Fire Safety Initiatives

Discover the Fire Department's ongoing safety initiatives for keeping the community safe while providing valuable insights for proactive learning.

Burn Awareness Week

February 4 – 10, 2024

Burn Awareness Week is an opportunity to learn about burn hazards in the home. This year the focus is on preventing flammable liquid burns.

Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury. Tragically, children, the elderly, and the disabled are especially vulnerable to burn injuries. Almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15.

Things to know

  • Cooking oil is a highly flammable liquid. Keep your eyes on what you fry.
  • Grills and gas ranges produce a lot of heat. Keep your cooking area clear when around an open flame.
  • Establish a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 metre) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Gasoline is an extremely flammable liquid and vapour, with fumes capable of ignition up to 12 feet from a pooled source.
  • Fuel lawnmowers, leaf blowers, weed eaters, snow blowers, etc. when the engines are cool and in an open area outdoors.
  • All flammable liquids containers should be kept in cool, dry locations and stored away from the home.
  • When purchasing a gas can, be sure it has a fuel arrestor to prevent flashback.
  • Never use an accelerant such as gasoline, kerosene or aerosol sprays to start a campfire.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

Nov 1 – 7, 2023

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is known as the “silent killer” because it is an invisible, tasteless, and odourless gas that can be deadly. CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves, and vehicles. 

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 www.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.

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Prevent wildfires

The first step to preparing your home for wildfires is to learn about what you and your community can do to prepare for one. Planning and preparation are key to being fire safe. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Choose non-combustible building materials when constructing or renovating.
  • Clear vegetation and combustible material down to mineral soil and cover with non-combustible materials like gravel, brick or concrete.
  • Avoid planting woody shrubs or trees. If any are present, prune or maintain them regularly.
  • Remove combustible items like firewood piles, construction materials, patio furniture, tools, and decorative pieces.
  • Create a non-combustible ground cover, like a gravel pad, underneath and 1.5 metres around trailers, recreational vehicles, and sheds.
  • Selectively remove evergreen trees to create at least 3 metres of horizontal space between the single or grouped tree crowns.
  • Remove all branches to a height of 2 metres from the ground.
  • Regularly clean up accumulations of fallen branches, dry grass, and needles to eliminate potential surface fuels.
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