Summer hasn’t arrived yet but Port Coquitlam Fire and Emergency Services is already issuing a reminder to residents of the seasonal fire risks.
In a press release, the city says no open-air burning — including campfires, wood-burning barbecues and propane fire pits — is allowed in PoCo parks, natural areas and backyards. Propane barbecues can be used in most parks except where there’s all-weather turf such as Gates Park.
Other regulations noted by the city include:
• Smoking is prohibited in all city parks and trails.
• Portable outside fireplaces using wood or propane as fuel are banned in the city. Any appliance using propane, natural gas or charcoal as a fuel must be CSA or ULC approved and its intended use must be designed for cooking only.
• No parking of vehicles, motorbikes or gas powered bicycles on or next to dry grass.
• Burning on agricultural properties is only allowed with a permit and at specific times during the spring and fall.
Barbecuers are advised to:
• Never store combustible materials next to the barbecue;
• Before covering or storing a barbecue, make sure it has been shut off, is completely cool and/or has no hot coals;
• Never leave the barbecue unattended when in use;
• Keep gas hoses away from hot surfaces and hot grease;
• Keep children and pets away from the gas valve and the grill;
• Keep loose clothing away from the hot barbecue;
• Don’t put water on a grease fire — it will only cause flames to flare. Use an approved fire extinguisher or baking soda;
• Don’t operate a barbecue near wooden fences or walls, beneath a combustible roof, under a tree, near vinyl siding or in an enclosed space (such as a garage):
• When finished, turn off the gas valve to allow gas in the hoses to burn off before turning off the burner controls; and
• Clean the burners and grill regularly to minimize the risk of grease fires.
PoCo residents can reduce the risk of fire damage to their properties by:
• pruning shrubs and trees, and removing deadfall or woodpiles near;
• keeping the grass mowed:
• ensuring the roof, gutters and eaves are free of combustible debris, and pruning overhanging branches;
• making sure chimneys meet current building codes and have spark arrestors;
• contacting BC Hydro if vegetation is near or touching power lines.
Free emergency preparedness courses available through the City of Port Coquitlam at www.portcoquitlam.ca/ep).
Port Coquitlam is also offering to have fire crews show up at neighbourhood gatherings with its Hot Summer Nights program where residents can get a chance to meet firefighters, check out their equipment and learn more about personal and fire safety. To book a visit, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.927.5466.
More fire safety and prevention measures are available at www.portcoquitlam.ca/fire.