Please click on a question below.

Are fire escapes required in my duplex?

Duplex inspections under 9.8 of the Fire Code are required by law as of July 16, 1996. Most duplexes are affected and the Fire Prevention Division should be contacted to determine the Code requirements. This is a legal requirement of the owner to comply now and not just upon sale of the duplex, as many believe.

Are outdoor fireplaces or burning rubbish in my back yard allowed in the Town of Amherstburg?

Burning rubbish is not ever permitted. Open air fires are permitted in accordance with our Open Burning By-Law 2022-033.

Are propane or electric barbecues allowed on apartments balconies?

There is no provision in the Fire Code to prohibit propane or electric barbecues on balconies. The Propane Handling Act does not permit propane tanks larger than five pounds inside a building. Many buildings have a “no barbecue” rule in their leases and this would be administered under the Landlord-Tenant Act. The Fire Department is proposing a By-Law prohibiting propane barbecues on balconies.

Can I have a fire in my backyard?

Open air fires are permitted in accordance with our Open Burning By-Law 2022-033.

Can I install a wood stove in my home?

Be sure to follow the manufacturers’ directions and the local building codes for proper installation, use, and maintenance of your wood-burning stove. A building permit is required to install a wood stove in your home.

Always start your fire using paper and small pieces of kindling. Never use accelerants to start a fire. Things can get out of hand in a hurry!

Burn only well-seasoned wood. Green or unseasoned wood burns cooler than well-seasoned wood, and can cause creosote to build up at a much faster rate.

Be sure to clean the ashes out of your wood-burning stove on a regular basis. Store the ashes in a covered metal container. Hot coals and discarded ashes can easily ignite grass, leaves, and trees if left uncovered. Keep the ash container at a safe distance away from the house and any other nearby buildings.

Can the fire or water department come fill my pool?

No. You should contact OCWA to obtain information about the hydrants in your area and charges involved to fill it yourself.

Does section 2.13 apply equally to dwelling units that are owner occupied and rental units?

Yes. Each dwelling unit is regulated regardless of the ownership arrangement.

Does the town have an Evacuation Plan?

The town does have an evacuation plan and it is based on data supplied by our Planning Department. Under Provincial legislation we are required to perform a historical emergency risk analysis, determine the types of emergencies we are prone to and determine chance of frequency and degree of impact. Based on the risk analysis we develop strategies to prevent, mitigate and recover in our plan. Our risk analysis indicates that the types of emergencies we are prone to but do not include those events that require mass evacuation such as hurricanes and coastal flooding.

Our strategies must be based on best practices that are in place across North America and certainly those lessons learned from recent tragedies including 911 in the States, as well as the devastating hurricanes in Florida and Louisiana. Our major concerns are severe thunderstorms, tornados and resultant power outages, major fires, major transportation accidents and hazardous materials incidents. These types of emergencies dictate a defend in place strategy where we concentrate on relocating as few persons as possible and returning them as quickly as possible. Our evacuation data provides us with information on susceptible infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc., population demographics and potential places of refuge.

We have a role as well in the Amherstburg Nuclear Plan as a reception centre for displaced persons in the event of a nuclear release from Fermi in Michigan. There again we are considered to be in a safe zone and mass evacuation is not called for.

Additional info on emergency preparedness and vital links and public education materials are also available on our website.

Click the buttons below to download a copy of the Evacuation Plan or to view the Evacuation Map.

The Town of Amherstburg's Evacuation Plan (PDF)The Town of Amherstburg's Evacuation Map (PDF)

Does the fire department rescue cats from trees?

No, we don’t. On the rare occasion when you may have seen something in the newspaper or on TV to the contrary, the rescue was because of some other circumstance. In one instance, the treed cat was located outside the window of a classroom of children with Downs Syndrome who were desperate to have the cat rescued.

If you put some food at the base of the tree, the cat will eventually come down on its own.

What brand of carbon monoxide detector is best?

We cannot recommend a specific brand of CO detector. If the detector is ULC- approved, then it meets minimum standards and will do the job for which it is designed. More expensive models have digital readouts. What we do recommend is that you select a battery-operated model.

Where should a carbon monoxide detector be located in the home?

Proper placement of a CO detector is important. In general, the human body is most vulnerable to the effects of CO during sleeping hours, so a detector should be located in or as near as possible to the sleeping area of the home.

If only one detector is being installed, it should be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep.

Where sleeping areas are located in separate parts of the home, a detector should be provided for each area.

Additional CO detectors should be placed on each level of a residence and in other rooms where combustion devices are located (such as in a room that contains a solid fuel-fired appliance, gas clothes dryer or natural gas furnace), or adjacent to potential sources of CO (such as in a teenager’s room or granny suite located adjacent to an attached garage).

Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. Recognizing this, a CO detector should be located at knee-height (which is about the same as prone sleeping height). Due to the possibility of tampering or damage by pets, children, vacuum cleaners and the like, it may be located up to chest height. To work properly, a detector should not be blocked by furniture, draperies or other obstructions to normal air flow.

If a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector is used, it should be located on the ceiling, to ensure that it will detect smoke effectively.

Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for additional information regarding proper use and maintenance.

Who can I call to get some food for my family, clothing and shelter?

If you suspect abuse is involved, refer them to the Hiatus House 519-252-7781. If they have had a fire or other emergency, refer them to the Red Cross 519-944-8144. In other circumstances, refer them to the Salvation Army at 519-252-2601 during the day or to their after-hours service at 519-253-7473.

What are the latest requirements for booster/car seats?

REAR-FACING SEAT: Less than 9kg (20 lbs) & a minimum of 1 year old;

FORWARD FACING SEAT: 9 to 18 kg (20 to 40 lbs) & an anchored tether strap;

BOOSTER SEAT: 18 to 36 kg (40 to 80 lbs) or less than 145 cm (4ft 9″);

CHILDREN UNDER 13: Sitting in the rear seat of the vehicle is the safest. For more information and workshops go to and click on “Child Car Seat Safety”.

What dwelling units are regulated by Section 2.13 of the Fire Code?

Section 2.13 applies to all detached houses, semi-detached houses and row houses where each house is occupied as a dwelling unit (see definition below). A seasonal home, such as a cabin or cottage, is also considered a dwelling unit for the purpose of this Section. Section 2.13 also captures any other dwelling unit that is not otherwise regulated by Part 9, Retrofit, provisions of the Fire Code. Where for example, a building contains a mixed use of occupancies and also contains one or two dwelling units, Section 2.13 would require the dwelling unit(s) to be provided with smoke alarms.

Part 9 regulates houses containing secondary apartment units and most multi-storey, multi-unit residential buildings. Smoke alarm requirements for these buildings are already contained in Part 9 of the Fire Code and Section 2.13 does not apply to these units.

A dwelling unit is defined by the Fire Code as meaning “a suite operated as a housekeeping unit, used or intended to be used as a domicile by one or more persons and usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities”.

What is retrofit?

Retrofit legislation as described in Part 9 of the Fire Code addresses the upgrade of existing buildings. Under Part 9 of the Fire Code, alteration may require some construction, renovations or additions. A building permit may be required for some of this work. The buildings concerned include:

  • assembly occupancies,
  • rooming houses,
  • health-care facilities, and
  • multi-unit residential buildings.

Residential buildings with two dwelling units must also meet the retrofit safety regulations. They must have:

  • an electrical inspection by and subsequent approval from the Electrical Safety Authority,
  • smoke alarms,
  • fire separations and
  • adequate exits.

Where can I find a copy of the Ontario Fire Code?

Copies of the Ontario Fire Code can be purchased from Publications Ontario 1-800-668-9938.

Click below to view the Ontario Fire Code on the E-law’s website.

Click Here to View the Ontario Fire Code (Website)