Fire Safety Tips

The Fire Department strives to prevent/reduce fires from occurring through a number of public fire and life safety education programs delivered by our Public Education Division. Educating the public about how to survive a fire and prevent fires from starting in the first place are important responsibilities.

Planning and preparation are key to being fire safe. Here are some helpful tips.

Carbon Monoxide

Prevent CO in your home

  • Install CO alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area.
  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys, and vents are properly maintained, as well as cleaned and inspected annually. Visit technicalsafetybc.ca to find a licensed contractor near you.
  • Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
  • Never use barbeques inside garages, even if the garage doors are open. Only use them outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. 
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents, and other building openings.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Open a chimney flue before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

Know the symptoms of CO

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants are suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number from outside.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life" before calling 9-1-1.
  • Know the sound of your CO alarm
  • Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test BOTH alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
  • Don’t be confused by the sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the “end-of-life” warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.

For more info visit: 

Fall & Winter Safety

  • Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights on hand, never use candles.
  • Stay aware from downed wires. Report any fallen or broken power lines, stay at least 10 metres or a bus-length away (33 feet). Then, call 911 and ensure no other bystanders move within 10 metres of the line.
  • Have your furnace, chimneys and vents, cleaned, inspected and serviced by a qualified professional at least once a year.
  • If you are using a wood fireplace or stove, make sure the wood is dry and seasoned.
  • Make sure the fireplace screen is metal or made of heat-tempered glass. Ensure it is in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace.
  • Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm.
  • When using a portable space heater, make sure it has an automatic shut off, is plugged directly into an outlet, and is placed at least 1 metre (3 feet) from anything that can burn, including bedding, paper, walls and people. Turn off portable heaters before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Generators should be used outdoors. Keep them away from windows and doors. Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.

Learn more about fall/winter safety. 

Emergency vs Non-Emergency Calls

Don’t let non-emergencies compete with real ones. Your situation is important, but 9-1-1 is for emergencies where health, safety or property is in immediate jeopardy, or a crime is in progress.

If you call 9-1-1 for a non-emergency matter, it will not result in a faster response. Emergency situations are always given priority over situations where a response is not urgent or time sensitive. Help us help keep 9-1-1 lines free for emergencies that require immediate response by looking up your local non-emergency numbers.

Learn more & find your local non-emergency numbers 

Home Escape Plans

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as 3 minutes to escape. 

  • Make a home escape plan and discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
  • Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible.
  • Have an outside meeting place, a safe distance from your home.
  • Practise your plan twice a year.
  • The most important thing to remember is GET OUT and STAY OUT. Never go back inside. 

Learn more about home escape plans  

Smoke Alarms

It’s a fact: Smoke Alarms save lives. 

  • Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home (including the basement) and inside every bedroom.
  • For best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds they all sound.
  • The functionality of smoke alarms deteriorates with time.
  • The law requires that smoke alarms are installed. Landlords are also required to ensure their rental properties comply with the law.
  • Smoke alarms should be tested once a month. The batteries in smoke alarms should be changed every daylight savings.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced according to manufacturers suggestions or every 10 years, whichever comes first.

Learn more about smoke alarms 

Recycle your old Smoke Alarm

Learn how to recycle your old smoke alarm 

Natural Gas

Natural Gas does many things in your home, it heats your bath, powers your furnace, and helps you cook. Here are some helpful tips about natural gas in your home:

  • Only buy gas appliances certified by trusted testing organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Have a licensed gas contractor install, inspect, and maintain your furnace, hot water tank, appliances and vents regularly (in most cases annually) to ensure they are in good working condition.
  • Before natural gas is piped to your home, a chemical is added to make it smell like sulphur (or rotten eggs).
  • If you suddenly smell sulphur (or rotten eggs), or hear a hissing sound, leave the area right away and follow these steps:
    • Put out matches, candles, fires, and cigarettes. DO NOT touch light switches or outlets, use the phone, or do anything that could create a spark.
    • Remove everyone from the home. Leave the doors and windows open as you leave.
    • Go to a safe place such. Use a neighbour’s phone or a cell phone to call 911 and/or Fortis BC 1-800-663-9911 (24 hours)
    • Stay outside until emergency responders say it’s safe to go back into your home.

Learn more about natural gas 

Home Fire Sprinklers   

Home Sprinklers save lives and property; they may also reduce homeowner’s insurance premiums. 

Did you know…

  • Fire Departments typically use about 10 times as much water as a fire sprinkler would use to contain a fire.
  • Burnt toast will not activate a fire sprinkler. Only the high temperature of a fire will activate the fire sprinklers.
  • They are easy to maintain. Just make inspect your home to make sure the sprinklers are not blocked by something that would prevent water from coming out such as paint and be sure the main valve is never turned off. 

Learn more about home fire sprinklers 

Just for Kids

"One dark night, when we were all in bed, Mrs. O'Leary lit a lantern in the shed, And when the cow kicked it over, it winked it's eye and said, There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!"

This famous song tells of how a cow may have started the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871. The blaze ripped through the city destroying 17,500 buildings and caused just under 200 million in damage! In those days, buildings were not as safe as today's building, so once a fire started it spread quickly.

Could one cow really cause such destruction? Because the Great Fire caused massive damage, fire departments across the U.S. and Canada were recognized to become more like the military. This way they could be more prepared to handle huge fires such as the one in Chicago.

Each community depends on it's own fire department to protect citizens from deadly fires. Until the 1930's the Township of Langley residents had to fight fires in their neighbourhoods on their own. By then, volunteer fire departments were necessary due to the growing Township population. Local men got together to help answer emergency calls in neighbourhoods of Aldergrove, Brookswood, Fort Langley, Murrayville and Northwest Langley.

During the later 1950's and early 1960's, the volunteer fire departments partnered with the Township of Langley to build new fire halls and buy fire trucks with attached water hoses. Today, the Township of Langley has both career and paid on call firefighters to help keep our communities safe.

For activities, games and much more, visit:

For a copy of the Township of Langley Fire Safety Activity Booklet, please visit Murrayville Fire Hall #6, 22170 - 50 Avenue, Langley, BC, V2Y 2V4.

For more safety tips, visit nfpa.org .