Free smoke alarms for seniors

The City of Kamloops is teaming up with the Centre for Seniors Information, Seniors Outreach Society, the Province of British Columbia and the Fire Chiefs Association of BC to ensure seniors have working smoke alarms in their homes.

According to 2011 Census data from Statistics Canada, close to 13,000 seniors live in Kamloops, with just over 8,000 living in private residences. This makes up 10% of Kamloops' population.

In January 2012, a report prepared by the Surrey Fire Services and the University of the Fraser Valley, "Smoke Alarms Work, But Not Forever", was released to the public. This report identified the importance of smoke alarms and the groups at highest risk of dying in a house fire. This report identifies seniors as one of the target groups.

Quick Facts:

Surrey Fire Services and University of the Fraser Valley research shows:
- On average, 35 people died in structure fires in BC each year between 2006 and 2011.
- Young children, older adults, people with disabilities, rental units, and households in low-income areas, rural communities, and First Nations reserves are at greater risk.
- Working smoke alarms could reduce annual fire deaths by as much as 32%.

Data from the BC Office of the Fire Commissioner shows nearly 70% of the fire scenes examined between 2006 and 2011 had no functioning smoke alarm.

"Working Smoke alarms are the best defense for protecting your loved ones from fire. Kamloops Fire Rescue want to make sure that everyone has access to smoke alarms and we want to start with the people who are at highest risk," said Dennis Fayers, Interim Fire Chief.

If you know of a senior, or if you are a senior and you require smoke alarms or your smoke alarm is more than ten years old, we encourage you to call Kamloops Fire Rescue at Fire Station No. 1 at 250-372-5131 or complete the online application at www.kamloops.ca. Kamloops Fire Rescue will provide you with smoke alarms and install them free of charge.

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