PSA: 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,
Watch for Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services staff and bylaw enforcement personnel who will be stepping up patrols at various parks and trails that are at risk of a wildfire throughout the summer.
Staff will be looking out for any fires, burning and smoking bylaw infractions as well educating park and trail users about fire prevention. Anyone found to be not following city bylaws will be given a warning or face fines.
Smoking is a leading cause of wildfires in B.C. The city’s smoking bylaw, adopted in 2017, prohibits smoking and vaping of any substance at parks, along trails and in public spaces.
Residents and visitors are reminded of the following:
- There is NO open air burning allowed in Port Coquitlam parks, natural areas and backyards, including campfires, open fires and wood-burning barbecues, fire pits and appliances.
- Propane barbecues are allowed in most city parks except at all-weather turf fields, such as at Gates Park. Temporary bans may be in place during dry periods. Park visitors are advised to look for signs and never leave their barbecue unattended while it is on or hot.
- Propane or natural gas heaters, firepits and decorative fire tables are permitted outdoors on private property when used in accordance to Fire and Emergency Services Bylaw No. 3880. They are not permitted in Port Coquitlam parks and natural areas.
- Smoking and vaping are prohibited in all parks, trails, streets and public outdoor spaces. 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, motor bike 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.
- 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.
- Always set up barbecues in an open area at least 3 metres (10 feet) from any house, shed, fence, tree or any other combustible material such as leaves or brush. Be aware of the wind blowing sparks. It’s a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher within handy reach and never use your BBQ in an enclosed space (such as a garage).
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 portcoquitlam.ca/heat).
Problems can be reported 24/7 through portcoquitlam.ca/report, the free PoCo Sort & Report app (available at portcoquitlam.ca/sortreport) or by phone at 604.927.3111.
For more fire safety and prevention measures visit portcoquitlam.ca/fire.
Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533