Insurance Bureau of Canada applauds changes to BC Fire Code smoke alarm rules

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Victoria, BC – March 29, 2010 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) applauds changes to the BC Fire Code that were announced last week by the provincial government. The new law requires that smoke alarms be installed by May 1, 2010, in every private home, hotel or motel room built before 1979.

“The insurance industry is pleased to see current fire rules expanded to ensure the safety of all BC residents,” said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, IBC. “Now people residing in older homes, hotels and motels can rest assured that their families and belongings will be better protected in the event of a fire.”

Olson added, “This new legislation serves as a reminder to all homeowners about the importance of smoke alarms. There are steps that every BC resident can take to ensure that they are protected by a working smoke alarm.”

IBC offers the following tips for smoke alarm maintenance:

  • Replace your smoke alarm�s batteries twice a year, when you change your clocks for daylight saving in spring and standard time in the fall.
  • Don’t use rechargeable batteries for smoke alarms � when they lose their charge they don’t emit a warning signal.
  • Install alarms on each level of your home (including the basement) in hallways adjacent to stairs or bedrooms.
  • Avoid placing smoke alarms near furnace rooms, kitchens and washrooms, where steam can accidentally activate them.
  • Test your alarms monthly.

IBC has a long-standing history of working with fire chiefs and fire prevention officers to teach the public how to prevent fires through the use of smoke alarms. For more information about fire prevention, visit www.ibc.ca.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada�s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $39 billion.

To view news releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC�s website at www.ibc.ca.