West Kelowna partners with province to promote smoke alarms

Premier Christy Clark teaches children from Edleun Pre-School in West Kelowna about how smoke alarms work. - Douglas Farrow / Contributor
Premier Christy Clark teaches children from Edleun Pre-School in West Kelowna about how smoke alarms work.
— image credit: Douglas Farrow / Contributor

West Kelowna is the newest community to join the province's smoke alarm awareness campaign.

Premier Christy Clark made the announcement Tuesday at the West Kelowna Fire Hall.

"West Kelowna is an important partner. We know that older British Columbians are particularly at risk—with so many making the wise choice to settle here. . .(smoke alarm safety) is especially relevant right here in this community," said Premier Christy Clark.

To support the campaign, the district's firefighters will make themselves available to help residents install or test their smoke alarms, free of charge. Some residents may also be eligible for a free alarm as well.

"One of the simplest ways that you can make sure that your family is safe is by making sure that you have a working smoke alarm in your home," said Clark.

"Research shows that having a smoke alarm that works in your home can reduce fire-related deaths by almost one-third. . .that's an astonishing number."

Before addressing the crowd at the Westside fire hall, Clark spoke to children from Edleun Pre-School and demonstrated how smoke alarms work.

Mayor Doug Findlater said that this campaign is a win-win for everyone involved.

"It saves lives, it saves injury, it saves property damage and it saves firefighting costs if they're able to deal with a structure fire earlier," said Findlater.

According to Len Garis, president of the Fire Chiefs' Association of B.C., approximately a dozen communities are currently involved with the campaign.

"It's spreading almost virally throughout the province," said Garis.

"Change has to be made, and it has to be made forever."

Clark credited Black Press for its contribution of a $350,000 strategic multimedia investment to raise awareness. Kidde Canada also donated 5,000 smoke alarms for free distribution to vulnerable populations throughout B.C.

Findlater said that those who want their alarms installed or tested should contact West Kelowna Fire Rescue's non-emergency number, 250-769-1640.

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