Editorial — Fire safety measures are crucial
Fire safety is on the minds of many Langley residents these days, with word of yet another fire death on Friday. This is the fifth death in a house fire in the past 10 months. Three of these were in Langley Township, and two in Langley City.
This is an unusually high number of fire fatalities, which over the years have been declining, due to fewer people smoking, better fire safety measures in new buildings and widespread use of smoke alarms.
Several of these fires came within structures which are not up to the latest building standards. A fire in Glen Valley which took the life of a two-year-old boy occurred in an older wood frame home, and the latest fire death broke out in a mobile home, which burns very quickly once a fire begins.
No matter whether a home is up to the latest standards or not, every home dweller can take the most important fire safety measure within their home. That is to ensure that there are sufficient smoke alarms — and that they are working. It is also important that at least one of those smoke alarms be battery-powered, because if a fire cuts the electricity supply, and all smoke alarms are connected to the home’s wiring, they won’t work at the most crucial time.
This is equally true when there is a power outage, and sometimes power outages lead to people heating and cooking by unconventional methods.
It is also important to have an escape plan and to go over it with children. This is done regularly in schools and businesses, and it is equally important in homes.
Other fire safety ideas include having a fire extinguisher in the home. These are important to deal with certain types of small fires (often cooking-related), which cannot be extinguished with water. Prompt use of a fire extinguisher can often put out these fires with minimal damage.
Some basic actions on the part of all who live in their own homes, which include suites and trailers, can prevent future tragedies.