Plan your escape

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, and this year the theme is “Protect Your Family from Fire” by creating a fire evacuation plan.

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, and this year the theme is “Protect Your Family from Fire” by creating a fire evacuation plan.

In addition to creating a fire evacuation plan, every home in B.C. should have smoke alarms and an extinguisher, and families are encouraged to make a habit of checking the batteries and testing the alarms once a month.

Established in Canada in 1919, Fire Prevention Week is an annual event near the week of Oct. 8, the date of one of the most significant fires in North America, the 1871 Chicago Fire.

The main objective is to raise awareness concerning fire safety and to keep the public informed.

Fire safety information, including booklets with fun family resources and a map to create a fire evacuation plan, are available online and through participating fire departments.

“Planning is essential because fire can grow and spread quickly, and there may only be a few minutes to get out safely,” says Solicitor General Shirley Bond. “Fire Prevention Week is a good a time to take steps to protect your family and home by learning how to prevent and respond in the event of a fire.

“Make a night of it. Sit down with your family, map out a fire evacuation plan and then pick a muster station where everyone should meet after safely exiting your home.”

• In 2010, there were 2,092 residential fires reported in B.C., resulting in 33 fatalities.

• Someone is injured by fire every day in British Columbia.

• 79 per cent of fire-related injuries in British Columbia are caused by residential fires.

• The majority of fire injuries occur in private dwellings.

To view the children’s activity booklet, Fire Safety and You, and home escape plan, visit http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/firecom/pubed/pdf/fpw1101eng.pdf.

For more information on fire safety tips, visit http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/firecom/pubed/fpw.htm.

Follow Emergency Info BC for fire prevention and safety information during Fire Prevention Week at: http://twitter.com/EmergencyInfoBC.