Apartment fire prevention
Aug 27, 2013 / 10:33 am
Apartment fire prevention has the attention of Kelowna City Council.
At the urging of Councillor Robert Hobson, City staff will appear before council in the near future with possible bylaw recommendations to prevent fires such as the ones at the Bristol Apartments and Legacy 2 Condos.
Those fires left dozens of people and families homeless.
It is believed unattended smoking materials on a third floor balcony caused the Bristol Apartment fire while an unattended barbecue was to blame for the Legacy 2 fire.
Hobson says after the fires he suggested to then acting city manager Paul Macklim that staff look at the issue.
"I think it is time to ask staff to come to us with a report on the whole issue of balcony fire prevention and include any recommendations they think might be appropriate for increasing public safety," Hobson told council.
"I can tell you staff have been talking to the province and they have been looking at building code changes, but that can take time - it could be a few years."
Hobson says they are looking at options.
"Building code changes will only help us with new buildings, but there may be things we want to do with existing buildings," stated Hobson.
"We have had these experiences and they mostly seem to be related to smoking and combustible sidings, fires going up into the roof, the roof not having fire separation or sprinklers and the fire spreading through the roof and the next thing you know you have 50 families out in the street."
Following the two fires Kelowna Fire Chief, Jeff Carlisle suggested simple building code changes could have saved the Legacy 2 condo and hundreds before it.
Carlisle said at the time a change to the code making sprinklers mandatory throughout four storey buildings including on balconies and in the roof assembly would save many of these buildings.
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