Fire Prevention Week targets kitchen safety

The annual weeklong campaign runs Oct. 6-12 this year

Hope firefighters extinguish a blaze at a house on Marie Street earlier this year.

Fire Prevention Week kicks off on Sunday, with this year’s focus on preventing kitchen fires.

The weeklong campaign runs Oct. 6-12 and provides an opportunity for fire departments across the country to educate residents on how to protect their homes and families from fire. As of Sept. 30, Hope Fire Department has responded to 190 incidents this year, up 7.34 per cent from the same time frame in 2012.

“Alerting people to a fire or smoke in a house is one thing, but preventing that from happening is key,” said Hope Fire Chief Tom DeSorcy. “Kitchen fire safety is identifying the dangers and, if a fire does occur, learning how to deal with it.”

Kitchen fires typically originate from the stove or oven. Grease fires, in particular, are one of the most dangerous types of fires, so DeSorcy warns residents to be extremely cautious when cooking with oil.

“If a fire does occur, stay calm,” he added. “Never put water on it. Smother it by either using a lid of a pot or using a powder material such as flour.”

Residents are strongly encouraged to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, which should be inspected regularly to make sure the fire retardant material has not hardened. DeSorcy said it’s also vital to have working smoke alarms throughout the house. It’s recommended that a smoke alarm be installed on every level and outside of every sleeping area.

“At the end of the day you need to be alerted if there’s smoke in your house,” said DeSorcy. “A working smoke alarm will save lives, but it doesn’t last forever. Ten years is the lifespan of a smoke alarm.”

As the communications director for the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., DeSorcy has been working on a provincial smoke alarm campaign for the last year. He became the voice and face for a series of public service announcements that were created to raise awareness about the importance of working smoke alarms. A new video directed at the Canadian Red Cross was recently completed in hopes that volunteers could help spread the message and test smoke alarms when they go into people’s homes.

Since the launch of the program in March 2012, there has been a 5.1 per cent decline in the absolute number of residential fires reported.

For more on the initiative, visit www.workingsmokealarms.ca

Just Posted

Most cows saved during massive fire on Agassiz farm thanks to fast work of farmers, neighbours

Agassiz Fire Department responded to late night call Wednesday

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

Hope arm-wrestler turned track and field star wins five medals at 55+ Games

Seven medals total coming back to Hope from golf and track and field events

Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries in need of reading buddies

The Reading Buddy program helps students in grades one to four develop a love of reading

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Most Read