COQUITLAM, B.C., July 12, 2022 – Residents planning home renovations this summer can minimize the risk and impact of fires by following some guidelines.
Using certain construction materials reduces the risk of fire and can act as a fire break, reducing a fire’s spread and extending the amount of time it takes for a home to ignite and burn.
Prevent Fires During Construction
There are a number of steps that homeowners can take during home and property renovations to help prevent a fire during hot, drier summer months, and to ensure their properties, and our community, remain safe.
- Ensure adequate fire protection is provided during construction. This includes hot-works safety practices during welding, roofing and plumbing installations. Construction fire safety plans are required.
- Replacing your roof? Fire-resistant rated materials may provide additional protection. Options include concrete tile, slate, metal and terra-cotta.
- Construct decks with non-combustible or fire-resistant materials. Cover with solid surfaces as opposed to slotted surfaces that allow needles and other flammable materials to accumulate below the deck.
- Ensure that outdoor structures, such as gazebos, have at least nine metres separation from the house or other structures.
- Relocate flammable debris at least 10 metres away from the home.
- Do not litter cigarette butts or do any outdoor burning.
All homeowners should consult local bylaws and registered covenants on the use of materials and design approaches prior to building construction.
Use Landscaping to Reduce Fire Risk
Homes next to forests and wildlands are particularly at risk of wildfire spread between vegetation and structures.
- Where possible, refrain from planting or landscaping with highly-flammable trees such as evergreens and bark-mulch, opting instead for FireSmart™ choices such as deciduous shrubs or trees, succulent plants and slow-growing plants that have thick, woody stems and are situated well away from the home.
- Use decorative rock mulch or lava stones around any shrubbery that is within two metres of your house.
- Use gardens and flower beds as effective fire breaks.
For more safety information, visit www.coquitlam.ca/interfacefire.
Don’t Let Our Parks Go Up in Smoke
Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is asking residents to take steps that can both reduce and limit the risk of fire in our community by adhering to City bylaws that ban open air burning, littering cigarette butts and smoking in parks.
The City’s Bylaw Enforcement Officers are continuing their patrols of green spaces and parks and may hand out $500 fines for smoking, including vaping and cannabis, in City parks. Littering of cigarette butts can also result in a fine of $150.
All residents and park users are asked to take precautions against accidental fires and be alert to signs of fire. Report any signs of smoke or fire by calling 9-1-1 immediately.
For more safety information, visit www.coquitlam.ca/summerfiresafety.
About Coquitlam Fire/Rescue
Coquitlam Fire/Rescue’s mission is to provide a range of emergency responses, fire protection and educational programs designed to protect lives and property from the adverse effects of fire, sudden medical emergencies or exposure to dangerous conditions created by people or nature. Adopted in late 2021, the Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan outlines 43 actions aimed at reducing wildfire risk and improving the City’s response and recovery if fires do occur, and is making progress implementing high-priority actions.