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

Just Posted

Hope mothers work together to improve access, connections for autistic children

Families with autistic children in rural areas have difficulty accessing resources, each other

UPDATE: Man with gunshot wound drives into ditch on Chilliwack River Road

Serious crimes investigators believe early morning shooting to be targeted

No red flags in expense audit, says former Fraser Health boss who fired Murray

Wynne Powell said report showed need for tighter rules, but didn’t suggest abuse of expense claims

WATCH: Rally at MP’s office Friday in Chilliwack to stop KM pipeline

Water samples from Chilliwack rivers were delivered to MP Strahl’s office in a symbolic gesture

Editor’s view: A Hopeful start to the community’s first 10 km run

Good mix of pomp and circumstance, variable terrain and silliness at Sunday’s run

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

Most Read