Weekend fires prompt fire safety reminder

Most Surrey fires occur in Whalley and Newton, with the majority starting in the kitchen.

An extremely busy weekend for Surrey firefighters has sparked a call for extra precautions among Surrey residents.

Over Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Surrey fire crews attended six fires of various types.

Twenty-five people were displaced from their homes, which in all experienced more than $1 million in damages.

Fortunately no one was killed, however, three people were hospitalized.

Surrey Fire Services is urging people to be cautious this year.

More than two-thirds of fires in Surrey occur in residential homes.

The number of fires are down in Surrey, but the winter brings on a number of blazes that are considered preventable.

The lion’s share of Surrey house fires occur in Newton and Whalley and the majority of those start in the kitchen, according to a study called Residential Fires in Surrey, B.C. 1988 to 2007.

The study also found that about two-thirds of homes which caught fire had smoke alarms installed, and half of those were not activated.

“It is important for all residents to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they are present and functioning properly,” Deputy Chief Karen Fry of the Surrey Fire Service said in a release Monday.

Surrey Fire Services is offering the following tips:

•  Smoke alarms need to be installed and tested regularly on every floor.

•  Candles should be monitored and used with extreme caution and blown out when unattended.

•  Do not leave the kitchen unattended when cooking.

•  Space heaters should be kept away from flammable materials (curtains, decorations etc.).

•  Extension cords should be used properly and not overloaded.

•  Keep live Christmas trees watered and away from potential fire sources.

•  Ensure Christmas lights are working properly.

Home safety inspections are available to residents upon request. If you are in need of a smoke alarm, Surrey Fire Services will provide and install a battery-powered smoke alarm at no cost.

To arrange a Home Safe fire safety inspection please contact the Surrey Fire Services at 604-543-6780.

@diakiw

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