Chief Charlie Boyte's report for August 2012

Michael Boyle

Our Home Fire Safety Assessment Checklist.pdf (560K)
and Visitor Fire Safety Assessment Checklist.pdf (725K) have been a big hit at the Farmers Market and the Wildfire Prevention Program at BC Ferries.

The feedback has been exceptionally positive and we look forward to continued success with this program. The checklists are great tools to help Pender residents and visitors keep themselves, their loved ones and our community safer. The checklists are the exceptional work of Lieutenant Sandy Johnson and Deputy Chief Mike Dine.

Your safety and that of those close to you depends on your ability to recognize the things that can hurt you. Too often it is the little things we overlook, or get complacent about, that result in disaster. This is true for your full time residence, cottage or vacation getaway. You may be surprised at some of the things that are typically overlooked.

The checklists are posted here on our web site and can be easily printed. Home Fire Safety Checklists are also available at Fire Hall #1. Please call 250-629-3321 if you have any questions or need some help to complete your checklist.

In the city, the taxation base can support the millions required to pay for full time fire crews. Typically the staff costs are more than 90 per cent of a fire department budget. The largest benefit of full time fire crews is response time. Urban fire and rescue crews will typically arrive in four to eight minutes and can usually contain fires to the building or room of origin.

Rural communities generally rely on volunteers to provide these services. These volunteers face all the same challenges as urban firefighters. They just face them less often. This results in a hazard curve paradox. Contrary to what we might think, they must train more often to be competent in response and safe in their work. In our community the volunteers that step up to protect us train to the same standards as urban firefighters. We are very fortunate to have them and their commitment to service excellence. The challenges they face are formidable ... long travel distances, narrow roads and minimal water supplies to name a few.

Our volunteers must also respond from work or home to answer your 911 call unlike the urban centers where firefighters staff the station 24/7. This can add more than 10 minutes to response time. A house fire in our high risk season can easily spread to the surrounding forest and become a wildfire during this timeframe. Our best protection from the threats of fire is to establish a community culture of fire prevention. Please take a few minutes to complete a fire safety assessment for your home or cottage.

The following five key questions are included in the fire safety assessments. A yes answer to these and the other questions in the Fire Safety Checklists will go a long way to ensure you, your loved ones and your community are safe.

  1. Is your house number clearly visible from roadway day and night?
  2. Is your driveway access adequate for emergency vehicles? (3.6 metres wide, overhead clearance of five metres )
  3. Is your building address and emergency numbers posted near the telephone?
  4. Is there a working smoke alarm installed on every level of the residence?
  5. Visitors – does everyone with you know the address where you are staying?
  6. (Significant delays can occur unless the address is clearly communicated to 911. This is especially true if calling from an out of area cell phone.)

We look forward to your continued cooperation towards a fire safe community.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Anna Herlitz

Fire Fighter 2
Technical Rescue

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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