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Province stresses education as fire deaths rise

The B.C. government is spending $1.6 million on fire safety education campaigns as deaths from fires continue to climb.

The fire commissioner’s annual report was released today and it said fire-related deaths have jumped 207 per cent since 2018.

In 2022, there were 9,087 fires resulting in 212 injuries and 86 deaths.

Fire commissioner Brian Godlonton said a lot of deaths would be preventable with working smoke detectors.

According to the report, only 45 per cent of reported residential structure fires had a working smoke detector.

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A comprehensive smoke-alarm social marketing campaign is being launched by the province as well as a community fire-risk reduction dashboard.

“The Office of the Fire Commissioner annual report provides important trends, which highlight the work that needs to be done to stop these fires from happening in the first place,” said Godlonton in a release.

“The dashboard combined with the smoke alarm and social-marketing campaign will not only help prevent fires but, more importantly, prevent injuries and save lives.”

The dashboard is expected to roll out in the next few weeks while the smoke alarm education campaign is planned for the fall.

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