SURREY (NEWS1130) – If the province and BC’s fire chiefs get there way, you won’t be able to renew your home insurance unless you have a working smoke alarm.

Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond has hinted at that possibility at the launch of a public fire safety initiative in Surrey.

New research from the University of the Fraser Valley suggests you are 75 per cent more likely to die in a fire if the building you’re in doesn’t have a working smoke detector.

Bond says it may be time to get tough, as smoke alarm awareness campaigns have been tried and have failed in the past.

“I can have those kinds of discussions, for example, with the insurance industry to say, ‘We’re simply asking you to partner with us.  Will you add another checkbox on your renewal forms?’” Bond says.

“I think it’s absolutely correct to say we need to find some way, other than ‘moral-suasion’ to say, is there a way for us to regularly go and check that they’re maintained and working.”

Bond says too many people are dying from fires, especially children.

The goal is to eventually have a working smoke detector in every BC home.