Plan your escape, fire doesn’t wait

Fire Prevention Week

In addition to creating a fire evacuation plan for Fire Prevention Week, every home in B.C. should have smoke alarms and an extinguisher, and families are encouraged to make  a habit of checking the batteries and testing the alarms once a month.

Established in Canada in 1919, Fire Prevention Week is an annual event  near the week of Oct. 8, the date of one of the most significant fires in  North America  – the 1871 Chicago Fire.

The main objective of the week is to raise awareness concerning fire safety and to keep the public informed.

Fire safety information, including booklets with fun family resources and a map to create a fire evacuation plan, are available online and through participating fire departments.

“Planning is essential because fire can grow and spread quickly, and there may only be a few minutes to get out safely,” said Solicitor General Shirley Bond.

“Fire Prevention Week is a good a time to take steps to protect your family and home by learning how to prevent and respond in the event of a fire.

“Make a night of it,” she added. “Sit down with your family, map out a fire evacuation  plan and then pick a muster station where everyone should meet after safely exiting your home.”

Fire facts:

• In 2010, there were 2,092 residential fires reported in B.C., resulting in 33 fatalities;

• Someone is injured by fire every day in British Columbia;

• 79 per cent of fire related injuries in British Columbia are caused by

residential fires;

• The majority of fire injuries occur in private dwellings.