Smoke alarm push targets insurance renewal

B.C. fire chiefs eye new campaign tactic to push residential fire safety

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis is president of the Fire Chiefs' Association of B.C.

Anyone buying or renewing home insurance should be compelled by law to first declare they have a working smoke alarm.

That’s the legislative change now being sought by the Fire Chiefs Association of B.C. (FCABC) in the latest phase of their campaign to get working smoke alarms into every home in the province.

The proposed change to B.C.’s Insurance Act has backing from the City of Nelson and Cariboo Regional District and FCABC president Len Garis expects other cities and regions to endorse it.

“We don’t expect insurance companies to enforce the working smoke alarm declarations,” Surrey’s fire chief said. “The intent is to use insurance renewals to educate the public about the importance of working smoke alarms.”

Garis noted insurance companies have a vested interest in ensuring homes they insure are safe from fire, crime and other hazards, and routinely offer discounts based on risk.

A multi-agency drive with corporate support has been underway since 2012 to hand out free smoke alarms to vulnerable residents, particularly First Nations and the elderly.

Nearly 70 per cent of B.C. homes that caught fire from 2006 to 2011 did not have a functioning smoke alarm. The FCABC estimates a working smoke alarm in every B.C. home could reduce annual fire deaths by 32 per cent and notes residential fire fatalities are already down sharply in the first year of the effort.

More than 21,000 donated smoke alarms have been handed out with the help of campaign sponsors, including Kidde Canada, Black Press, Super Save Group, Shaw Cable and the federal aboriginal affairs department.

For more on the campaign see www.workingsmokealarms.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

Three people sent to hospital following serious crash in View Royal

Incident involved a motorcycle and one vehicle on Sunday afternoon

Saanich high school student wins free educational trip through Europe

Beaverbrook Vimy Prize centers on First, Second World War history

Province recognizes three Greater Victoria residents for work to combat racism

The three residents were recognized during the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards

Tour de Rock alum is newest Oak Bay Police officer

Const. Derek Brand did nine years as volunteer reserve officer

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Most Read