Len Garis

Fires drop dramatically in Surrey

A new education program is saving property and lives

A new education program created by Surrey’s fire department has cut the number of fires in the city dramatically, preventing more than $1 million in damages.

Two years ago, Surrey’s fire department started the Homesafe Program, which saw a city-wide blitz on informing people in high-risk areas on how to prevent home fires from occurring.

Since then, the program has resulted in a reduction in the rate of fires in those areas by almost two-thirds and has prevented an estimated $1.26 million in property losses.

In addition, when fires did occur in homes that had been visited under the program, the probability of smoke alarms having been activated by the fire was increased and the related fires were smaller and caused less damage.

In the last two years, the program reached 18,473 addresses, representing about 14 per cent of all single-family homes in Surrey.

As part of the program, firefighters go to homes in person to discuss issues such as smoke alarms, home fire escape plans, children and fire, senior fire safety, and how to prevent kitchen fires.

The result has been a 64-per-cent decrease in fire amongst the areas visited, and in the 13 homes where fires occurred, smoke alarms were activated in 46.2 per cent of the cases, compared to 17.2 per cent prior to the program.

More than one-third of the fires were confined to the room of origin, compared to 11 per cent before.

And property damage to the homes was cut in half.

Statistically, the drop in fires represents a life saved every year.

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis is expanding the initiative across the province in his role as president of the B.C. Fire Chiefs’ Association.

Garis said he’s also getting calls from other provinces looking at starting similar programs there.

To book a Homesafe visit, call the Surrey Fire Department at 604-543-6700.

@diakiw

 

Just Posted

Mobility commission investigates how to charge Surrey motorists

32 Avenue and 152 Street considered ‘key congestion area’

VIDEO: Double-decker bus pilot in Langley gets rave reviews

The ceiling is a little low, but other than that, everyone seems to be a fan

Emaciated dog brought to Surrey shelter now healthy and up for adoption

Eclipse came into the Surrey Resource Animal Shelter last summer in skeletal, calloused condition

Comic Strippers return to Surrey’s Bell a year after ‘milestone’ show there

‘That was our biggest show ever,’ says Ken Lawson of male-stripper parody/improv-comedy production

Crash on Highway 10 in Surrey

DriveBC reports the crash happened eastbound, and that the left lane on highway is blocked

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Teachers’ union votes for non-confidence in school board

Lack of action after embattled trustee’s comments created unsafe workplace, Chilliwack teachers claim

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Most Read