The Office of the Fire Commissioner has seen a 200% increase in reported fire-related fatalities since January 1st.

Between January 1st and April 30th, there were 15 fire-related fatalities in British Columbia, while over the same period last year, there were five fire-related deaths.

The B.C. Government suspects that some house fires may be caused by individuals staying home during COVID-19.

“In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to get out safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds,” said Brian Godlonton, Fire Commissioner.

British Columbians are encouraged to reduce fire risks by never leaving cooking unattended, extinguishing candles when they leave the room, encourage smokers to smoke away from the home and properly extinguish all smoking materials, and avoid overloading electrical outlets.

Furthermore, testing smoke alarms monthly and making a home escape plan can help individuals react in the event of a fire.

More information can be found online.