Port Coquitlam issues summer fire reminder

Seasonal rules and recommendations in effect

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.

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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 fire@portcoquitlam.ca or 604.927.5466.

More fire safety and prevention measures are available at www.portcoquitlam.ca/fire.

newsroom@tricitynews.com

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