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Fall Fire Safety


Home heating systems maintenance

With cooler days ahead, home heating systems will be used more often. Remember, furnaces, electric baseboard heaters and hot water heating systems require regular service and maintenance to keep them running safely and efficiently.  


Keep chimneys clean

Woodstoves and fireplaces need special attention. The BC Fire Code requires that all chimneys and flues be inspected at least annually and must be cleaned when the buildup of soot and creosote exceeds three millimetres. It is recommended that this inspection be performed by a Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT) certified inspector. The use of a professional service company will help to ensure that the entire system is safe for the upcoming heating season.   Chimney fires occur when creosote builds up inside the chimney and ignites. Chimney fires burn extremely hot, often damaging the chimney.  


What to do in the event of a chimney fire

Immediately close dampers to remove the fire’s source of air, and get everyone in the home outside, and call 911. Once the fire has been extinguished, the system MUST be inspected by a qualified inspector before it is used again.  


Burning best practices

Remember to burn only clean, well-seasoned firewood. Burning wet wood or garbage will coat the flue and chimney much faster and sends more smoke and pollution into the air we all share.  


Smoke alarms

Above all else, and no matter what kind of heating system you use, make sure you have a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are required by the BC Fire Code in all dwellings and wherever people are sleeping. Also, be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly. If they are battery powered, replace the battery at least annually. Smoke alarms have a life span of 10 years. Replace and recycle older smoke alarms.  


Carbon monoxide detectors

With fuel-burning appliances such as wood, natural gas/ propane, or oil, it’s equally important to have carbon monoxide detectors in the home. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced when fuel is burned. A detector warns occupants when that carbon monoxide is present.  For more information on smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, please visit or contact the local fire department at 250‐286‐6266.  Information on recycling the old units can be found at      



Thinking about fireworks for Halloween? A permit is required to set off fireworks for any event. Apply with the fire department at least two weeks before the event date.


Outdoor Burning

Recreational fires are permitted within the City, provided there is no fire ban in effect and the size of the fire is kept to 24 inches in diameter. To determine whether burning yard waste is permitted in your area, consult the City of Campbell River Bylaw 3293, 2007 – online at  





The threat of wildfires will always exist in organized and unorganized areas if prevention measures are not taken into consideration and implemented in advance. As more new developments grow in forested areas and new dwellings are built in natural areas, the public should be aware of the problems related to wildfires and the preventative actions required to augment the efforts of organized firefighting services. 

The Fire Smart Wildland/Interface Planner is an interactive manual providing individuals with the necessary tools to plan and mitigate the risk of fire in interface areas. Download the manual by clicking on the link above.

For further information regarding wildfire prevention, current fire danger ratings, wildfires of note and current fire bans, please follow the links below:






Candles are a traditional and beautiful part of the holiday season. They can also be a source of fire in your home, so be cautious with them. Place candles in sturdy candle holders and ensure they are well away from the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations. Ensure that candles are located well away from combustible materials and never use candles to decorate a Christmas tree.
Never leave lit candles unattended and ensure that they are out of reach of children. Also, keep candles away from drafts or windows. Never burn candles for more than four hours at a time and ensure the wicks are short enough to avoid a high flame. In addition, keep matches, lighters out of reach of children and pets and never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle and do not allow your children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms. Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.


Most Christmas fires can be prevented. That's just one of the messages to remember this holiday season. Before buying your Christmas tree, test it for freshness by tapping the base of the tree on the ground. If needles fall or can be pulled off easily the tree is too dry. At home, find a cool spot for your tree, away from heater vents and the fireplace. Keep your tree as fresh as possible by watering it often.

Though they are fireproof, metal or aluminum trees are electrically conductive and cannot be decorated with any electrical products. The metal can cause a short and a fire or simply become hot or deliver a nasty shock. Aluminum trees can be illuminated by a colourful spotlight placed a safe distance from the tree, as set out by manufacturer's directions.


Always decorate with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials. Christmas wrapping and decorations can be highly combustible and should be kept away from heat sources. Use only those lights which have been tested and labelled by an approved testing laboratory (i.e. those with the UL or ULC label). Don't overload electrical circuits or extension cords. Always turn Christmas lights off before leaving home or going to sleep. Avoid using timers on indoor lights. Tree lights could turn on when no one is home and create a potential fire hazard.

When setting up outdoor lighting, turn off the electricity supply outlet first. Keep electrical objects off the ground and clear of metal objects. Use insulated tape to hold lights in place and run cords above ground to keep them out of puddles or snow.


This Christmas give your family and friends a gift that saves lives…a smoke alarm. Most fatal fires take place at night, while you and your family are asleep - when seconds can make the difference between life and death. If you have one or more working smoke alarms in your home you increase your chances of surviving a fire. Smoke alarms are inexpensive and easy to install.


Practice fire safety in the kitchen this holiday season. That's just one of the messages to remember. Never leave cooking food unattended and if you are faced with a grease fire, remember - put a lid on it and turn the heat source off! Always turn pot handles to the back of the stove so pots won't be pulled or knocked off.




Everything you wanted to know about home escape planning from the National Fire Protection Association:

Home Escape Planning info from the National Fire Protection Association




Everything you wanted to know about fire extinguishers. Check out this very informative site!


A great online resource for Fire Safety Tips.