THE new amendments to the City of Vancouver’s Fire Bylaw that went into effect on Tuesday (May 16) have, among other things, made it mandatory for all residential buildings to have carbon monoxide alarms. An exception exists for homes with no fuel-fired appliances and no attached garage.

Captain Jonathan Gormick of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services said: “Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless, poisonous gas emitted as a by-product of combustion. Earlier this year, a family of four lost their lives in Ashcroft, B.C., and the City of Vancouver has seen more than its fair share of near misses. Safety officials have for years advocated the effectiveness of carbon monoxide alarms in saving lives.”

Also, new fines have been added to the Fire Bylaw to help VF&RS and the City reduce some of the behaviours that have recently led to increases in fires, fire damage, and unnecessary use of City resources, said Gormick in a press statement.

To help combat an ongoing increase in vacant-home fires and vandalism, fines of $750 per day can now be levied against property owners who leave unoccupied buildings in an unsecured state.

Anyone found to have maliciously activated a fire alarm system, or falsely and maliciously reported a fire could now be subject to a $500 fine.

Lastly, as we head into another summer, a fine of $500 can now be levied against anyone who discards burning material that creates a hazardous situation. With the hope of avoiding another wave of completely preventable brush and vegetation fires, anyone tossing cigarettes or other burning material onto grass, vegetation or debris can be fined by a fire prevention officer or police officer