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Fire Prevention



This year’s Fire Prevention Week (FPW) campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe. When an alarm makes noises – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action.

Safety Tip Sheet

Family Action Plan

What if someone in my home is deaf or hard of hearing?

There are smoke alarms and alert devices that alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices include strobe lights that flash to alert people when the smoke alarm sounds. Pillow or bed shakers designed to work with your smoke alarm also can be purchased and installed.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Importance of fire prevention

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

Frequently Asked Questions about smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms

What’s the difference between smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms? Why do I need both?
Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. In the event of fire, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape safely, which is why smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement). Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can render you unconscious before you even realize something is happening to you. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in a short time. CO alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert you so you can get out, call 9-1-1, and let the professionals check your home.

How do I know which smoke and CO alarm to choose for my home?
Choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning it has met certain standards for protection. Whether you select a unit that requires yearly changing of batteries, or a 10-year unit that you change out at the end of the 10 years, either will provide protection.

CO alarms also have a battery backup. Choose one that is listed with a testing laboratory. For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.

 About Fire Prevention Week

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

Great Chicago Fire 


Municipalities across Canada have reported a significant increase in home fires and fire deaths over the past few months. With many Yellowknifers working from and schooling from home,  households are cooking more frequently, sharing outlets to charge phones, laptops and other devices, and using heating equipment for extended hours.  These changes present potential fire hazards.  Click on NFPA to review steps on staying fire-safe during the COVID pandemic and always.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention

 Follow these Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning prevention steps to help keep you and those around you safe:

  • Install a CO detector close to the bedrooms, test it monthly, and replace it at the end of its 7-year life span;
  • Service your furnace/boiler and propane appliances annually; and
  • keep your chimneys free of creosote buildup.

If your CO alarm activates: Evacuate and call 873-2222.


 Cooking Fire Safety

 Did you Know?

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.
  • Scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries.  Hot liquids from coffee and even microwaved soup can cause devastating burns.


  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiler, grilling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking.  If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.  Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
  • Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire.  Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove and areas where hot foot or drink is prepared or carried.


Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer Fire Safety

FACT:  Hand sanitizer contains alcohol which evaporates quicky.

Fire Safety:  Until it evaporates (your hands are dry) be cautious around open flame:  BBQing, cooking on a gas stove, around your fire pit, wood/pellet stove, smoking.


Storage of large quantities of hand sanitizer does pose a risk if it is ignited (the same as any alcohol-based products)


FICTION:  A bottle of hand sanitizer will start a fire in a hot environment (i.e. in your vehicle that is left in the sun.)

Alcohol requires an open flame to ignite – it will not auto-ignite.


Watch the full LSN video

Home Heating Safety

Be warm and safe this winter!

  • Keep anything that can burn at least one meter away from heating equipment (furnace, boiler, wood/pellet stove, portable space heater)
  • Have a one meter "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters
  • Never use your oven to heat your home
  • Have heating equipment installed by a qualified professional according to local codes and manufacturer's instructions
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
  • Ensure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room
  • Ashes from woodstoves/fireplaces/pellet stoves should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

Outdoor Fire Safety

Make outdoor fire safety a lifestyle choice.

With the hot temperatures, forest conditions are extremely dry. 

Be Fire-Smart and don’t be the cause of a bush fire:

  • Dispose of smoking material in a non-combustible container; flicking ashes or butts is extremely hazardous both to homes and wildland
  • Ensure campfires are out before leaving or going to bed; burn in approved fire pits only; have an extinguishing source close at hand; and,
  • Beware of hot engines (quads, motorbikes, etc.) lighting grass/brush on fire when riding off-road.

Do your part to keep Yellowknife and the surrounding area Green.

If you see a bush fire or forest fire, report it as soon as possible.

Forest Fire Hotline:  1-877-698-3473

City of Yellowknife Emergency Line:  9-1-1 or 873-2222

Visit Fire Smarting to learn how you can fire-smart around your home and cabin.

 Smoke Alarms

"Smoke alarms save lives".  You may have heard this a million times but do you know that your smoke alarms work as they are meant to?  Have you taken the time to ensure you and your family are protected?  Please take the time to do so now; here is what you need to know:

  • Location: New homes will have the proper number of smoke alarms in the required locations.  If you live in an older home you may not have adequate smoke alarms:

                 - On every level of your home

                 - In the hall outside of the bedrooms

                 - The 2010 code requires smoke alarms in all the bedrooms

  • Hard wired or battery-operated? All smoke alarms should be hard-wired; however, battery-operated smoke alarms will give the early warning if they are maintained.  The hard-wired smoke alarms should have a battery backup in case of power outage.
  • Interconnection of Smoke Alarms - what does this mean?  When one smoke alarm is activated, it will activate all smoke alarms that are interconnected (battery-operated interconnected smoke alarms are available).  This is to ensure that if a smoke alarm detects smoke in a remote part of your home, you will hear the smoke alarm activation even when you are sleeping.  This will give you the needed time to escape.
  • Smoke Alarm Maintenance: Test your smoke alarms once a month (by pushing the test button), change the battery once a year (or when it chirps), and change out your smoke alarms at the end of their service life (10 years) - very important as the older the smoke alarm, the longer they take to activate.  In general you have 3 minutes to exit your home once the smoke alarm activates before your primary escape routes are blocked by smoke.

Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages.  Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire - working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.


Smoke Alarms Video


Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months.  Here are some tips to prevent most heating fires:


Furnaces & Boilers

  • Have furnaces and boilers serviced by a qualified professional at least once a year.
  • If your boiler or furnace needs to be replaced, ensure it’s done by a qualified professional according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep combustibles – anything that will burn -  at least one meter away from heating equipment.

Wood Stoves/Fireplaces

  • Installations need to be WETT-certified (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) and inspected by the City.
  • Clean the chimney as often as necessary to prevent creosote buildup (this will prevent chimney fires).
  • Keep combustibles at least one meter away from heating equipment.
  • Have a 1 metre (3 foot) “kid-free zone” around woodstoves/fireplaces
  • Ensure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room
  • Ashes from woodstoves/fireplaces/pellet stoves should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home on a non-combustible surface.

Space Heaters (Portable Heaters)

  • Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing laboratory (ULC or CSA)
  • Plug the space heater directly into the wall socket; do not use a power bar or extension cord.
  • Use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Keep combustibles (clothing, furniture, drapes, etc.) at least one metre away from space heaters.
  • Have a one metre “kid-free zone” around space heaters.
  • Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms (at least one close to the bedrooms) to warn you if CO enters your home (in most cases it’s due to a faulty furnace or boiler).  Ensure your smoke alarms are operational.


Home Heating Safety Video

 Home Fire Escape Planning and Practice

Home Fire Escape Planning and Practice Recommendations:

  • Draw a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows.
  • Go to each room and point to the two ways out.
  • Make sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities wake up and get out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Establish a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting.
  • Have properly installed and maintained smoke alarms.
  • Push the smoke alarm button to start the drill.
  • Practice what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out fast.
  • Practice using different ways out and closing doors behind you as you leave.
  • Never go back for people, pets, or things.
  • Go to your outdoor meeting place.
  • Call 9-1-1 or 873-2222 from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.

Dan Doufus "Exit Strategy" video

Making a Home Fire Escape Plan video

Every second counts in a home fire! video


Fire Prevention Week


 Fire Safety Fair




 Fire Safety Presentations

Request a Fire Safety Presentation

 Open House



 Reporting a Fire

You may make the difference in saving a life, preventing burn injuries, or limiting property damage by reporting a fire.  Here are some guidelines in reporting a fire situation. 

Fire Alarm System – Building Monitored

In a building where the fire alarm system is being monitored, the monitoring company will contact the Fire Division to advise of a fire alarm activation.  This will promote rapid response to the building in question.  If you have information on the fire (or false alarm) please call the emergency # (9-1-1 or 873-2222) and advise the dispatcher, who will in turn update the responding crew.  The more they know prior to arrival, the quicker the crews will be to deal with the incident.

Fire Alarm System – Building Not Monitored (Local Alarm Only sign will be above or below the pull stations)

If the fire alarm has been activated in a building where the system is not monitored, please leave the building and call the emergency # (9-1-1 or 873-2222) giving the dispatcher the name and address of the building and advise of alarm activation.  Pass on any information you may have - the cause of the activation, location of the fire in the building (if you know).

It is important to note that individual suites in apartment buildings and condos are not connected to the fire alarm system.  If you smell or see smoke coming from someone’s suite or hear their smoke alarm sound, knock on their door to ensure they are OK.  If there is no incident (smoke alarm set off by cooking), no need to contact the emergency #.  If they don’t respond, activate the pull station, go to your meeting place outside, and call the emergency # (9-1-1 or 873-2222) and advise the building name, address, and suite # that the smoke is coming from.

No Fire Alarm System

If you are in a building with no fire alarm system (small office buildings, homes, etc.) and you see smoke or fire, get everyone out of the building and call the emergency # (9-1-1 or 873-2222) giving the dispatcher the name and address of the building.  Pass on any information you may have regarding the location of the fire within the building and the cause.   (If it is a  very small fire, and you are trained in using a fire extinguisher, make sure everyone is out of the house before attempting to extinguish the fire – ensure you call the emergency # before attempting to extinguish.)

Alarms Ringing

If you are walking by a building and you hear alarms ringing coming from the building, call the emergency # (9-1-1 or 873-2222), giving the name and address of the building.  The dispatcher may request that you wait for the responding crew to arrive.

Fire on the Exterior of a Building

If you believe there to be a fire on the exterior of a building, check to see if the fire appears to be growing, and the colour of the smoke turns from light to dark grey and appears to be growing in volume.  If this is the case, call the emergency # (9-1-1 or 873-2222) giving the dispatcher the name and address of the building.

Note:  In -30°c to -40°c temperatures, building and vehicle exhaust turns into ice fog.  When this fog floats in front of various light features, it can give the appearance of fire and smoke.

Wildland Fires

The Fire Division will respond to wildland fires within the City’s boundries, and will respond to structure fires outside of these boundries.  When calling the emergency # (9-1-1 or 873-2222) to report a wildland fire, please provide the exact location of the fire and as many details as possible (size of the fire, any exposures – i.e. property at risk); stay on site to show the fire crew the location. 

You, as a resident of Yellowknife, are the eyes and ears of the Fire Division.   Everyone benefits with early detection, early arrival of the Fire Division, and early intervention. 










Fire and Ambulance
P. (867) 873-2222

Hours of Operation

Winter Hours effective following the Labour Day Weekend
until prior to the Victoria Day Weekend (September to May)
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Summer Hours effective following the Victoria Day Weekend
until prior to the Labour Day Weekend (May to September)
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Mailing Address & Phone Numbers

Yellowknife City Hall
4807 - 52 Street, P.O. Box 580, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2N4

Switchboard - (867) 920-5600
Mayor/City Manager - (867) 920-5634
Booking Clerk - (867) 669-3457
Municipal Enforcement (MED) - (867) 920-5630
After Hours (MED) - (867) 920-2737
After Hours (Public Works) - (867) 920-5699