Coquitlam is advising residents doing renovations this summer to minimize the risk from fire, especially those with homes near forests and wild lands.
The city's fire department recommends using construction materials that can reduce the spread of fire and extend the time it takes for a home to ignite and burn. Before building, homeowners should check up on local bylaws and registered covenants on what materials to use and on design approaches (coquitlam.ca/firesafety).
Other tips include:
• Make sure there's adequate fire protection during construction, including appropriate safety practices while welding, roofing or plumbing.
• When replacing a roof, using fire-resistant materials may provide additional protection. Alternative materials could also be used such as concrete tile, slate, metal or terra-cotta.
• Build decks with non-combustible or fire-resistant material. Use solid surfaces instead of slotted ones that allow tree needles and other flammable materials to accumulate below.
• Make sure outdoor structures like gazebos are built at least nine metres from the house or other structures.
• Put any flammable material at least 10 metres away from the home.
• Don't litter cigarette butts or do any outdoor burning.
• Don't plant evergreen trees or use bark mulch. Instead, opt for deciduous shrubs or trees, succulents, or slow-growing plants with thick woody stems, and put them well away from the home.
• Go for decorative rock mulch or lava stones around any shrubs within two metres of the house.
• Use gardens and flower beds as effective fire breaks.
Bylaw officers will continue to patrol green spaces and parks with the authority to hand out $500 fines for smoking, including vaping and cannabis, in city parks. Littering cigarette butts carries a fine of $150.