The benefits of the FireSmart program and Block Watch program have been pitched by the Regional District of North Okanagan to residents in Electoral Area C BX-Silver Star. (Black Press - file photo)

Block Watch, FireSmart programs pitched to North Okanagan residents

RDNO gives presentation on both programs to residents of Electoral Area C BX-Silver Star

One North Okanagan neighbourhood is making efforts to keep residents safe.

The Regional District of North Okanagan recently gave an informative introductory presentation about the Block Watch Program and the FireSmart program to a group of more than 20 residents in the Jackpine Road area in Electoral Area C (BX-Silver Star).

“The residents were happy to have taken the first steps towards having an active role in helping keep their community safe,” said Mike Moyer, RDNO Safe Communities coordinator.

“By teaching people about the Block Watch and FireSmart programs in one session, we are expanding the focus and showing them how the overlap will benefit them. Instead of just looking out for suspicious activity, or just taking actions to reduce the likelihood of wildfires, these residents have been empowered to do both, which has the potential for a greater impact.”

Block Watch is a program of neighbours helping neighbours.

The Block Watch Program is a free community-based crime prevention program administered by the RDNO for electoral areas. Residents form a communication chain and commit to watching out for each other’s homes by reporting suspicious activities to the police and each other. They also keep each other informed about neighbourhood occurrences, burglary, thefts, and other crimes or problems occurring on their street.

The FireSmart program is an educational way to learn how to take actions that can reduce the risk of impacts of wildfires on homes. Wildfires are a natural part of B.C. wildland ecosystems, but there are simple actions that residents can take to make their home more resilient, such as clearing fire fuels in their yards.

“The hope is that the neighbours on Jackpine Road will form a Block Watch group to look out for one another in two useful ways: fire mitigation, and the reporting of suspicious activity,” said Moyer.

Residents of the RDNO electoral areas are encouraged to contact Moyer at 250-550-3733 or email safecommunities@rdno.ca for more information.

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