Media Contacts

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Media Relations
250 213-3602


Facts about fires, fire-related deaths in B.C.
  • According to the Office of the Fire Commissioner's annual report: from 2018 to 2022, there was a 207% increase in fire-related deaths throughout B.C.
  • In 2022, there were 86 fire-related deaths, a 46% increase from 2021.
  • The leading causes for structure fires continues to be smoking materials.
  • Most fire-related deaths and injuries occur in people’s homes.
  • People over the age of 65 were over-represented in fire-related deaths.
  • On June 8, 2023, Statistics Canada released a report from the National Fire Incident Database including data from 2015 to 2021.
  • Seven jurisdictions provided fire-incident data, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and the Yukon.
  • The collection and analysis of this data will provide key information for the development of public policy around fire-risk reduction.
  • Trends from the Statistics Canada report are consistent with B.C.’s findings and include:
    • Fire-related deaths during the first year of the pandemic rose from 148 in 2019 to 199 in 2020, a 34% increase. This was the highest number of fire-related deaths in more than 10 years.
    • Residential fires account for most fire deaths. In 2021, of the 202 fire-related deaths, three out of four occurred in residences.
    • From 2015 to 2021, 37% of residential fires had a working smoke alarm, while 12% had smoke alarms that did not activate, and 13% had no smoke alarm installed.
    • Death rates were lower in homes with working smoke alarms, where 26% of incidents resulted in death. Homes without a working smoke alarm, including those without an installed alarm or the status is unknown accounted for three out of four deaths (74%).
    • B.C. ranks second, after Ontario in terms of the number of fire-related deaths and injuries.