Alarming fire safety numbers

On Saturday, firefighters from the Vernon Fire Rescue donated their time to launch a campaign to install and test fire alarms in Vernon. The program is part of the Fire Chiefs Association of BC movement in 2012 to achieve the goal of a working smoke alarm in every home.

Photo: Amy Jackson-Shelling

"Almost 70 per cent of houses that caught fire in BC didn't have a functioning smoke alarm. Children and the elderly face the highest risk of dying in a residential fire. We want to do our part to eliminate that risk," said Chief Keith Green.

Firefighters spent approximately four hours in the Big Chief Mobile Home Park going door to door to encourage residents to test their smoke alarm batteries, as well as replace old alarms and install new alarms in homes without one. All at no cost to homeowners.

“We choose Big Chief Mobile Home Park because most of the units are fairly close together. Being the first launch we were able to tackle about 140 units in this area,” said Chief Green.

“We’ve had a great reception from both the manager and the all the tenants here. They were quite happy to have us in to check their smoke alarms. We replaced a number of batteries for people and replaced a number of units for them thanks to Silver Star Rotary, who donated the $500 for us to get 60 smoke alarms and batteries. It’s been a great campaign so far.”

The Fire Prevention division will select the next area of Vernon to continue the campaign.

“We’re looking at possibly some senior residences, some town home units that are close together, maybe some 55+ aged communities where we can go in and maybe some of those people might not have the ability or opportunity to test their alarms.”

Research has shown that working smoke alarms could reduce fire deaths in BC annually as much as 32 per cent.

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