Free smoke alarm drive extended

Most homes have no working detector, seniors most at risk

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis is also president of the Fire Chiefs Association of B.C.

More smoke alarms are being handed out across B.C. as part of a campaign to reduce preventable deaths from house fires.

It’s being spearheaded by the Fire Chiefs Association of B.C. and president and Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis says the free smoke detector giveaway is targeting the elderly, aboriginals and other low-income or vulnerable residents.

“These folks are truly at risk and we have to be very diligent and mindful of that,” said Garis. “Working smoke alarms save lives.”

Research led by Garis with the University of the Fraser Valley found 70 per cent of fires over the past five years happened in homes with no working smoke detector.

He noted seniors make up nearly a third of B.C. residents who die in fires even though they comprise only 15 per cent of the population.

“It’s extremely disturbing,” Garis said of the findings.

The campaign, backed by the provincial and federal governments and corporate donors, has so far pulled together 11,500 smoke alarms that are being distributed by fire departments around the province.

Smoke alarm make Kidde Canada provided the initial 5,000 detectors and deep discounts on future purchases.

The latest contribution came from Super Save Group, whose $20,000 bought another 4,000 Kidde alarms.

Black Press is a campaign partner, donating advertising to promote fire safety. More information on the campaign can be found at www.fcabc.ca.

While many homes have smoke detectors, Garis notes too few people check them regularly.

All smoke detectors should be replaced after 10 years and batteries should be changed annually.

Garis is also pushing the province to find ways to get more sprinkler systems into apartment buildings after a fire at a Langley apartment building killed an 80-year-old resident earlier this year.

Residents of buildings with no sprinkler systems are much more likely to die in a fire.

Garis said a five-year survey found 23.1 deaths per 1,000 fires in unsprinklered buildings in B.C., compared to 1.2 deaths per thousand in sprinklered buildings.

Just Posted

Significant heritage house on Beach Drive to be restored

Heritage Revitalization Agreement approved as part of subdivision proposal

Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Does sedated, examined, collared and ear tagged in latest phase of deer management plan

BC BUDGET: Fare freeze and free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

Victoria airport to spend $19.4m on terminal expansion

Record passenger growth means YYJ needs to grow

Oak Bay skaters bound for BC Games in Kamloops

Saanich resident aims for second gold

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Duncan cousins found guilty of aggravated sexual assault

Assault so violent, victim required surgery

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Feb. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Victoria airport to spend $19.4m on terminal expansion

Record passenger growth means YYJ needs to grow

Victoria hosts North America’s first Window Wanderland event

James Bay will transform into a live art installation of decorated windows Feb. 24-25

Moose creates uber Canadian Olympic moment

A Calgary man shares a truly Canadian moment on Twitter of a Moose enjoying the Olympics

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

A Calgary woman is reminding parents of the dangers of escalators after her toddler’s foot was stuck in one and he broke his leg

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Most Read