fire safety

Condo Living — In Case of an Emergency — Water/Electrical

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Water leaks in buildings can be very damaging and costly to owners, so take the time to familiarize yourself with all shutoff valve locations.


Close all the shut-off valves in your unit including main valve, and secondary valves that exist in your unit such as individual sinks, dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and refrigerator.

Notify your property manager or building manager immediately. Mop up and collect any continuing water leakage to minimize water damage to your unit and neighbouring units.


If water leaks from faucet/reservoir into sinks/toilets you should notify the property manager to ensure that it is not causing water damage. It is usually the owner's responsibility to organize to have leaks fixed by a licensed and insured plumber.


Locate your electrical panel as well as trip-switches on specific power outlets.

Check if the outage is limited to your unit, check the individual breakers in your electrical panel as well as trip-switches on specific power outlets. If your neighbours' power is also out, notify the property manager or building manager and your local hydro authority.

Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment. Turn your thermostat(s) down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored. Also, power can be restored more easily when there is not a heavy load on the electrical system.

Turn off all lights, except one, so that both you and hydro crews outside know that power has been restored. Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.

Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon monoxide. Because you can't smell or see it, carbon monoxide can cause health problems and is life-threatening.

Use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.

Listen to your battery-powered or wind-up radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.