Rooftop wildfire sprinkler protection for new homes good fit for Kamloops: contractor | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Rooftop wildfire sprinkler protection for new homes good fit for Kamloops: contractor

BC Wildfire Service crews installed a temporary sprinkler system on a home near the Sparks Lake wildfire, July 4, 2021.
Image Credit: BC Wildfire Service

The idea of adding mandatory rooftop sprinklers on new builds in Kamloops to assist in wildfire protection has been brought to the attention of city council for discussion.

With urban sprawl, Kamloops is building next to forests and protected dry grasslands. The idea was proposed by resident and building contractor Jimmy Johal.

“As a builder in Kamloops I continue to research and learn,” he said. “I have always found Logan Lake’s idea fascinating. They require all new homes to have rooftop sprinklers. Logan Lake chose this option because they don’t have multiple amazing fire departments like we do. Regardless I think this should be a TNRD requirement on new builds.”

Johal suggested the sprinklers could be a requirement for all areas and not just new builds, but retrofits as well.

“We only have 5% of buildable land left in Kamloops,” Johal said. “All of this property edges forests and dry grasslands.”

City council will be looking at the Logan Lake model to find out if the sprinklers make a difference, as well as estimating costs.

Logan Lake has built its requirements based on its fire services. Sprinklers began being installed in 2013 and currently one-third of the community has sprinklers. The Logan Lake fire department installs them for free.

“It is a dry system that has a drain that drains itself due to gravity,” Johal said. “It is only wet during evacuation or danger. The cost is $47 for the sprinkler itself and a plumber on a new build probably wouldn’t charge much for installation.”

Kamloops fire department will likely be asked to weigh in on the issue.

"I think our fire department and planning staff would be the best advisors as to whether the community should require sprinklers on new builds," councillor Arjun Singh said. "I think it's important we really listen to those most educated and experienced among us on any given topic."

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