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Smoke Alarms

Firefighter checking a smoke alarm

Any unpaid False Fire Alarm Fees by December 31, 2019 will be transferred to your next property tax bill. See below for more information on preventing false fire alarms and payment options. 

A working smoke alarm is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to protect your family in the event of a house fire. A working smoke alarm will increase your chances of surviving a house fire by 74%.

As outlined by the BC Ministry of Justice and Emergency Management’s Smoke Alarm Bulletin, under the British Columbia Fire Code, all dwellings (homes, and all sleeping rooms sometimes referred to as lodging or hotel rooms) are required to be protected by smoke alarms.

Free Smoke Alarm Installation Program

The Surrey Fire Service is committed to ensuring that all of the citizens of Surrey, especially our most vulnerable demographics, are protected by a functioning smoke alarm. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have working smoke alarms in my home?
  • Does my smoke alarm sound when I push the test button?
  • Have I changed my smoke alarm(s) within the last 10 years?

If your answer to any of these questions is "no" and you live in a single-family home, duplex or townhouse, you can ask the Surrey Fire Service to install a free smoke alarm. This device will ensure that you and your family are protected until you can have your existing interconnected hard-wired alarms serviced by a professional electrician. Please complete the form below and a member of the department will be in touch to schedule your smoke alarm installation.

HomeSafe Program

If you are unsure of the status of your smoke alarms, we can help you with that too. Ask the department for a Homesafe Inspection. During the Homesafe Inspection, members of the department will:

  • check your smoke alarms
  • make cooking safety recommendations. More than half of all residential fires are caused by cooking.
  • check for safe use of electrical devices including extension cords and power bars
  • discuss candle, matches and lighter safety
  • go over your home fire escape plan
  • cover a variety of fire and general safety topics

There is no cost for a HomeSafe Inspection. If your smoke alarms are not working, we will install a new alarm for free. At the end of the inspection, we will provide you with a written record of our findings and recommendations. This record is for your use only and does not carry any legal obligations.

Request a Free Smoke Alarm or HomeSafe Inspection

Request for Inspection (Punjabi Version)

Review the following HomeSafe brochures for more information:

Preventing False Fire Alarms

The invoicing of false fire alarms is intended, in part, to:

  • motivate owners to ensure their fire alarm systems are serviced, maintained, and in proper working order;
  • modify behaviour that leads to false alarms; and
  • recover the costs of attendance.

False alarms occupy valuable and limited resources. Whenever the Surrey Fire Service arrives on scene due to a false alarm, firefighters must investigate to ensure there is no fire. While firefighters are attending a false alarm, they cannot be deployed at other incidents where they may be required. This may ultimately impact the health and safety of all Surrey residents.

Note: This information relates only to False Fire Alarms. All other false alarm-related fees, such as security alarms, are separately administrated through Property and Payment Services.

The Surrey Security & Fire Bylaw 1997, No. 13168 (the "False Alarm Bylaw"), and the bylaw outlining administrative costs, establishes fees and establishes Fire Department responses to fire false alarm fees on a cost recovery basis.

Any unpaid fees at December 31 will be transferred to Property Tax in arrears (interest charged on the outstanding amounts in arrears).

False Alarm Rates

Surrey Bylaw 14577 sets fees for administrative costs and municipal services, and outlines current rates for false alams.

Payment Options

  • Online: my.surrey.ca/invoices
  • In person: Surrey City Hall or Surrey Fire Service Hall 1 at 8767 132 Street, Surrey
  • By mail: (Invoice or invoice number must be included with payment) 8767 132 Street, Surrey BC V3W 4P1
  • By phone: Call 604-543-6780 to pay with your credit card

Appealing a False Fire Alarm Invoice

Once you pay your false alarm invoice, you can no longer dispute it. Any invoice disputes must be registered by emailing fireprevention@surrey.ca within 45 days of the original invoice date.  After the 45 days is over, the invoice will be considered final.

Never disregard an alarm. If your home has interconnected alarms, the unit triggering the alarm may be in another area of the home. You might not see smoke, but it may be present elsewhere in the home.

Testing Your Smoke Alarms

It is important to routinely test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working. Ensure your smoke alarms are working by following these best practices:

  • Take a moment once a month and press the test button on your alarm to ensure that it still functioning.
  • If your alarm is battery powered, change the batteries when you change your clocks in the spring and fall.
  • Every 10 years, replace your smoke alarms with new units. Even hardwired alarms need changing every decade.

Smoke Alarm Recycling Program

Smoke alarms are not eligible for Surrey's curbside recycling program and not all recycling drop-off depots are equipped to accept them.

Find the nearest smoke alarm recycling depot in Surrey through the Product Care Recycling website.

Learn more about Fire Inspection Guidelines and general Emergency Preparedness.

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