(Black Press file photo)

Safety

Surrey fire chief says free smoke alarm program cut residential fire deaths in half

HomeSafe program allows firefighters to install free smoke alarms and do home safety inspections

Surrey’s fire chief says the number of people dying in house fires has dropped 46 per cent since the inception of its HomeSafe program, which provides free smoke alarms and home safety inspections to residents.

Prior to the program launching in 2007, Chief Len Garis reports an average of 40 people were dying in house fires per year (from 2000 to 2006).

From 2007 to 2018, that average decreased to 20.

House fires also dropped by 53 per cent between 2007 and 2018, from 210 to 160.

Garis noted the drop in fires is despite “regional and provincial trends that show increasing fire rates.”

READ ALSO: Surrey firefighters remind public to check smoke alarms after duplex fire

homelessphoto

(Graphic: surrey.ca)

The initiative resulted in a a 104 per cent increase in working fire alarms since the program’s launch, according to a March 4 progress report Garis wrote to Surrey’s Public Safety Committee.

According to the fire department, a working smoke alarm increases one’s chance of surviving a house fire by 74 per cent.

Garis notes HomeSafe is a “proactive, evidence-based fire prevention program” that connects local fire hotspots with social data linkages identified in a 2007 University of the Fraser Valley study to “target neighbourhoods with the greatest risk of fire and highest concentrations of high-risk residents.”

“Demographic data was extracted from Statistics Canada Census Survey and overlaid on a map of previous incidents of fires occurring in single dwelling residences,” Garis added. “Firefighters were given addresses within their areas to go door-do door distributing information on packages on fire safety,” in addition to offering the free smoke alarms and inspections.

homelessphoto

(Graphic: surrey.ca)

Garis also wrote that firefighters continue to check the status of smoke alarms during calls for service, and install smoke or CO alarms if necessary. They also continue to carry out scheduled HomeSafe visits through community requests.

“Firefighters have also been trained to observe signs of human trafficking and elder abuse since they are well positioned within the community,” he noted. “In this way, the new firefighter/volunteer delivery model of the HomeSafe Program has enabled the Surrey Fire Service to amplify risk reduction efforts in the vulnerable sector of the community.”

Visit surrey.ca/city-services/4640.aspx to learn more about the program and request a free smoke alarm or HomeSafe inspection.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey policing plan sent to provincial government for review

‘I urge our residents to come out and help us shape their Surrey Police Department,’ Surrey mayor says

Surrey councillors say they’ve now seen policing transition plan

Locke and Hundial decline to share details of the plan, repeat calls for its release to residents

RCMP target speeders in White Rock, Surrey

Officers throughout the province launch Swoop campaign

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

Cloverdale high school raising money for first-ever grad dinner

Bottle and clothing drive will fundraise for Cloverdale Learning Centre’s first graduation dinner

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

Four rescued from Golden Ears mountain

Hikers from Surrey started out for Evans Peak at 6 p.m.

Most Read