Danger of unattended cooking the focus of fire awareness campaign undertaken for Toronto Community Housing residents at Regent Park

TORONTO, September 16, 2019 — Toronto Fire Services launched an advertising and public education campaign today aimed at encouraging Toronto Community Housing residents, specifically those living in the Regent Park area, to never leave cooking unattended.

Data shows that Regent Park, over a recent two-year period, had more fires that started from unattended cooking than any other area of Toronto. Many of these fires occurred due to unsafe cooking practices, mainly residents having left cooking unattended.

The campaign includes transit shelter posters, ads and posters on construction hoarding sites in the Regent Park neighbourhood. Additionally, posters will appear in various geo-targeted social media outlets and will be displayed on the sides of two large buildings at 75 Sherbourne St. and 323 Richmond St. The campaign design depicts a flaming pot illustrating a large fire burning out of a window with the tagline "Fire Happens Fast…Never leave cooking unattended."

The advertising campaign will continue through November 4. In conjunction with the ad campaign, a public education campaign will include firefighters visiting businesses and residents to convey the message to never leave cooking unattended.

Regent Park, one of Toronto's most culturally diverse neighborhoods, is a vibrant mixed-income downtown community. The Fire Services safety campaign aims to be sensitive to all Regent Park residents about the dangers of unattended cooking, with the goal of reducing the number of fires started by unattended cooking. Because many of these kinds of fires occur in Toronto Community Housing's highrise buildings in the neighborhood, Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Community Housing are targeting tenants of those buildings. Generic fire prevention messaging is being augmented with messaging specific to the Regent Park target audience.

This campaign is Fire Services' second campaign to focus on a specific area and target audience in an effort to deliver relevant, impactful and behaviour-changing communications. A public education risk assessment that included risks, geographic profiles, demographic profiles and marketing profiles aided in message targeting.

Through this targeted ad campaign, Toronto Fire Services encourages Regent Park residents to recognize the danger posed by unattended cooking and encourages them to adopt safer cooking practices. More information is available at toronto.ca/kitchen-and-cooking.

Toronto Fire Services delivers public education programs, in conformance with the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, to the residents who are most at risk. Fire Services typically delivers messaging to children, seniors and single-family-dwelling owners.  


"With this ad campaign, we're reminding residents that we all are responsible for keeping each other safe from fire. Our message is simple. Fire happens fast – never leave cooking unattended."  

-Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg  
"We support this cooking-related fire prevention campaign as part of our commitment to tenant safety. It’s also an opportunity to continue building our important relationship with Toronto Fire Services, as we enhance TCHC’s fire life safety culture."  

-Toronto Community Housing President and CEO Kevin Marshman  

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TorontoComms, on Instagram at instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at facebook.com/cityofto


Read our backgrounder for more information about the new campaign.  

About Toronto Community Housing: 

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider. We are owned by the City of Toronto and provide homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in more than 100 of the city's neighbourhoods. Our 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.  

Media contact: TCHC media line 416-737-1352 or media@torontohousing.ca