Vancouver Fire and Rescue said the East Vancouver flat fire earlier this month could have been much worse if a smoke detector did not work in the unit.
On the night of December 2, fire crews were called to the 2000 block of Wall Street where heavy smoke came from a second floor flat. A male resident was taken to hospital but died from injuries last week.
However, according to VFRS Capt. Jonathon Gormick, thanks to a working smoke detector, all the neighbors in the building were able to escape unnecessarily.
He said that most fire deaths occurred in the absence of a smoke detector that works during the night when people sleep without leaving any opportunity to escape.
"These are deaths, as there is nothing to wake up people during the early stages of fire," said Gormick. "The vast majority of smoke breathing occurred and the vast majority occurred between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m."
Smoke detectors are needed in Vancouver and are available free of charge through wakeupvancouver.ca, or by calling 311 to order a free home security check.
VFRS also releases a series of Wake Up Vancouver videos as part of a public awareness campaign.
Eight fire fat ties the previous first year high for fire deaths in the City of Vancouver.