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Vancouver fire incidents surpass historic record

Aug 9, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

The City of Vancouver has experienced more fire incidents in the first half of 2023 than any other time in history during this same period.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Service issued an urgent call for public awareness. “We are deeply concerned to report that in 2023, we have surpassed the number of fire responses from Q1/Q2 of 2022 by an unprecedented 31%, marking another unfortunate record for most fires in our history,” they stated.

Carelessly discarded smokers’ materials contribute to 57 per cent of all cases as the leading cause. These include matches, lighters, torches, candles, cigarettes, and drug-related materials.

“We urgently appeal to everyone in the community to exercise extreme caution while handling and disposing of these materials,” VFRS warned. “A small oversight can lead to catastrophic consequences.”

Structure fires are also an increasing concern. Single room occupancy and outdoor fires are spiking. Outdoor fires that can involve open flames and flammable materials rose by 42.3 per cent from last year. Arson and incendiary fires account for 26 per cent of fire events, marking an upward trend for incidents caused deliberately.

VFRS said properly extinguishing cigarettes, using battery lights instead of candles and keeping flammable items away from ignition sources can make a significant difference in preventing fires. Residents should ensure they have a working smoke alarm. “Replace batteries according to the manufacturer and replace smoke alarms every 10 years,” says VFRS. “They are critical safety components and required in all residential units.”

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