In the future, builders of four-storey wood-frame buildings like the fie-ravaged Paddington Station condominium complex in Langley City will be required to have fire suppression sprinklers in their attics and balconies.
Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, who is the minister responsible for housing, said work on the revised building code was underway before the weekend fire that left more than 100 people homeless.
“We’re going to do it,” Coleman told the Times.
“We’re doing the work now.”
Coleman said he expected the revised construction requirements would take effect in January.
They would only apply to new construction, not existing buildings.
Langley City fire chief Rory Thompson said if there had been balcony and attic sprinklers at the Paddington, the outcome would have been better.
“It certainly would have made a difference,” Thompson said.
Thompson also said balcony fires are far from rare, with the City department averaging two or three a year.
B.C. municipalities do not have the power to set local building code requirements because the provincial government wants a single standard code and the federal government is also pushing for national standards.Extended
Extended benefits announced for evacuees
City Mayor Ted Schaffer said the provincial government has agreed to extend emergency service benefits beyond the usual 72 hours for displaced residents of the Paddington.
The benefits, which include accommodation and food vouchers, were set to expire Wednesday, but will now continue until Dec. 22.
“It will be re-assessed then,” Schaffer said.