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Banning balcony barbecues could save lives, homes

Penticton Fire Department warns the use of barbecues on balconies can be dangerous. A Kelowna apartment building was recently evacuated due to a fire caused by balcony barbecue.
August 10, 2013 - 11:30 AM

PENTICTON - Firefighters warn barbecues on balconies are bad ideas and are asking for apartment buildings and strata complex owners to ban their use.

“We have had examples in Penticton and to the north of us of heat producing appliances that caused devastating fires in apartment complexes," Penticton Fire Chief Wayne Williams said. "The risks are high (and) these types of fires can often leave many people homeless.”

Williams pointed out balcony fires are numerous, take longer to discover due to lack of fire detection on balconies and require greater suppression efforts.

Many condos and apartments do not restrict the use of barbecues on balconies or may not have even have considered the issue. At minimum, they should be aware of B.C. Gas Act, the B.C. Fire Code and National Fire Protection Association safety standards. These rules cover safe distance from building openings and air intakes and which cooking devices are recommended.

Residents should read their building bylaws and the rules around barbecues. Residents are advised to review their insurance policies to ensure the fire damage caused by barbecue use on balconies is covered.

Condominium and strata complex owners can also ban propane-fuelled barbecues. Anyone with questions can call the Penticton Fire Department at 250-490-2300.

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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