Fire Prevention

Open Air Burn Permits are required for campfires and outdoor style fireplaces
Purchase your Open Air Burning Permit online now. 

When it comes to fighting fires, and potentially saving lives, fire prevention is just as important as fire suppression. Centre Wellington Fire Rescue Services is committed to educating the public about how to prevent fires. Remember to save lives first and property second.

 Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Alarms

Carbon Monoxide

If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home, call 9-1-1 immediately. Help beat the silent killer by installing a carbon monoxide device in your home.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, deadly gas. Because you cannot see, taste or smell it carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it is even there. Heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

What should I do if I suspect carbon monoxide?

  • If you experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning call 9-1-1 and get everyone out of the house.
  • If you have a carbon monoxide concern, call Union Gas or a certified heating contractor.
  • If your carbon monoxide detector alarm sounds and there are no medical symptoms, open all doors and windows and call Union Gas or a certified heating contractor.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide

If you are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poising call 9-1-1 immediately.

You may experience the following symptoms if exposed to carbon monoxide:

  • Exposure to low concentrations of carbon monoxide may produce a slight headache or shortness of breath during moderate activity
  • Exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide may cause a severe headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion, weakness, vision and hearing impairment, collapse or fainting, loss of muscle control and drowsiness
  • Exposure to higher concentrations can result in unconsciousness, brain damage or death
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near sleeping areas

Preventing carbon monoxide

  • Test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
  • Have your furnace and heating system inspected once a year by a certified heating contractor.
  • Have your chimney, flues and vents professionally cleaned once a year.
  • Never burn charcoal or run your gas barbecue indoors or in an enclosed area.
  • Never leave a car idling in a garage.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO -- only use outside

More carbon monoxide information is available through the Government of Ontario.


Smart Smoke and CO Alarms

Recently there have been innovations in what are called "SMART ALARMS", essentially smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms that communicate with your cell phone and send an alert to you immediately when they detect the presence of smoke or CO.  While these are a wonderful addition to your home's existing smoke and CO alarms, there are indeed NOT a replacement for these devices, except in rare circumstances.  


Smoke and CO alarms are tested to a specific set of standards to ensure that you and anyone else in your home are protected, and alerted in the event of a fire or CO emergency.  Available "Smart Alarms" do not meet the current requirements of the Ontario Building Code,  which sets out the requirements for both the type, and location of smoke alarms in homes in Ontario.


Used in addition to your homes existing alarms, "Smart Alarms" can be a very useful source of information, and can add in overall safety, but you should NEVER remove your existing alarms when installing "Smart Alarms".


Smoke Alarms

Effective March 1, 2006, smoke alarms must be installed on every level of a home and outside all sleeping areas whether it's owner occupied or rented. Non-compliance with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can result in a ticket of $235 or a fine of up to $25,000.

Key components of an effective smoke alarm system is choosing the correct device(s), the location, maintenance, testing, replacement and planning an escape route.

For more information, view the National Fire Protection Association smoke alarm fact sheet

Fire Safety Tips

Fire Extinguishers

When used properly, a fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a fire before it becomes out of control. There are many different types of extinguishers for different purposes. When purchasing yours, ensure that you are buying one that suits your needs. Install it where the greatest potential of fire risk would be – in the kitchen, near an exit, in a room that has a fireplace or woodstove, garage or workshop would be logical places.

For fire extinguisher safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association.

Fire Safety during Power Failures

When your power is out, you may be introducing potential hazards to your home. Learn more about important safety tips during power outages. 

Home Fire Escape Plan

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Gather everyone in your household and make an escape plan.

Developing your Home Fire Escape Plan is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way and keep your family safe.  

Patio Heaters

As we head into the colder months, most restaurants will extend patio season with the use of patio heaters to keep their customers warm. To ensure the safety of your patrons, staff and your establishment, please refer to the follow guidelines and safety tips:


The Centre Wellington Fire & Rescue Department conducts routine inspections, on-request inspections and complaint-based Inspections.

Some of the Inspections we conduct include:

  • Occupant Load Capacity
  • Liquor Licence Approval
  • Mobile/Seasonal Vendor's Permit
  • Special Open Air Burning Permit
  • Homes or buildings requested by a Solicitor, Landlord, Owner or Purchaser
  • Schools – public, private, day and nursery
  • Hospitals, retirement homes and care and treatment facilities

It is now the owner of any care facility's responsibility to request a yearly "Fire Safety Inspection" under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act 1997

Our Fire Prevention Inspectors will enforce violations found under the Ontario Fire Code. These violations would include such items as:

  • Maintenance, testing and inspections of fire safety systems
  • Smoke alarms
  • Blocked exits
  • Breaches in fire separations or missing fire separations
  • Missing or broken fire doors
  • Electrical hazards
  • Improperly used or improper storage of flammable and combustible liquids or gases
  • Hazardous materials
  • Unsafe accumulation of combustible materials etc.


Inspections may be scheduled through our Administrative Office at the Fergus Fire Station 519-843-1950.


You must obtain permission from the Township of Centre Wellington Fire Rescue Services to hold a fireworks display.

Here are some links to more information:

Fireworks By-law
Application to hold a fireworks display
Application to sell fireworks
 Open Air Burning Permit

A fire permit is required for ALL campfires within the Township.

Currently, ONLY campfires measuring .6m in Diameter are allowed in the Township until further notice.

There is to be NO BURNING OF LEAVES OR GREEN BRUSH, only good clean firewood is allowed.

Be courteous with your campfire, and take your neighbours into account so that the smoke does not become a nuisance.

Purchase an Online Burn Permit now.

Standard Open Air Burn permits for campfires or outdoor style fireplaces such as fire bowls and chimineas are $27 per year and are valid for the calendar year. (January 1 – December 31).  All Open Air Burning Permits purchased after December 1st will be valid for the following year. 


There will be no larger burn permits issued until further notice.

FAQ's about Fire Permits

How do I purchase a permit?

Do I have to own the property?

Yes. If you do not own the property, you must obtain written permission from the property owner each year.

What can I burn?

Only clean wood, such as small logs and twigs may be burned.

What can’t I burn?

  • Garbage,
  • Grass
  • Pressure treated wood
  • Leaves
  • Papers
  • Screws
  • Other metal
  • Plastic
  • Accelerant (i.e. gasoline, lighter fluid)

When can I burn?

Burning is recommended between the hours of 7 p.m. and 12 a.m. Midnight. For Urban residential areas, it is recommended that you limit burning to weekends.


Burning is not to take place on Smog Alert days or when winds will cause smoke to be a safety hazard or an annoyance to nearby properties or roadways.


What happens if my neighbour complains?

Burning in urban areas is a privilege. Please respect your neighbours and follow all guidelines and recommendations noted on your permit.

If your neighbour has a complaint (i.e. smoke blowing in through windows, health concerns, etc.) we ask that you please be courteous and put out the fire. Should a complaint come in to the Fire Department we will investigate, and if it is deemed necessary we will revoke the permit.


Failure to comply with any requirements may lead to charges

 Fees & Charges
 Fire Department Fees and Charges can be found on Schedule B of the Fees and Charges By-law.
By-law to Establish and Regulate a Fire Department

Contact Us