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Burnaby investigating how it can save lives during extreme heat events

City launches survey looking for the feedback of residents
Heat wave

The City of Burnaby is asking residents and organizations to share their experiences from last summer’s record hot weather and offer ideas for how the city can enhance its response to future extreme heat events.

As part of its review, the city has created an online survey and encourages residents, associations and other organizations to complete it by Feb. 28. The survey is available at

“Burnaby, like many other parts of B.C., experienced three consecutive extreme heat weather events last summer — a heat dome (June 25 to July 1) and two subsequent heat waves (July 29 to Aug. 1, and Aug. 6 to 15),” the city said in a statement. “During the hot weather, the city activated its extreme heat initial response guideline and implemented a number of measures to protect the public and mitigate health risks.”

The city listed the following measures it took:

  • Cooling sites were opened offering a cool space, water for hydrating, first aid treatment if required, and other services.
  • Information about the cooling sites and how to stay safe in the heat was shared via the City’s website, e-newsletters, social media channels, posters and postcards.
  • Information postcards were hand-delivered by RCMP and bylaw enforcement officers to vulnerable citizens.
  • Burnaby RCMP assigned dedicated teams to reach out to vulnerable citizens and check on their well-being.
  • Burnaby bylaw staff posted cooling site information at over 360 multi-family residential buildings.
  • Burnaby Fire Department adjusted staffing in response to the substantial increase in requests for emergency medical aid.

Beginning September 2021, the city launched an internal review of its response and prepared a summary report for council that provided an overview of the events, the actions taken and some initial recommendations for enhancing Burnaby’s response to future extreme heat events. 

From the survey, the city said it hopes to answer a number of questions, such as:

  • Did our actions help?
  • What worked well? What could we have done better?
  • How did you or your organization cope with the heat?
  • What can we learn from each other?
  • How can we work together to protect our community from the impacts of future heat events?

More than 60 Burnaby residents died due to heat-related incidents in 2021.