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#21 Holden West

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:50 PM

Sprinklers are a good idea but a municipal building bylaw can't trump the Provincial Code, can it? I'm saying the bylaw is unenforceable.
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#22 Sparky

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:00 PM

Sprinklers are a good idea but a municipal building bylaw can't trump the Provincial Code, can it? I'm saying the bylaw is unenforceable.


I will do my homework tomorrow and report back. Vancouver is a charter city and can have it's own codes (and does). I need to research Langford. LJ may be correct as ultimately building codes are the responsibility of the "Authority Having Jurisdiction." Local bylaws may be able to trump both the National Building Code and Provincial Building Codes.

This is a very interesting topic. Thanks LJ

#23 Baro

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:33 PM

BC building codes only set the minimums, most all cities have bylaws that increase those. A city's bylaws can only ever increase, never reduce or disregard BC building codes.

And the idea of a single family house with sprinklers is very bizarre to me. It's a very expensive system, more expensive if you want to hide it. With so many potentials for false alarms I'd be interested how insurance claims from false-alarm water-damage compare to fire related insurance claims.
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#24 Holden West

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:26 PM

^According to this, they're not that expensive and aren't known to fail.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#25 jklymak

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 06:42 AM

Before moving to a condo, I was worried about the potential for false alarms, however, thats almost impossible:

from the above....

The system is triggered by a thermal bulb set to a specific temperature. Sprinkler systems are designed so that the heads go off only in the rooms or area where the fire is present.



#26 Sparky

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 07:44 AM

Regarding the topic of bylaws requiring sprinkler stystems in single family houses in Langford, the answer that I just received from the building inspection department was yes and no.

There is no blanket bylaw in Langford that requires sprinkler systems in SFH. There are however areas where they are required. When a development permit is applied for a subdivision for example, the area is reviewed for certain criteria. Forested areas, low fire hydrant pressure flow areas, areas with steep driveways, and probably other sensitive areas, may be required to install sprinkler systems. I am assuming that a covenant may be placed on the resulting subdivided properties with this requirement.

So the answer is " some" building sites may require sprinkler systems, but it is not a blanket bylaw for the township, nor is it a requirement of the BC Building code. It can just be a requirement of the "Authority Having Juristiction."

I learned something today.

#27 Lorenzo

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 07:51 AM

Volunteer Fire Departments should be a top priority for any municipality. They should be properly funded and supported. If not, the TAXPAYER can pay to have a full career fire department. I guarantee that whatever the council member promotes to support the Fire Department is a fraction of the cost of a career fire department. You as a taxpayer should be thankful that they've chosen to "take care of the fire department", instead of neglecting or underfunding which would undoubltabley end the volunteering and raise taxes by about 50-75%


I agree 100%. I have all the respect in the world for the men and women of the Langford FD. They do a great job. My biggest fear as a Langford resident is the day that this Municipality becomes too big and complex for a volunteer FD to hand, and I really believe that day is coming sooner than later.

For the first time in my life I am seriously considering leaving Langford. There are lots of reasons that are best relayed in other threads, but the FD issue is one that has been on my mind for a long time.

The volunteer FD model is one reason that our taxes have been kept at a "reasonable" level. A full time, career FD is a huge money pit. Cam says that taxes would go up at least 50-75%. I say he's being generous.

#28 sebberry

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 07:57 AM

Here's a good reason to have sprinklers:

USFA Christmas tree fire tests http://www.usfa.dhs....n/dry_tree.shtm

Scroll down to "Dry Tree Fire with a Sprinkler System"

The text transcripts give you a good idea of what's going on.

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#29 Baro

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:22 PM

Fake tree and LED bulbs, problem solved!
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#30 sebberry

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:24 PM

Fake tree and LED bulbs, problem solved!


Or just water the tree, that's the one they couldn't get to catch fire at all :P

But if sprinklers make the difference between the place burning down and containing the fire to one room, I think they're a great idea.

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#31 cam

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:05 PM

I agree 100%. I have all the respect in the world for the men and women of the Langford FD. They do a great job. My biggest fear as a Langford resident is the day that this Municipality becomes too big and complex for a volunteer FD to hand, and I really believe that day is coming sooner than later.

For the first time in my life I am seriously considering leaving Langford. There are lots of reasons that are best relayed in other threads, but the FD issue is one that has been on my mind for a long time.

The volunteer FD model is one reason that our taxes have been kept at a "reasonable" level. A full time, career FD is a huge money pit. Cam says that taxes would go up at least 50-75%. I say he's being generous.


If Langford were to completely do away with their Volunteers, absolutely the cost could be higher than 75%. The easiest way to calculate a career unionized (Langford is already IAFF Union) firefighter with salary, benefits, training, equipment, etc. is $100,000 per firefighter. However, that number will only increase in the future.

I agree that Langford is on the edge of having to hire at least 14 career firefighters. They are too busy to continue with such few career staff and volunteers. However, with the increase in tax, there is a reduction in fire insurance on your home. The people of Langford receive excellent service from their Fire Department, and should be very proud.

The day when Volunteer Fire Departments have to hire career firefighters, I hope the citizens don't complain. They community as a whole has an expectation of fire and rescue coverage. If the volunteer sector in the Department is unable to provide this service to the nationally set standards, or doesn't have the manpower to operate, there are no other options. If people want to keep their volunteer Fire Departments, I say go join the Department, if you can't, send their Volunteer Association a cheque every year. Give the volunteers all the more reason to give up their time. Attending training every week, occasionally all weekend, teaching fire safety to the community, attending hundreds of emergencies every year, countless fundraising events for the community (and world), and all this...for free. In total, its hundreds of hours per year, by each volunteer.

As for sprinklers...

....
And the idea of a single family house with sprinklers is very bizarre to me. It's a very expensive system, more expensive if you want to hide it. With so many potentials for false alarms I'd be interested how insurance claims from false-alarm water-damage compare to fire related insurance claims.


The BIGGEST problem with residential sprinkler systems is the lack of education and misinformation around them.

The most common one is:
Myth - the idea that when someone pulls the fire alarm, all the sprinklers open and water comes out.
Fact - all residential sprinkler systems will have a pre-set fusible link or bulb. The temperature in the room has to be reached before that ONE sprinkler will open. There is NOT NEARLY enough water pressure in the system to adequately flow water from all the sprinkler heads in your house if they all opened at the same time.

If someone pulls a fire alarm, or your single family home fire alarm goes off, the alarm company is notified. They then contact Fire Dispatch, who dispatches the Fire Department to your house. Most times, the Fire Department is on their way to your house by the time the alarm company calls you to ask if everything is okay. At that time, the alarm company contacts Fire Dispatch, who then cancels the responding Fire Department. If the system is not monitored by an alarm company, the alarm just rings and rings and rings until someone hears it, who then usually call 9-1-1, and the Fire Department arrives, shuts off the alarm, and investigates the cause of the alarm.

As far as damage, etc. to the home. Sprinklers have proven to contain small fires to their room of origin. Fires will double in size every 30 seconds to 1 minute until it runs out of fuel. If you have a sprinkler, the fire will be contained to your "kitchen", and you will have fire damage, moderate smoke damage, and water damage to your 120 sq ft kitchen. The water will be shut down within minutes of the FD arriving on scene. If you didn't have sprinklers, the fire would continue to grow. If, in a perfect world, 9-1-1 was called immediately, the Fire Department would be en-route within 1-2 minutes of calling 9-1-1 for a career department, and 3-10 minutes for a volunteer department. It will take an average of 5 minutes to arrive on scene, 3 minutes to set up and enter the building, and hopefully the growth of the fire stops there. Total time: 9-10 minutes for career, and 11-18 minutes for volunteer. That means the fire would grow a minimum of 256 times the original size of the fire, up to 2000 times the size of the original fire. Often times, that means fullly involved.

Your insurance claim to your kitchen will be $20-40,000. The insurance claim on your foundation, I mean house, will be 15x's that. Did I mention that you lost every last belonging you owned?

The insurance companies are slowly coming on board with the value of sprinkler systems. If you have a sprinkler system in your home now, and you aren't receiving a reduced rate, I suggest you go shop around.

Sorry for the novel.

#32 Holden West

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:22 PM

Good advice.

A reminder that with the exception of seniors' institutions and the like, virtually no apartments or condos are hooked up to the fire department. That means if you pull the alarm, someone still has to call 911.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#33 Sparky

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:36 PM

Good advice.

A reminder that with the exception of seniors' institutions and the like, virtually no apartments or condos are hooked up to the fire department. That means if you pull the alarm, someone still has to call 911.


The 2006 BC Building addressed this issue "partially". It is now a requirement that ALL buildings (built after this code came into effect) equipped with a sprinkler system must be monitored by an off premise monitoring company, and the monitoring company then calls the fire department.

Sadly Holden is correct, the remainder of the buildings built before the code change are not required to be monitored.

#34 cam

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 11:59 AM

Heard an interesting stat on Saturday in regards to malfunctions causing water to be released in residential homes and buildings...

1 in 15,000,000 chance of a sprinkler head malfunctioning and opening causing water to flow.

#35 sebberry

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:08 PM

Heard an interesting stat on Saturday in regards to malfunctions causing water to be released in residential homes and buildings...

1 in 15,000,000 chance of a sprinkler head malfunctioning and opening causing water to flow.


OMG WE'RE ALL GONNA DROWN!!!!111!!1 :eek:

I almost clipped a sprinkler head at work with a broom handle yesterday. Came within about two inches of it. (The ceiling in the closet is low)

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#36 davek

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:49 PM

"Over the past 35 years, the number of fires in the United States has fallen by more than 40% while the number of career firefighters has increased by more than 40%"

Fire fighters don't fight fires

#37 sebberry

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:35 PM

"Over the past 35 years, the number of fires in the United States has fallen by more than 40% while the number of career firefighters has increased by more than 40%"


You could let some arsonists out of jail, and to make things more interesting move the police service to a BC Ambulance model where officers are sitting at home on standby instead of out driving around.

That would get firefighters fighting fires again.

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#38 davek

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:42 PM

^ Call that 'stimulus', and you can run for office.

#39 Mike K.

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:17 AM

Fires have decreased because of better safety standards and increased fire-safe awareness by the population.

I don't know about you guys, but I like my firefighters sitting around doing nothing*. Isn't that sort of a good thing?

*Of course firefighters are oftentimes first responders at car accidents, medical emergencies, gas leaks, chemical cleanups, disaster scenes, etc. I'm specifically speaking to them not fighting fires :)

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#40 nagel

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 09:31 AM

Search tool sucks.  Apparently a fire hall announcement is coming at 11am.


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