Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, has released the following statement in recognition of Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9-15, 2022:
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week. The theme is ‘Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.’ Today’s homes burn faster than ever, and fire-related deaths are increasing throughout British Columbia, which means it’s vital to have and practise a home fire-escape plan.
“This year, there have been more than 1,900 structure fires, resulting in 93 injuries and 32 fatalities. This represents over one-half of fire-related injuries and deaths in the province. These numbers are more than statistics. They are our friends and loved ones, as well as people’s homes and livelihoods. I urge all British Columbians to learn about the dangers of fire, how to prevent it and how to keep your family safe by having and practising an escape plan.
“To make an effective home fire-escape plan, it is important to:
- Consider the needs of all your household members, including children, older adults and those with sensory or physical disabilities.
- Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
- Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
- Practise a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practise at least once during the day and once at night.
- For people living in apartments, review your building’s fire-safety plan, including evacuation maps and procedures, and learn where your building’s emergency exits are. Know the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke.
“In addition, we suggest installing smoke alarms inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms are also safest when they are interconnected so that when one sounds, they all sound.
“Fire safety education can start early in life, which is why, this year, we are again holding a provincewide contest for K-12 students. They are asked to complete a home fire-escape plan based on their home’s layout and share what they have learned.
“You may have fewer than two minutes to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. This week is a good time to make sure your smoke alarms are working and to practise your home fire-escape plan with your family. I encourage all British Columbians to do their part by planning ahead so we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”
For information about Fire Prevention Week and the provincewide contest, visit: