Firefighters giving away smoke alarms

Firefighters in Ladysmith and North Oyster are hoping to get smoke detectors in every home in the Ladysmith area.

It’s the first line of defence against fire in the home, and local fire departments are firing up a campaign to ensure smoke detection alarms are in every home.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t have a working smoke alarm for one reason or another, and we see it often out this way,” said North Oyster fire chief Jason de Jong.

The campaign is part of a province-wide effort to distribute working alarms to B.C.’s most vulnerable populations. The campaign is funded in part by smoke alarm maker Kidde Canada, which is donating 5,000 smoke detection units, and by Black Press, which pledged a public awareness advertising campaign worth $350,000.

Ladysmith fire chief Ray Delcourt explained that prior to 1979, home builders were not required to install smoke detectors. However, after 1979, building code requirements changed so that new houses had to have smoke detectors hardwired into the home.

Firefighters hope their efforts will save lives in the long run.

“It buys you that extra couple of minutes if there is a fire, for you and your family to get out of the house,” de Jong said.

North Oyster residents interested in obtaining a smoke detector alarm can call 250-245-5111. Ladysmith residents who are interested in having a home inspection or having a fire detector installed can call 250-245-6436.