Please Do Your Part to Prevent BC Fires
Summer Wildfires in Canada
Every year there are hundreds of wildfires across Canada during the summer months. Western provinces including British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan are particularly susceptible. Many of these fires could be prevented but in some cases are started due to natural, dry conditions and therefore spread even more rapidly. Regardless, wildfires put residents, firefighters and millions of dollars of infrastructure – houses, businesses, schools etc. at risk each year. In 2015, over one-million hectares of boreal forest burned in Saskatchewan alone. In May of 2016, the world watched as 90,000 people were evacuated from Fort McMurray and surrounding areas as a 423,000 hectare wildfire burned through the city, destroying nearly 20% of the town, including 2500 structures.
Be Fire Safe at Home and at the Office
Of course, forest fires are a seasonal occurence that consume millions of dollars of time and resources to contain each year. However, summer also brings an increased risk of structural fires. Structural fires can be particularly threatening to people as they pose an immediate threat to nearby homes, businesses and any people in the vicinity. Structural fires are particularly frustrating as such a high percentage of them can be prevented. 45% of fires are caused by cooking equipment and another 16% are caused by heating equipment. Accidents and negligence regarding heating and cooking equipment are the number one cause of large structural fires. Even in the case of arson (only 8% of structural fires are started intentionally) and having the proper fire suppression tools on hand can keep the fire contained and diminish damage inflicted. Below we’ve linked some of the products Pickering Safety offers.
Everyone Can Help Prevent Fires
Whether you’re at home in your community or an outdoor recreationalist, there are many things you can be doing to help prevent wildfires. Try to minimize the volume of ‘surface fuels’ on your property (this includes wood stacks, oil, twigs etc.) and make sure you do everything you can to limit accidental sparking from home machinery like lawn mowers and garage tools which are often the cause of accidental fires. In case of emergency, always make sure you have a “first-aid and safety kit” on hand to take with you as you exit the area affected by the fire. Outdoor recreationalists can greatly minimize the risk of fire simply by avoiding campfires and safely putting out cigarettes which are a massive cause of wildfires in BC. The province of BC has invested a lot of resources into making information readily available to citizens that would like to educate themselves on fire preparedness. Check out the link below for more resources:
Everyday Fire Safety Equipment
We encourage the public to keep reliable and effective fire prevention products and first-aid products on-hand at home and at work so they can do their part and contribute to preventing serious structural fires and wildfires. Here are some tips we’ve compiled to help individuals contribute to preventing serious fires:
- Keep a fire extinguisher within reach of most high-traffic areas in the home and workplace.
- Develop a safety check process for cooking and heating equipment in the home and at work so nothing is ever misused.
- Don’t burn candles (3% of fires are caused by candles alone). If you must, ensure you’ve extinguished them fully afterwards.
- Invest in a quality electrician. Anytime you need electrical work done on a structure, hire a professional – this is not only the cause of 8% of fires, but 15% of civilian deaths.
- Do not leave children unattended around flammable objects. Yes, it seems like a no-brainer, unfortunately, 2% of fires are caused by playing with a heat source. Death and serious injury are also highly likely in these instances.
Pickering Safety offers a wealth of fire prevention products that can help keep you, your home and your business safe. Please consider equipping your home and workplace with some of the products listed below and prevent serious fire damage due to negligence. At minimum, Pickering Safety recommends every home and workspace have a fire extinguisher and first-aid kit on hand in case of accidents and emergencies.
Fire Extinguisher: https://www.pickeringsafety.com/product/fire-extinguisher/
Second Skin: https://www.pickeringsafety.com/product/second-skin-large/
Burn Management Kit: https://www.pickeringsafety.com/product/burn-kit-large/
Heavy Duty Safety Gloves: https://www.pickeringsafety.com/first-aid/heavy-duty-gloves/
Oxygen Tank: https://www.pickeringsafety.com/first-aid/oxygen-tanks/
The Fort McMurray wildfire absolutely devastated the homes and lives of over 90,000 people on May 1st 2016. Although the fire was nearly a month ago as of publishing this – thousands of people are still displaced and in need of supplies. Pickering Safety was thrilled to donate supplies to support Canadian firefighters and we are asking anyone reading this to continue donating through the Canadian Red Cross in support of the victims who are still struggling because of the disaster. Donations can be made quickly and anonymously. Any small amount helps tremendously.