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Edmonton trying to prevent fires in encampments through education campaign

Edmonton fire

Firefighters in the Alberta capital are working with local agencies to reduce the number and severity of fires in homeless encampments.

Since February, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has educated 119 people including outreach workers from Bissell Centre, police officers and park rangers on fire prevention and safety methods specific to encampments.

The workers then take that knowledge to the camps and share it with the people staying there.

“Proactive measures to keep our community members safe is incredibly valuable to the work that we do,” said Candace Noble, director of housing and outreach at Bissell Centre.

“Our goal is to end the need for encampments with access to safe and affordable housing. While we work towards that, we are so thankful for the support of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services for providing practical educational tools to increase the safety of encampment residents and their neighbours.”

Fire prevention officers also provide posters and fire safety checklists to help workers onsite at encampments identify fire risks and offer solutions to reduce fires.

"Edmonton Fire Rescue Services’ fire safety education program for encampments is one component of the City’s evolving encampment response,” said Fire Chief Joe Zatylny.

“This is exceptional work which is being led by our Fire Prevention Team, and it is an example of how the City is bringing together the necessary service areas to mitigate encampment safety risks and improve the well-being of encampment occupants and those responding to them.”

In the winter of 2021, four people experiencing homelessness died in fires in just two months, according to the City of Edmonton. Top Stories

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