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Chilliwack Fire Department reminds residents to cook with caution

Unattended cooking a ‘leading cause of home fires’ part of Fire Prevention Week tips
Cooking safety is the theme of National Fire Prevention Week 2023. Above, members of the Kiwanis Club of Chilliwack chat during a celebration for the grand opening of the Hazard House at the Chilliwack Safety Village in 2014. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The Chilliwack Fire Department is showcasing National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8 to Oct. 14, with a stark reminder to residents to always cook with caution.

Fire officials have teamed up with the National Fire Protection Association to get the word out about their 2023 prevention campaign with the tagline: “Cooking safety starts with you. Pay attention to fire prevention.”

Cooking left unattended on the stove is often to blame in residential fire incidents.

“Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home injuries,” according to the City of Chilliwack’s page. “Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths.”

So what can residents do? Chilliwack Fire Department is encouraging all residents to embrace the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme by never leaving the stove while food is cooking away in the kitchen.

“The good news is you can prevent most cooking fires and burns,” according to the release.

The problem is that folks may have as little as two minutes to safely get out of a building from the time the smoke alarm starts sounding.

”Their ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.”

What if someone is deaf?

There are smoke alarms and devices that alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“These devices include strobe lights that flash to alert people when the smoke alarm sounds.”

Pillow or bed shakers designed to work with smoke alarms can also be installed.

For kids there is an online resource they can check out Sparkys Fun House to complete fire-safety challenges designed for children.

Here are some upcoming Chilliwack events to mark fire prevention week:

• Fire trucks will be out on display in the Home Depot parking lot, Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Come out and see some of the department’s fire trucks.

• Community Fire Drill, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.

Test smoke alarms at home and practise your home escape plan.

• Great BC Shakeout - Drop, Cover, and Hold - Oct. 19, 2023 at 10:19 a.m.

Fire prevention information and tips can be found online at, or contact them at 604-792-8713.

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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