Fire Safety is an important issue for all of us. Residential fires are responsible for a tragic number of deaths, injuries and millions of dollars in property damage and health care costs annually. Fire is devastating and so final. Most people will never face a major fire but don’t think it will never happen to you!
Statistics show that your life will be affected by fire 3 times, either through personal experience or the experiences of family and friends. Tragedy can be prevented by awareness and vigilance.
Do you have an emergency home escape plan in case of a fire? If you don’t you should make one with your family. If you do have one, make sure that you practice your escape plan so that you are well prepared in case of a fire.
Are you fire safe? Go through the fire safety checklist and make sure that you are aware of ALL the fire hazards around you! Do it with everyone in your household, that way your whole family will be safe.
Emergency Management BC
Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the province’s lead coordinating agency for all emergency management activities, including response, planning, training, testing and exercising.
Earthquakes are common in B.C., with an average of 3,000 reported each year. Most are too small to be felt, but earthquakes strong enough to cause structural damage can occur once per decade. There is a good chance one of these could be “the big one”.
The most at-risk areas are along the west coast of the province, where the additional threat of a destructive tsunami is also very real. It’s important to take time to prepare and understand what to do before, during and after a major earthquake. Get ready today!
Following a disaster, you may need to stay at home with your emergency kit or leave immediately with your grab-and-go bags. Gather and organize your emergency supplies now so you’re ready when disaster strikes. Building your emergency kit or grab-and-go bag doesn’t need to be expensive or take a lot of time. Follow our basic supply lists, but Just remember to consider the unique needs of your household, such as including items for pets or seniors.
Get information on current wildfire activity in B.C., including details about specific wildfires, fire response efforts, Fire Danger Ratings across the province, fire bans and restrictions, and more.
The best thing about being FireSmart is how easy it is.
The homes that are prepared are often the homes left standing. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to drastically reduce your property’s risk.
Safety Tips from the NFPA
(National Fire Protection Association)
Safety Tips from the NFPA
(National Fire Protection Association)
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the regulations around burning within in the Sechelt Fire Protection District?
The Sechelt Fire Department is responsible for fire safety within the District of Sechelt and the Sechelt Indian Government District. To this end we regulate only the fire safety aspect of burning within these two areas. The smoke release from these fires are regulated and enforced by other authorities. For a summary of what types of fires there are, what burning is allowed and in what area, what permits are required, and who enforces what aspect of the burn, please refer to our Burning Regulations page.
Is there something that I can do to help without becoming a regular member?
Yes there is, it’s called “Adopt a Hydrant”. In addition to providing fire protection, The volunteer firefighters must also brush out and maintain access to over 500 fire hydrants. There is no special talent required for this, just a bit of work. So next time you are doing your weed eating, take a walk down your street and brush out the route into the hydrant, as well as an area at least four ft around it. If the hydrants in your area look OK take a drive and find one that isn’t. Thanks in advance for helping out!
I am renewing my house insurance and the insurance company has a lot of questions… can you help?
When renewing house insurance the insurance company usually wants to know how far the house is from the Fire Station, if there are fire hydrants near the home, and what kind of Fire Department we have here.
- To find how far you live from the Fire Hall simply reset your car’s trip meter to zero and drive to the Fire Station. If you don’t have a car just give us a call and tell us your civic address and we will be happy to give you a rough idea from our maps. Insurance companies will give properties a better rate if they are within 5 miles or 8 kilometers from a Fire Hall.
- Most properties in the Sechelt Fire Protection District are what is called “hydrant protected” this means that you have a fire hydrant within 1000 ft of your home. If this is the case, your insurance company may give you a better rate on your fire insurance.
- The Sechelt Fire Department is what is called a “composite” Fire Department. This means that there is a blend of career and volunteer members. This should also make a difference to your insurance company when they determine your insurance rate.
The Sechelt Fire Department with direction from our Board of Trustees, has worked long and hard to obtain an excellent insurance grading. This “grading” is the main piece of information that insurance companies use to determine your insurance rate. There are two ratings that you need to be aware of. One is for residential properties and the other for commercial properties.
For your home, we currently have the best rating possible for a composite Fire Department, at 3A and 3B.
If you have a commercial property to insure the class for commercial property is Class 5. We are proud to say that this rate is enjoyed by just a handful of like sized communities in BC.
Our suggestion is to quiz your insurance company to ensure that they are recognizing these service levels and that it is reflected in your premiums. If they don’t, you may want to shop around for someone that does.
We have a lot more tips for collecting the information most insurance companies require, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.
I want to purchase a commercial property but I need to be certain that there are not some outstanding fire code deficiencies
Its fairly easy, but we need permission from the current property owner before we release any information, so all you do is put together a short note requesting the info and have the owner sign the letter. Send it to us at Box 944, Sechelt, B.C., V0N 3A0 or fax it to us at 604-885-5145.
I have just moved into a house with a woodstove, my insurance company is requesting an inspection. Does the Fire Department do this?
This is not a service that the Fire Department provides but to answer your question, what you can do is have a W.E.T.T. certified technician come in and conduct a survey on your stove. W.E.T.T. technicians are usually professional chimney sweeps that have met a level of training that is acceptable to the insurance companies. The reports that they issue and their work is recognized by insurance companies. W.E.T.T. certified technicians can be found in the yellow pages under “Chimney Sweeps” and then look for the stylized W.E.T.T. symbol.
For new installations, a permit is required and can be obtained through the District of Sechelt Building Inspection Department. A W.E.T.T. certified installer can help you with the installation of a new woodstove as well.
Please, please, please do not install a wood stove without the proper safeguards in place. You and your family’s safety (as well as all your property) could be as stake, so make sure you play by the rules when it comes to this!
If you wish, you can stop by the fire station and we will gladly give you a copy of the Guide to Residential Wood Heating. This is a good book that has the common clearances and other helpful tips on woodstove use and installation.
We want to shoot off some fireworks for Halloween, is this permitted?
The District of Sechelt has banned the sale and discharge of fireworks year round. For more information please refer to the District of Sechelt website under the Bylaws section.
I have an old fire extinguisher at home that needs to be filled. Does the Fire Department do this?
This is another service that we don’t provide. In fact we don’t even do our own extinguishers any longer, it really is messy! There are a couple of local companies in town that can help you with your extinguisher. Just look in the yellow pages under fire protection and you will see them. Aside from this the Fire Department recommends that every home have a least one 5lb ABC extinguisher per floor, mounted at eye level, near an exit.
Is there any training available in the use of fire extinguishers?
The Fire Department does provide fire extinguisher training for interested groups. Please complete our Extinguisher Training Request Form or give us a call if you would like to learn how to use this life saving equipment.
I have smoke alarms and they go off when I cook, what can I do about that?
If your alarm goes off when you cook, chances are that it is mounted too close to your kitchen. This is quite a common problem. If your alarm is battery powered you can just relocate it away from the kitchen. Somewhere in the hallway outside your bedroom is a place that is recommended.
If your alarm is wired in you may be able to replace it with a newer model that is less likely to false alarm. Another great solution is to replace your alarm with one that has a cancel button. This button allows you to cancel the alarm for a few minutes while the smoke clears.
I have a group that is interested in having a tour of the Fire Station. Is this allowed and how do I arrange for a tour?
One of the Fire Department’s top priorities is Public Education and Fire Hall tours are a perfect way to start getting our message out to the community. If you have a group that would like to have a tour please fill out our Hall Tour Request Form or give us a call at 604-885-7017 and we will make every effort to accommodate your request.
I have some old gas out in the shed what can I do with that?
The Landfill site in Sechelt accepts old gas but it needs to be in approved containers when you drop it off. Approved containers are “ULC approved” and are probably the type that you have it in now. The Fire Department encourages home owners to get rid of unwanted gas and other flammable liquids as one way of making your home safer for all.
For further details check out the SCRD Website.
I understand that the Fire Department accepts vehicles from the public and uses them for training. I have an old car that I would like to donate. How does this work?
The Fire Department actively trains all members in auto extrication. We have been very successful in this regard and have saved several lives over the years with these specialized tools and training. If you have a vehicle that is surplus to your needs please give us a call at 604-885-7017 and talk to the Training Officer. He will guide you through the process, but it is fairly straight forward.
You will need to:
- Sign the vehicle over to us as the registered owner of the vehicle.
- Have a vehicle that is useful to us I.e. has tires and wheels intact and car not filled with junk or garbage.
- Pay for the towing or be able to safely and legally drive it up to our training site at 5940 Mason Rd where we collect vehicles for this training.
Rather than calling us, you may prefer to complete our Vehicle Donation Form instead.