Kelowna Fire Department file photo. Image credit: Carmen Weld

Kelowna getting ready for fire season

“We want to help residents reduce the risk”

Starting on May 5 until the end of the month the Kelowna Fire Department will be knocking on residents’ doors in the Clifton neighbourhood to bring attention to wildland-urban interface fire safety, offering free FireSmart assessments on the spot.

“We know many in our community are paying attention to flooding concerns, but the reality is that we are also approaching what is typically wildfire season in the Central Okanagan,” said Rick Euper, Fire Inspector with the Kelowna Fire Department. “We want to help residents reduce the risk and encourage them to think of how they can FireSmart their home today to be safe tomorrow.”

Some ways residents can safeguard their property includes: cleaning up the yard from pine needles and dry leaves, keeping propane tanks 10 metres from the home or structures and storing toys a safe distance the house.

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Residents can opt-in to receive a free assessment using a new test FireSmart app; Walking around your property with a Kelowna Firefighter, hazards will be identified. Upon completion of the assessment, residents will receive a comprehensive emailed report with specific recommendations to improve your home’s FireSmart rating.

The Kelowna Fire Department received a $10,000 grant in 2017 from the Union of BC Municipalities to test the FireSmart Canada app and is one of only a few communities participating in the pilot project.

Since 2013 the Kelowna Fire Department has annually knocked on doors in the spring to connect with homeowners directly to deliver the message of safety.

“We’ve seen success with Gallagher’s Canyon and Quail’s Ridge neighbourhoods being very receptive to the free assessments,” says Euper. “Each year we focus on a different neighbourhood to raise awareness, but we encourage all Kelowna residents to give us a call throughout the year to have their home assessed.”

In addition to FireSmart tips, homeowners are reminded to test their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors: batteries should be changed at least once a year. If your detector is more than 10 years old, it’s time to replace it with a new one.

To book a free FireSmart home assessment, contact Rick Euper at the Kelowna Fire Department at 250-469-8788 or reuper@kelowna.ca. For more information about FireSmart and fire safety tips, visit kelowna.ca/fire.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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