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Made in Surrey Smoke Alarm Campaign Honoured

June 9, 2016

Surrey, BC – The City of Surrey and the Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia (FCABC) have been honoured by the Canadian National Collaborated Centre for Injury Prevention for their campaign in reducing fire-related injury and death in BC. The “Award for Collaborative Excellence” recognizes the BC Working Smoke Alarm Campaign which has resulted in a marked increase of working smoke alarms in homes across the province.

“I am proud that the Smoke Alarm initiative has been recognized for the important work it has achieved and more importantly, saving lives not only in Surrey but across the province,” said Mayor Linda Hepner.  “The research confirms that functioning smoke alarms save lives, reduce fire-related injury, reduce the spread of fires, and reduce the damage of fires. “

The campaign, which was launched in March 2012, is rooted in science as Surrey staff, working with the University of the Fraser Valley, studied almost 50,000 fires in BC, Alberta and Ontario over five years. The data revealed that:

  • Two-thirds of houses that catch fire do not have working smoke alarms,
  • Fire damage is reduced by 19% when a working smoke alarm is present,
  • The death rate per 1,000 fires is 74% greater when a working smoke alarm is not present,

The research paper Smoke Alarms Work, But Not Forever: Revisited reported the following results, between 2007-2011 (pre-campaign) with the period 2012-2014 (post-campaign):

  • The presence of working smoke alarms per 1,000 fires increased by 26%
  • Deaths per 100,000 citizens declined by 65%
  • Deaths per 1,000 fires declined by 37%
  • Fires without any smoke alarms decreased by 17%

“At the heart of the award has been the collaboration between Surrey and the FCABC that shared the common goal of keeping the public safe from injury and death related to fires,” said Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis. “In sharing this award I would also like to commend Kidde Canada, which has generously shared their corporate knowledge and communications expertise since the beginning of our campaign.”

Through the campaign, 41,000 smoke alarms have been distributed and installed across the province, with a focus on vulnerable populations such as seniors, First Nations communities and people with low incomes.

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For program information:

Len Garis
Fire Chief
Surrey Fire Service
City of Surrey
778.846.0851
LWGaris@surrey.ca

For media inquiries:
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
604.591.4519
OWLum@surrey.ca