Firefighters launch campaign in bid to ‘wake up Vancouver’ to smoke alarms

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) has mounted a new push to convince residents to get a working smoke alarm in their home.

The department is releasing five public service announcements called ‘Wake Up Vancouver,’ which feature notable Vancouverites including musician Bif Naked.

Between 2001 and 2018 there have been 62 fire-related fatalities in Vancouver.

The national average shows 60 percent of fire fatalities are from non-working smoke alarms.

Most fatalities are from smoke inhalation and happen between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

“These are fatalities that happen because there’s nothing to wake occupants up in the early stages of a fire,” said VFRS spokesperson Jonathan Gormick.

“And they are overcome in their sleep with no chance of escape.”

Vancouver’s fire bylaw requires every dwelling to have a working smoke alarm. The department makes it easy and, better yet, free to get one.

“Smoke alarms are required in every dwelling,” said Gormick.

“Smoke alarms are inexpensive and in the City of Vancouver free through Vancouver Fire Home Safety Check program. Owners, occupants, tenants, anyone can call 311 or Wakeupvancouver.ca to book a free home safety check, review issues, and install a free working smoke alarm.”

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