Test your smoke alarms for Fire Prevention Week
October 2, 2015
An important reminder ahead of Fire Prevention Week: working smoke alarms save lives.
Fire Prevention Week officially runs from Oct. 4-10, and it launched today at Firehall 10 in Newton with a smoke alarm demonstration that punctuates the need for working alarms in every bedroom, as about half of residential fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when residents are asleep.
“Smoke alarm education and fire prevention campaigns are critical to changing behaviour," said Mayor Linda Hepner. "I'm proud to say that the Smoke Alarm initiative which began in Surrey is working, and more importantly, saving lives not only in Surrey but across the province.”
On average, one British Columbian is injured by fire every 44 hours in the province, and Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia research suggests that fatality rates rise 74% when a working smoke alarm is not present. An update to the BC Smoke Alarm movement report initially released in October 2012 titled ‘Smoke Alarms Work, But Not Forever: Revisited’ says total deaths have dropped by nine a year between 2012-2014 as a result of present and working smoke alarms.
“Our research confirms that functioning smoke alarms save lives, reduce fire-related injury, reduce the spread of fires, and reduce the damage of fires. That’s why I encourage everyone to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones by keeping their smoke alarm in working order,” said City of Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis. “The Smoke Alarm initiative is making a difference and saving lives. I would like to thank Kidde Canada for their continued support. Since the inception of the program, Kidde Canada has generously donated smoke alarms and combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms valued at $175,000. If you live in Surrey and you discover that your smoke alarm is not working, call us and we will install one for free.”
Fire preparedness activities at fire halls and schools across the province will take place over the next week along with a series of tweets from Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto and a social media campaign delivered through Twitter aimed at providing fire safety tips to all British Columbians.
“As the new minister of state for emergency preparedness, I am committed to helping elevate fire prevention awareness and urge all British Columbians to take steps to be safe and protect your home from fire risks," said Minister Naomi Yamamoto. "Fire Prevention Week provides all British Columbians with a reminder to review evacuation plans and practice fire drills, test the batteries in fire alarms, and ensure fire extinguishers are serviced.”
The awareness week, held across North America, is the longest running public health and safety observance on record and falls on the anniversary of one of North America’s most significant fires: the 1871 Chicago fire. Fire Prevention Week aims to draw public awareness to fire safety and provides an opportunity to review evacuation plans, practice fire drills, test the batteries in fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and ensure fire extinguishers are serviced and functioning.