The ladder on Castlegar’s new fire truck stretches to 100 feet.

Castlegar marks Fire Prevention Week

Cooking equipment and smokers’ materials case six out of ten residential fires.

Home fires today can burn faster than ever. Occupants may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.

The Castlegar Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years — to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The campaign works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire. Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7 to 13.

Data from Statistics Canada show that the number of structure fires declined by 26 per cent between 2005 and 2014. However, residential fires consistently accounted for roughly six of every 10 structural fires during that period. According to Stats Can, cooking equipment and smokers’ material caused approximately six of every 10 residential fires.

“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, the association’s vice president of outreach and advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”

Carli notes that home is the place people are at greatest risk for fire, but home is the place people feel safest. That over-confidence contributes to complacency toward home-escape planning and practice.

“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said Castlegar fire chief Sam Lattanzio. “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference escape planning and practice can make and motivating them to action.”

Lattanzio says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:

• Look for places fire could start;

• Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm;

• Learn two ways out of every room,

While the National Fire Protection Associationand and Castlegar Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Lattanzio. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

The Castlegar Fire Department will be going around again this year to the local daycares and SD 20 elementary schools in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign.

Just Posted

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway for one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province.

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Castlegar already well on path to energy-wise future, says community activist

Eco-Society executive director asks council to take 100-per-cent-renewable-energy pledge

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Rossland council passes plastic bag ban despite legal questions

Appeal court ruling threw bylaw in limbo, but council voted to move forward

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Most Read