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

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

VIDEO: Fire crew mopping up workshop fire near Golden Ears Bridge

Structure fire at 208 and 102B sending plumes of black smoke into air above Walnut Grove

Two Giants picked to play against Russia

Two of Langley’s junior hockey players will be part of the six-game Canada Russia Series next month.

VIDEO: Tributes for the man known as the “Mormon Giant”

Langley champion professional wrestler passes away

Two Langley mayoral campaigns endorsed by anti-SOGI groups

Jack Froese unsure why he’s been singled out; SOGI not a municipal issue, says Peter Fassbender

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read