In an emergency, your telephone could mean the difference between life and death. 9-1-1 is a telephone number consisting of only three digits, if you need help in an emergency; this is the number to dial. There are people at this number 24 hours a day, 365 days a year who are trained to help you in an emergency.

Before the 9-1-1 system was operating, people would have to find the number for emergency services in the telephone book. While every second counts in an emergency, trying to find these numbers wasted valuable time.

When you dial 9-1-1, a person on the other end of the telephone line will answer. This person is called a dispatcher. The job of a dispatcher is to answer emergency calls and relay them to the Fire Department, Police Department, or Emergency Medical Services.

When Should I Dial 9-1-1? Dial 9-1-1 only in the event of an emergency. If you dial 9-1-1 for any other reason other than an emergency, people who do need help will not be able to reach the dispatch center.

Do dial 9-1-1 if you see fire or smoke and you need to alert the Fire Department, if you see an accident or discover a crime to alert the Police Department, or if someone is very sick or hurt and needs to go to the hospital. These are all serious emergencies when 9-1-1 should be used.


When babysitter arrives, make sure that the children and all family members are familiar with your home escape plan including escape routes and you’re outside meeting place.
Test all smoke alarms to make sure that they are in working order.
Speak to responsible neighbors so that in the event of an emergency, the babysitter may contact them for aid.
Use the form below to list all emergency numbers and contacts for the babysitter to use in the event of an emergency.

Download emergency information form


What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is caused by incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuel. Carbon based fuels include all fossil fuels such as gas, gasoline, kerosene, propane, heating oil, butane etc. Other fuels that may produce CO include wood, plastic, paper, candles etc. Anything that is used to power a combustion engine, or produces a flame can emit CO. CO is colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas, which is virtually impossible for human senses to detect.

So deadly, it has been given the nickname “The Silent Killer”.

How Does CO Affect Me?
CO in high concentrations can be lethal in just minutes. Oxygen when inhaled, bonds with the hemoglobin in your blood that is then carried to the cells in your body. The bond between Carbon Monoxide and hemoglobin (called carboxyhemoglobin or COHb) is 200 times stronger than the bond between oxygen and hemoglobin. Having this strong bond with the hemoglobin in your blood, CO deprives your body of the oxygen it needs to survive. The more CO in your blood, the difficult it is for your body to eliminate the CO.

The longer you are subjected to Carbon Monoxide, the higher the level of CO in your bloodstream becomes. Slowly (in low levels) the CO starves the cells in your body of oxygen which supports sensitive organs such as the heart, brain and nervous system eventually causing loss of consciousness, brain damage, com and even death.

Below is a measurement of CO levels and their affects:

The symptoms of CO poisoning are much like those of other common illnesses such as the flu or the common cold. Nausea, dizziness, headache, and fatigue are the most common. If COHb levels in the blood go over 50%, unconsciousness may occur. Symptoms will affect children, the elderly, and pets first. If Rover seems lethargic and the children do not want to get out of bed, consider the possibility of CO poisoning.

Although none of these symptoms by themselves point directly to CO poisoning together they may give you the clues needed to save your life.

What to Look for…
A cold that won’t go away
Nausea, Dizziness, Fatigue, Headache
Lethargic pets, small children or elderly
If you leave the structure and feel better, return and fall ill again

What to Do…

  1. Leave the structure immediately, be sure that everyone gets out.
  2. While leaving the structure, close doors behind you, this will help the Fire Department and investigators find the cause of the problem.
  3. Go to a neighbor’s house and call 9-1-1.
  4. Describe symptoms to the dispatcher and await help. DO NOT re-enter the structure.

How To Prevent CO Poisoning

  • Keep chimney clean
  • Keep gas engines like lawn equipment, trimmers, snow blowers etc. well maintained
  • Be aware of automobile/motorcycle exhaust. Do not run car in the garage for any duration
  • Have furnaces and heaters checked yearly
  • Twice a week in the winter, open a window for some fresh air
  • When cooking for the holidays, crack a window (Burners/ovens create CO!)


“Fires are the number-one cause of death in the home for children under five, and the NFPA estimates that a third of those children died in fires they themselves started. Roughly one of every eight fatal structure fires is started by a child under the age of 13.”

“Big Fires Start Small, NFPA”

Matches and Lighters
Children are fascinated by fire, they do not understand the consequences of playing with matches and the damage they may cause. If your children express a natural interest in fire, don’t panic, explain to them the dangers of it. Matches are tools not toys, lock them away in a cabinet or cupboard out of reach.

Tell your children if they find matches or lighters:

  • Do not touch them
  • Leave them where they are and call an adult
  • If they see others playing with matches, tell an adult

Once your children are old enough, teach them, with strict supervision, how to use fire properly. Have them help you use the fireplace or a charcoal grill. Let them light the candles on a birthday cake. By teaching them the correct way to use fire, may save the lives of your children as well as your own.

Smoke Alarms
Be sure that your children know what a smoke detector is. Explain to them that a detector is like a nose on the ceiling that is constantly checking for smoke. If it finds any, it will let them know with a high-pitched noise.

Set of your detectors so the children know what it sounds like and will be familiar if it ever goes off.

Teach them the importance of smoke detectors by testing it with them once a month, and by changing the battery when you change your clocks (spring and fall).


How To Prevent Them…
The most common cause for cooking fires is lack of attention. Either the telephone rings, someone comes to the door, or your child calls you into the other room leaving the evenings’ dinner on the stove unattended. If you must leave the stove, be safe and turn the heat off.

Pay attention to what you are cooking. Do not overheat grease. Watch out for grease overflow in the pan, remove excess liquid and place into a metal container away from heat source. Be extremely careful not to spill and burn yourself.

Be aware your surroundings. Move paper towels, dishrags, potholders, curtains etc. away from stove area. Never wear draping garments and be sure to pull long hair back while around the stove. Turn skillet and pot handles in towards the center of the stovetop to avoid overturning them.

Have a “Class ABC” (to be used for Ordinary Combustibles, Grease and Electrical fires) fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

What To Do…

Grease Fire:
If the fire is contained within the pan, you may be able to extinguish it by smothering it with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), this will cut off the oxygen to the fire. DO NOT use baking powder which contains flour and starch, this may spread the fire.

Another method is to cover the pan using the lid which also cuts off the oxygen supply to the fire. Never try to move or carry the pan while on fire. Although this is a common reaction in this situation, it raises the chances of spreading the fire by spilling the burning grease to other surfaces.

If the above two methods do not work, or you are uncomfortable using them, don’t waist valuable time get the fire extinguisher.

Oven Fire: (While Cooking)
Leave the oven door closed. In most cases, the fire will extinguish itself by running out of oxygen or fuel. If you open the door you will be supplying oxygen to the fire and you run the risk of it spreading to your clothes or draperies around the oven.

Oven Fire: (While Cleaning)
If while cleaning the oven on “auto-clean” you should discover a fire, leave the door shut. Auto-clean raises the temperature in the oven to a level where it actually burns the debris within the oven away. In most cases, the oven door will automatically lock to ensure that no one inadvertently opens the door while it is in the cleaning mode. When the oven temperature falls to within a predetermined setting, the lock on the door will automatically disengage allowing you access.

Don’t be embarrassed! If you have any doubt, call the Fire Department. Fire can creep behind the stove, cabinets, or wall where you can’t see it, causing extensive damage. We have the equipment to ensure that the fire has been completely extinguished, and that’s why we’re here.


An estimated 25 million reported injuries occur in the home every year. Nearly 10 million of these injuries involve children under the age of 16. Many of these injuries are preventable by educating yourself as well as your children.


  • When purchasing toys for your children, avoid small parts that may be placed in their mouth.
  • Avoid sharp edges or openings that fingers may get caught in.
  • Check for age recommendations on the box. Some toys created for older children may be
  • Dangerous to young ones
  • Discard worn toys where sharp edges or chipping paint are apparent.
  • Children playing with toys that use electrical power should be supervised at all times.
  • When children have finished playing, be sure they pick up toys which could which could cause an accident.

Flammable Liquids/Cleaners
Common household cleaners can prove deadly if ingested by a young one. Liquids such as window cleaners, antifreeze, and polishes could be mistaken for fruit drinks such as Hawaiian Punch or Gatorade.

Be sure to keep these products in an elevated or locked cabinet far from the reach of little hands.

Gasoline is a common flammable liquid around most homes. Gasoline is designed to power a motor and should never be used as a cleaner or solvent. When used this way dangerous fumes are created that may be ignited accidentally.

When using any type of furniture or paint stripping solvents be sure the area is well ventilated.

After you have finished working, store any rags or drop cloths outside, never store them in cans or bags.

Fumes from these solvents are extremely dangerous and could cause an explosion, so be sure that tops are securely fastened before storing. Lastly, never store solvent cans near the play area of a young one.


  • Never use a stairway as a temporary storage area. You may block a valuable escape route in the event of a fire, as well as cause a fall hazard.
  • Block stairways with a gate or other protective device so that children are protected from an accidental fall.
  • Be sure that the stairway contains a sturdy handrail and good lighting.
  • Check the tread on stairs to be sure they are not damaged or in need of repair.
  • Pick up toys that may have been left on stairs and landings after playtime.

Living Areas
Because children are so curious, everyday living areas such as a bedroom or living room may be very dangerous to a child. There are many things that we as adults take for granted within these areas. When children are present, extra care must be taken to keep them safe, even in their own home.

Electrical outlets may cause a child’s curiosity to get the best of them. Be sure to cover all outlets that are not in use, serious injury may occur if a child should poke a metal or plastic instrument into them. Instruct your children on the proper use of electricity, if they are educated, they will be less likely to misuse it.

Window screens and storm windows should be securely in place. Screened windows are not child proof! Screens are not manufactured to keep a child from falling out of a window. Their primary purpose is to keep insects from entering while allowing air to pass freely. Always supervise children around open windows.

The bathroom is usually thought of as fun in the bathtub or learning how to brush your teeth, but there are hidden hazards in this room as well. Be sure to keep all prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs clearly labeled and locked in a medicine cabinet. Pills may look like candy to a child.

Keep all electrical equipment away from water areas, one slip and you could electrify a tub full of water! Be sure there are nonskid mats and handrails in and around the tub area to prevent a child as well as yourself from taking a fall. Common sense in the bathroom in your best weapon against injury.


What Is Natural Gas?
Natural Gas is mostly methane, a natural compound. Plants and animal, which died millions of years ago and were buried in mud and sand, probably at the bottoms of lakes and oceans created the natural gas we use today.

As sediment built up on the organisms, layers of rock were formed which placed pressure on the organisms sending them deeper and deeper into the earth. This pressure, coupled with the earths heat slowly changed the organic materials into natural gas and crude oil. The products formed are called fossil fuels.

The natural gas vapors collect in pockets of porous rock just as air bubbles collect beneath the surface of ice. It is from these pockets where we today mine the fuel for heating and cooking in our homes and businesses.

What Are The Dangers?
Natural Gas is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless vapor which is highly flammable. A chemical named Mercaptan is added to the vapor by the Gas Company to give it an odor so that its presence may be detected in the air.

Cooking and heating equipment that goes without proper maintenance may become a serious gas leak hazard resulting in a fire or explosion.

What To Do If You Smell Natural Gas
If you detect the presence of a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately and dial 9-1-1. Because of its volatile nature, trying to locate the leak on your own could be very dangerous. If you smell gas in your home, leave doors and window open and call from a neighbor’s house. DO NOT switch lights on or off, or do anything that could create a spark which could ignite the fuel.


The most important thing you need to survive a house fire is an escape plan. Without this, your chances for survival are greatly diminished. This plan should be created and practiced by every member of the household, especially children.

How to Create a Plan
Begin by sitting down with your children and drawing a floor plan of every level in your home. Have the children find two ways out of every room by physically drawing arrows to show the path to a safe meeting place.

Next, agree on a place to meet in case of emergency. A tree, a swing set, neighbors house etc. are all good places, just be sure your meeting place is a permanent fixture that will always be there.

Teach your children the importance of crawling low when there is smoke present. This will provide them the fresh air and visibility needed as well as prevent them from tripping over objects when exiting the building. Be sure they test the door for heat before attempting to open it!

Remind children not to hide in bathtubs, closets, under beds or in toy boxes during an emergency. This makes it more difficult for them to be found.

In the event the escape route is blocked by smoke or fire, stuff a sheet, bedspread, or pillow under the door to block smoke from creeping in. After this is done, they should crack a window, hang a sheet out of it, and scream for help. This will alert neighbors and responding emergency personnel that they are trapped and of their location.

The most important thing when forming an escape plan is to practice it. A good way to do this is to create a realistic scenario by having the children get in their beds. Press the “test” button on one of your smoke detectors and have your children act out the escape plan. The drill should conclude with everyone being present at the agreed upon meeting place.

Lastly, critique everyone’s performance, be sure everyone understands what they must do to get out alive.


Nichols Fire Department

What Does a Smoke Detector Do?
The purpose of a smoke alarm is to detect the presence of smoke, activate an audible/visual signal to give the occupants of the structure enough time to escape.

What Types Are Available?
There are two main types: Ionization and Photoelectric

Ionization smoke alarms contain a small chamber that produces electrically charged air molecules called ions. When smoke enters the chamber, it causes a change in the flow of ions, triggering the alarm.

Photoelectric smoke alarms contain a light source whose beam is deflected by smoke into a photocell, thereby causing an alarm to sound.

Both types provide effective protection. Smoke alarms can either be wired into the household electrical system or be battery operated.

Other Options Available Include:

Models, which alert an alarm, company which automatically sends the fire department.

Models incorporating an emergency light.

Models for the hearing-impaired that flash a light and sound an alarm.

How Many Do I Need?
A smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each level of the home provides a reasonable degree of protection from the threat of fire. In a single level home, one alarm may be sufficient if all the bedrooms connect to a common passageway from the living areas. Extra alarms are warranted in homes with separated sleeping areas. If occupants sleep with bedroom doors closed, install a smoke alarm in each bedroom, particularly if heaters or electrical appliances are used in these rooms. In all cases, be sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear all smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms are not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, or garages, where cooking fumes, steam or exhaust could set off false alarms. The Ontario Building Code requires that smoke alarms be installed between the living and sleeping areas in all newly constructed dwelling units, or where major renovations are carried out.

Where Do I Install My Smoke Alarm?
Because smoke rises, mount alarms high on a wall or on the ceiling. For effective operation, smoke alarms should be located away from corners. Do not install a smoke alarm too close to a window, door, or forced-air register where drafts could interfere with the unit’s operation. On a normal flat ceiling, install the smoke alarm a minimum of inches from the nearest wall.

On a wall, locate the top of the alarm between and inches from the ceiling. If rooms with high-pitched ceilings, mount the alarm at or near the ceiling high point.

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