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BC Fire Chiefs launch smoke alarm campaign

By Contributor
March 27th, 2012

BC Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond and the President of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis have launched a smoke alarm campaign intended to ensure that every home in BC has a working smoke alarm, part of a broad initiative to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries.

Research done by Surrey Fire Services, in partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley, shows that almost 70 per cent of houses that caught fire did not have a functioning smoke alarm.

The research predicts that working smoke alarms could reduce annual fire deaths by as much as 32 per cent.The research findings also indicate the province’s most vulnerable populations – such as children and the elderly – face the highest risk of dying in a residential fire.

The new campaign is a sustained, co-ordinated approach to ensure BC homes have a functioning smoke alarm.

The Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC and the Office of the Fire Commissioner will lead a steering committee of stakeholders on the local, provincial and national level, with a focus on the Three E’s of Injury Prevention – education, environment and enforcement. 

Some components of the campaign are:

·      A national injury reduction forum to be held Oct 12, 2012, hosted by Surrey Fire Service with the Canadian Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

·      A call to action on behalf of local fire departments to address this issue in their communities

·      Developing interagency partnerships to maximize the protection offered by smoke alarms to the most disadvantaged members of society

·      Targeting engagement with BC First Nations

·      Working with multi-residential building managers to maximize protection within these residences

·      Exploring the potential to develop a school-based curriculum for fire-prevention

·      Exploring the potential to utilize the insurance act to compel annual testing of smoke alarms upon policy renewal

·      Working with federal politicians to create a national smoke alarm day

·      Encourage federal politicians to focus on design changes to smoke alarms to address design deficiencies that enable them to be disconnected and also mean they can become non-functioning without alerting residents

The campaign is gathering a growing number of supporters, including the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and others.

Further details about the campaign will be publicized as it rolls out during 2012.

Information about the campaign will be available at

Call to Action : – encouraging fire departments to get involved
Where You Sleep : – information you can share with your community members and post to your website or fire department page.

Categories: Health

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