British Columbia

Alert system aims to improve job safety for real estate agents

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board is taking steps to help keep agents safe.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board is making a new computer-based alert system available to its agents in a bid to improve on-the-job safety.

The move follows the high-profile death of Victoria real estate agent Lindsay Buziak, who died from multiple stab wounds in a home she was showing in the upscale neighbourhood of Gordon Head in February.

The Realty Watch/Amber Alert system is designed to allow real estate agents to receive alerts or instant warnings from a central dispatch system via their cellphones or hand-held devices such as a BlackBerry.

The internet-based system helps 1,900 Victoria agents communicate. The system, which is already in use, is scheduled to be formally launched on Wednesday. It also connects agents to the RCMP.

Realty Watch has been in the planning stages for the past 16 months but received an added push following the death of Buziak, 24. Police are continuing to investigate the death, but have yet to make any arrests.

Buziak's body was discovered after an unidentified person made a 911 call, asking police in the Victoria suburb of Saanich to check on an empty house in Gordon Head.

Police have said they don't believe Buziak was targeted because of her profession.