Structure Fires

A structural fire occurs when a fire affects the structure of a building. It can be started within the building or can come from the outside, from an interface wildfire, for instance. Structural fires are fought by local fire services, but they can be prevented by taking the correct steps.


  • Develop a household emergency plan and assign specific safety tasks to family members. Practice your household emergency plan every six months.
  • Put together an emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, but aim for one week. Keep a kit in your vehicle, and at school or work.
  • Plan a family meeting spot and have an contact, such as a family member in another region, to check in with if you become separated.
  • Get training in emergency preparedness and first aid.
  • Keep your vehicle in working order and always have at least half a tank of gas.
  • Pay attention to notices of danger and information updates on radio, TV and the internet.
  • Obey fire bans and pay attention to wildfire risk signs which are often seen on highways or main roads.
  • Plan multiple escape routes from your house.
  • Install smoke alarms and check them regularly.
  • Install a fire extinguisher out of reach from children.
  • Learn how to protect your home from wildfires with BC’s FireSmart manual.


  • If you hear your smoke alarm, exit the building calmly using the nearest safe exit. If you see a fire in a building, sound the alarm.
  • Do not use elevators when exiting buildings.
  • If you catch on fire, stop, drop and roll to smother the flames. 
  • Once outside, dial 9-1-1 and do not go back into the building under any circumstances.