom.

There should always be a minimum of two ways out of your bedroom. The window can be considered an exit, but ensure that it is operable and is of sufficient size and height to allow you to get out in an emergency. Those in a basement apartment that open into a window well must have adequate space to allow exiting.



Are they located outside each sleeping area? These alarms are your first line of defence should a fire break out while you're sleeping. The best level of protection is provided when there is at least one alarm on each level of the house. Alarms must be located on the ceiling, or no more that 12 inches down from the ceiling to provide proper warning. Note that it is the building owner's responsibility to maintain these alarms, including changing the batteries. Tenants must test the units monthly and report any problem to the owner. The penalty for removing a battery is a minimum $200 to a maximum $25,000 and/or a year imprisonment.



Ensure that your home is easily identifiable from the street by emergency personnel. House numbers should not be less than three inches in height.



Any home that contains fuel fire appliances (those powered by natural gas, propane, or wood stoves and fireplaces) should have carbon monoxide alarms present, outside the sleeping rooms. Ensure that a clearance of at least 1 metre (3 feet) is maintained around all fuel fired appliances.

Building Fire Safety Checklist;

  • The unit has safe and adequate exits to ensure my escape from a fire?
  • The bedroom has at least two ways out?
  • There are working smoke alarms on every level of the building?
  • The house number is clearly visible from the street?
  • If there are fuel fired appliances in the building there is also a CO2 alarm?



  • Don't cook if you're sleepy, if you've been drinking alcohol excessively, or if you've taken medication that makes you drowsy.
  • Stick around. Never leave stovetop cooking unattended.
  • Keep pot holders, food packaging, cookbooks, dish towels and anything that burns away from your stove.
  • Put a lid on it! If a pot catches fire, slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove. Never attempt to move the pot outside or to the sink.
  • Smoke outside when possible.
  • Use large, deep, non-tip ashtrays.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • It's risky to smoke when you've been drinking or when you're drowsy.
  • After a party, check furniture and cushions for smoldering cigarette butts.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended and make sure all candles are extinguished when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Keep papers, curtains, bedding and anything that burns away from lit candles.
  • Use sturdy candle holders and never let candles burn all the way down.
  • Don't place lit candles in windows or near doorways, where drafts could bring combustibles in contact with the flame.
  • Locate burning candles in a secure place, away from small children and pets.


  • I never cook when I am sleepy or have been drinking.
  • I never leave stovetop cooking unattended.
  • I keep combustibles away from the stovetop and keep a pot lid handy.
  • I always handle smoking materials safely or I do not smoke.
  • I never leave candles unattended and keep them away from combustibles.

To learn more about Fire and Life Safety visit:

Finally, remember that a few minutes spent ensuring that your home is fire safe and preparing for an emergency could save your life. If you have any questions about fire safety, or have a concern or question regarding your residence, contact the London Fire Department - Fire Prevention office at (519) 661-4565.

In an Emergency, call 911
(For Police, Fire and Ambulance in London and the surrounding area)

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