A smoke alarm campaign has been recently launched to ensure that every home in B.C. has a working smoke alarm. This is 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 (UFV), shows that in 11,000 residential fires in B.C. from 2006 to 2011, nearly 70 per cent of the fire scenes examined either had no smoke alarm or the smoke alarm wasn’t functioning. The research predicts that working smoke alarms could reduce annual fire deaths by as much as 32 per cent.
“This is a very poor report card on the state of functioning smoke alarms in our province and country,” states Len Garis, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C. “As a fire service, we now have the opportunity to work together and make a real difference on this important safety issue. We’ve tackled this issue before, but this time we’ll be looking for permanent, sustainable solutions.”
Some components of the campaign are a national injury reduction forum to be held this fall, a call to action on behalf of local fire departments to address this issue in their communities, exploring the potential to develop a school-based curriculum for fire prevention, and encouraging federal politicians to focus on design changes to smoke alarms to address design deficiencies that enable them to be disconnected.
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