WATCH: Lack of fire inspections raises safety concerns

VERNON – BX-Swan Lake fire chief Bill Wacey says the Regional District of North Okanagan no longer does fire inspections.

Municipalities do their own but electoral areas do not.

That has Wacey worried about the safety of his first responders.

He says inspections would help fire fighters have better pre-plans in place and give them a clearer idea of what they are walking into.

“It’s usually at 2 o’clock in the morning when there is an incident and sometimes it is difficult to find out all of the issues that are there right away,” says Wacey.

He adds that new commercial buildings are still being inspected in electoral areas to make sure they are up to fire codes before they are first occupied.

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He’s concerned that a lack of routine fire inspections in electoral areas to make sure buildings remain fire safe could put the public at risk.

The vice chair of the regional district says it’s an issue that’s up for discussion.

Rick Fairbairn says directors will take a second look if there are problems but there have not been any to date.

“So should those situations change then we would certainly be in a position to deal with it,” says Fairbairn.

Wacey is now hoping to work with regional district directors to restart local inspections in electoral areas.

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