Kitchen fire a reminder for working smoke alarms

City of St. Catharines press release – The City of St. Catharines Fire Services is urging the public to keep fire safety top of mind after a kitchen fire in the centre of the city saw one man transported to the hospital.

That reminder during the Christmas season extends to practicing safe cooking techniques and ensuring homes are protected by working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Fire crews were called to a Chaplin Avenue home around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5/2019, to respond to a fire that broke on a stovetop. While the fire was contained quickly to the kitchen, it did cause extensive damage and resulted in the sole occupant of the home at the time being transported to the Hamilton General Hospital Burn Trauma Unit with serious injuries.

Kitchen fires related to cooking are a common cause of fires in the home, especially over the holidays. Homeowners should never leave cooking unattended and keep items that can burn, such as paper towels, dish towels, oven mitts and cooking utensils, well away from the stovetop. If a fire does break out in a pot or pan do not attempt to move it, instead cover the pot with a lid to smother the fire and turn off the burner.

“Incidents like this are an unfortunate reminder of the importance of working smoke alarms, they can make all the difference in avoiding serious, and life-long injuries,” said Chief Jeff McCormick.

Ontario law requires working smoke alarms on every storey of a home and outside all sleeping areas.
Working carbon monoxide alarms are required in sleeping areas of homes with wood-burning fireplaces, attached garages or fuel-burning appliances such as gas furnaces, gas stoves or gas water heaters.

Residents must ensure their alarms work by replacing the batteries every six months when the clocks change and testing them once a month. The need to test alarms, and replace batteries, extends to hard-wired alarms. Homeowners should always be sure replacement batteries are the type recommended by the manufacturer.

Visit for more home and fire safety tips.