Stewart Affleck has been commercial fire inspector for Keremeos businesses for the past seven years.
Affleck is hired by the Village of Keremeos because under the Muncipal Act, the village is required to conduct a regular system of inspection on its commercial premises, including commercial sections of apartment buildings.
Affleck inventories and inspects fire protection and fire suppresion equipment, in addition to ensuring emergency lighting is operating and ventilation systems are clean. His inspections also look at general fire hazards in a building, as well as misused extension cords and emergency exiting.
“Keremeos stand up pretty good,” he said with respect to the state of fire preparedness of the village’s businessess.
“It gets a little better every year,” Affleck said, adding his strategy is to try to lead businesses forward in steadily improving their safety systems annually.
“It’s quite good in Keremeos now,” he said, referring to the village as a “lovely little place .”
Affleck conducts inspections in Port Hardy, Cowichan Bay, Stewart, Lions Bay, Balcarra and Queen Charlotte City, in addition to also inspecting First Nations fire departments fire fighting capabilities.
Affleck said one of the biggest problems with older commercial buildings comes from inadequate modernization of the facility.
“Old buildings that aren’t updated to modern standards seem to be the ones that burn,” he said, “whereas newer buildings just don’t seem to burn.”
Affleck reports to the Keremeos and District Volunteer Fire Department chief, Jordy Bosscha.
“Small community volunteer fire departments just don’t have the expertise to do fire inspections,” he said.