B.C. food banks serving up safety
The B.C. government, Food Banks BC and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) are supporting a provincial campaign to help ensure B.C.’s most vulnerable families have working smoke alarms in their homes.
As part of its support, AANDC will be matching an earlier commitment from manufacturer Kidde Canada to give 2,500 free smoke alarms to on-reserve aboriginal families, whom research has shown to be at elevated risk of fatality in residential fires.
B.C.’s 93 food banks have also made the commitment to join forces with fire services across the province to make free smoke alarms available to interested individuals and families whose accommodation lacks a working smoke alarm — one of the most essential tools to save lives and property in the event of fire.
In March, Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond and Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, launched a smoke-alarm campaign intended to ensure every B.C. home has a working smoke alarm.
Research by Surrey Fire Services and the University of the Fraser Valley shows almost 70 per cent of homes that caught fire lacked a functioning smoke alarm — and that households in low-income areas, in rural communities and on First Nations reserves face greater risk of fatality from residential fires.
Information about the smoke-alarm campaign is online at fcabc.ca.
The study by Surrey Fire Services and the University of the Fraser Valley is online at www.ufv.ca/Assets/CCJR/Reports+and+Publications/Smoke_Alarms_Work$!2c_But_not_Forever.pdf.