The Surrey Fire Service’s Community Property Safety Team (CPST) implements a targeted distressed properties model. This strategy has proven to be effective in preventing fires at abandoned or vacant properties.

The CPST model is comprised of the following phases:

  • Identifying properties that may be abandoned,
  • Inspecting properties to determine if they are abandoned,
  • Issuing orders to property owners to secure abandoned properties,
  • Securing abandoned properties while cost recovering from non-compliant owners; and
  • Monitoring for any security breaches on the abandoned properties.

CPST works to ensure that vacant and abandoned buildings are secured, as distressed properties create costly safety and enforcement problems in communities across the country. The goal of this program is to reduce the fire rate in Surrey’s abandoned buildings.

Owners of distressed properties are provided the Vacant and Abandoned Properties Bulletin, which provides a summary of owner responsibilities and required actions.

What is a distressed property?

A property where any of the following conditions have been discovered by way of an on-site inspection:

  • Fire damaged structure as a result of fire in or against a structure 
  • Accumulations of old newspapers, cardboard, mattresses, or debris inhibiting ingress or egress or creating a combustible condition that endangers life and/or property
  • Exterior walls, supporting columns are not plumb, or stairways are compromised and not structurally sound and this situation is exacerbated by poor security measures.  There may be evidence of structural collapse.  The structural condition presents a safety hazard to anyone entering.
  • The structure is unlawfully occupied
  • Exterior security measures to the structure have been breached (A door or window has been forced, A barrier to a door or window has been removed) indicating unauthorized entry to the structure


If you know of a distressed property (meeting any of the conditions above) within the City of Surrey, please report it to the CPST at or 604-591-4770.