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.

Just Posted

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns says Scheer’s resignation not surprising

Pressure is on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, as the lone major party leader remaining in the opposition

Parksville and Qualicum Beach looking for firefighters

Those interested can attend regular practice night

Experiment from Ballenas students heads to International Space Station

Entries from 23 countries; Ballenas is one of 11 schools chosen in Canada

Public hearing set for affordable housing development in Parksville

Council passes two bylaws, eyes 130 Shelly Rd. as affordable housing units for families

No injuries reported in five-vehicle pileup in Nanoose Bay

Traffic slowed briefly on Monday afternoon

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

UPDATE: University student dies, another injured in car crash in Nanaimo

Students part of Vancouver Island University’s automotive program

B.C. SPCA seizes dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

BC Hydro offers tips as collisions with power poles increase

Region with the largest spike in collisions was the Lower Mainland at 16 per cent

Canadian airline passengers to be eligible for $1,000 in compensation for delayed flights

Passengers can also receive compensation for overbooking, lost luggage and other inconveniences

RCMP must bury three sex mannequins found in Manning Park

Police tasked with ensuring the mannequins were completely disposed of

Most Read