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Suspicious Fires Pose Lethal Threat in Summer Heat

July 28th, 2013 | by admin admin | in News |    14   comments

arson.jpgWithin one week in June, Downtown Vancouver and the West End were struck by 15 suspicious fires. Vancouver firefighters responded to 40 suspected arsons in the first five months of 2013, and 151 in 2012.

With another heat wave in the forecast, arson poses an even greater threat to your home or business. The best way to protect yourself is to remove any fuel sources around your property, such as:

  • Mattresses and old furniture
  • Flammable liquids, such as paint thinner or propane
  • Dry branches and yard clippings
  • Cardboard and paper

Other tips for preventing maliciously set fires include:

  • Don’t set out your recycling bin, garbage can or yard clippings outside your home the night before a scheduled pick up.
  • Install motion-sensor security lighting. Firebugs hate being seen.
  • Keep leaves, firewood, overgrown brush and shrubbery and other combustibles away from buildings.
  • Keep doors and windows locked in garages, cars and unoccupied buildings, but don’t use locks or security devices that could trap a person in a fire.
  • Board up abandoned buildings.
  • Lock up all flammable liquids such as propane, paints, gasoline and solvents or lawnmowers.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach and out of sight of children.

Even without the threat of arson, it would be wise to be on your guard against fire this summer. The long stretch of warm, sunny weather means fire could consume your wood-frame building in minutes.

As always, ensure you have smoke detectors on every floor of your building, and practise your home escape plan. Remember, in Vancouver, Surrey and other local municipalities, open burning requires a permit. Wood-burning chimeneas and fire pits are illegal.

You may, of course, barbecue in your own backyard and in some parks and beaches. Again, keep combustibles well away from open flames. And never leave a grill unattended.

For more tips and information:

Rash of Suspicious Vancouver Fires Ignite Arson Awareness Campaign,” Vancouver Courier, June 21, 2013.

City of Surrey Burning Regulations

Tips for Preventing Arson, Toronto Fire Services.

Outdoor Fire Safety, City of Vancouver.


Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.


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