New provincial fire safety regulations, adopted after the Dec. 11 Paddington Station building fire in Langley City that left more than 100 people homeless, call for balcony sprinklers in new four-storey wood-frame buildings, but the requirement doesn’t apply to existing buildings. A conference on Thursday hosted by the Township of Langley fire department will focus on the importance of sprinklers in buildings. Dan Ferguson/Langley Times

Thursday summit at Langley Events Centre outlines sprinkler benefits

Township stresses importance of residential sprinklers in homes

Residential sprinkler systems don’t just protect homes and buildings from fire damage and reduce insurance premiums, they save lives, says the Township of Langley Fire Department.

“Your home is the single largest investment of your life. Having a fire sprinkler system inside the home you live in provides enhanced safety for you and your family, every day,” said Township assistant Fire Chief Pat Walker. He hopes that fire sprinklers will eventually become standard in all homes.

“Much like with vehicle safety, I can’t think of a new car that is manufactured today that does not have seat belts and air bags to protect you during a collision.”

The Township’s fire department is inviting the public to its Home and Family Sprinkler Summit on Thursday.

Presented by the Fire Chief’s Association of BC, the summit takes place at the Langley Events Centre (7888 200 St.), from 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 22.

The educational event will feature guest speakers, information, and demonstrations designed to dispel myths about home fire sprinklers and illustrate how they can save money, enhance the community, and ultimately save people’s lives.

Cost is $75, which includes lunch. For tickets and more information, visit bit.ly/bcsprinklersummit.

The conference is tailored for those who work in construction, development, community planning, architecture, design, real estate, or insurance, and for elected officials.

Walker said the event will also be of interest to members of the public who want to learn more about residential sprinkler systems, including those renovating their homes and residents with restricted movement or mobility issues.

“It is extremely helpful to realize the advantage of having a sprinkler system in your home,” Walker said. “The safety of your family, the safety of your home is enhanced significantly.”

Summit participants will have the chance to meet industry leaders who have spearheaded change in their communities and learn about innovative approaches to home fire sprinkling. As well, a side-by-side outdoor burning demonstration will show the effectiveness of home sprinklers.

Guest speakers will include burn survivor and sprinkler advocate Pam Elliott, former Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association CEO turned firefighter Peter Simpson, and Surrey fire chief Len Garis.

Shayne Mintz, the Canadian regional director for the National Fire Protection Association, and Maya Milardovic, the director of government relations at the Co-Operators Group, will discuss the scope and standards of sprinklering private residences.

Bruce Schultz, the codes officer with the City of Calgary, will share his residential sprinkler experiences and Fire and Life Safety consultant Sean Pearce will talk about the Livingston in Calgary, North America’s first fully sprinklered community.

As well, recently retired Sechelt Fire Chief Bill Higgs will discuss municipal and First Nations’ successes.

For more information, contact Township of Langley Assistant Fire Chief Pat Walker at 604-532-7514 or pwalker@tol.ca.

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