Be Fire Smart and Safe This Summer
Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services is reminding residents of the fire risks associated with the summer weather. To help keep Port Coquitlam parks and trails safe this summer season, residents and visitors are reminded of the following.
- There is NO open-air burning allowed in Port Coquitlam parks, natural areas and backyards. This includes campfires, open fires, charcoal or wood-burning barbecues and wood-burning and propane fire pits.
- Propane BBQ’s are allowed to be used in most city parks at this time except at all-weather turf fields, such as at Gates Park. Look for any signs in parks that prohibit the use of a BBQ. Never leave your BBQ unattended while it is on or hot.
- 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.
- Smoking is prohibited in all city parks and trails. 535 wildfires in BC in 2018 were started by humans. A cigarette butt thrown out a car window or onto the trail or grass can smolder for hours and start a fire that may not be seen right away.
- Do not park your vehicle, motorbike or gas powered bicycle on or next to dry grass.
- If you spot a fire, smell or see smoke, immediately call 9-1-1 and report your location.
- Burning on agricultural properties is only allowed with a permit and at specific times during the spring and fall.
Safety at the grill
- Never store combustible materials next to the barbecue.
- Before covering or storing your 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 your 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, first turn off the gas valve to allow gas in the hoses to burn off before turning off the burner controls.
- Clean the burners and grill regularly to minimize the risk of grease fires.
Reducing risk of fire damage to your property
- Prune shrubs and trees, and remove deadfall or woodpiles near your home.
- Keep your grass mowed.
- Ensure your roof, gutters and eaves are free of combustible debris; prune overhanging branches.
- Make sure chimneys meet current building codes and have spark arrestors.
- Contact BC Hydro if vegetation is near or touching power lines.
Plan to be prepared for an emergency
- Ensure your address is clearly visible for quick identification by emergency responders.
- Practice your family escape plan with every member in your household, and your out-of-area contact. Make sure children know how and when to dial 9-1-1.
- Avoid heat-related illnesses by being prepared for extreme weather events (info www.portcoquitlam.ca/heat).
- Take free emergency preparedness courses available through the City of Port Coquitlam (info: www.portcoquitlam.ca/ep).
Meet the fire crews this summer
Invite the Port Coquitlam fire crews to your neighbourhood gathering this summer through the annual Hot Summer Nights program. The program gives residents 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.
Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services staff and bylaw enforcement personnel will also be stepping up patrolling areas of concern that are susceptible to wildland/brush fires. Anyone found to be not following city bylaws will be given a warning or face fines.
For more fire safety and prevention measures visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/fire.
Deputy Fire Chief
Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services