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Fire-risk online tool coming to Surrey to help reduce fire-related deaths

The dashboard will track and show where fires are so that fire departments’ resources are best-used
Online fire-risk dashboard will be launching in Surrey and other communities in pilot project. (File photo/Shane MacKichan)

A new online fire-risk dashboard will be introduced to the City of Surrey in July for a pilot project that aims to reduce fire-related deaths.

The Community Fire Risk Reduction Dashboard, created in collaboration with Statistics Canada and B.C.’s Fire Commission, will allow governments and fire departments to find the areas where fire is striking right away in order to best use resources to mitigate fire-risk.

It will be launched first in Surrey, Coquitlam and Port Alberni in July.

The fire-risk online dashboard “will really help us to understand where the fire risk in our community exists… and take a risk-based approach,” said Jason Cairney, deputy fire chief of Surrey Fire Services.

An annual report released by the Office of the Fire Commissioner on Wednesday (June 8) states that most fires the province sees are home fires.

In line with this finding, Cairney says that a large proportion of structure fires that Surrey Fire Services responds to are, in fact, residential.

READ MORE: B.C. piloting fire dashboard to help identify communities most at-risk of blazes

There was no working fire alarm in over half of the residential fires in B.C. last year, the report further states. Ensuring that homes have functioning smoke alarms should be everyone’s number one priority to guarantee best fire safety practices, Cairney said.

“You can test the smoke alarm by pushing the buttons and making sure it has power. If it doesn’t, either change the batteries or get a replacement smoke alarm. You can do that at a local hardware store or by going online and looking at our Free Smoke Alarm Installation Program.”

With warmer weather on the horizon, the deputy fire chief is reminding the City to “take steps to protect yourself and make sure that you’re safe.”

-With files from Jane Skrypnek


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Sobia Moman

About the Author: Sobia Moman

Sobia Moman is a news and features reporter with the Peace Arch News.
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