A plume of smoke is seen rising from a 5 ha. fire on Frenchman Road in Sayward on Friday. Photo by Shawn Bencze A plume of smoke is seen rising from a fire on Frenchman Road in Sayward on Friday. It is one of the first wildfires burning on Vancouver Island this summer season. Photo by Shawn Bencze

Comox Fire Rescue selling sprinkler kits for home wildfire protection

With a 21 ha wildfire already keeping firefighters busy near Sayward, Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner said homeowners in the Comox Valley can take steps to protect their homes from potential danger in the months to come.

Comox Fire Rescue has a limited number of home sprinkler kits which protect homes by wetting down rooftops when needed when a fire is nearby.

“They just came in (Monday) morning. We only got 25 and we sold out last year at the end of summer,” explained Schreiner.

RELATED: Hot weather, brush fires could spell early start to Vancouver Island wildfire season

The kits are an effective way to get water on a home during a wildfire emergency, he noted. Ashes and sparks from a fire can travel anywhere from one to five kilometres depending on the wind, and the 360-degree spray of the gutter-mounted sprinklers can defend the home against the fire.

Schreiner said while wildfires aren’t typical in Comox or the larger Valley, every year there are a number of close calls, and there are a number of places where fires could begin, included pocket parks and wooded areas such as the NorthEast Woods.

He noted the kits come into play when there is a fire nearing homes – even a distance away.

“If a homeowner is at home, we suggest turning the water on as soon as you see a fire occurring. If you’ve been evacuated, you can turn the system on before you leave, or firefighters can turn them on.”

The system is designed to be hand-tightened and no tools are required for assembly.

Even though the department has around two dozen of the kits for sale, Schreiner added an alternative to the system could be lawn sprinklers placed on the home.

The department does have kits on backorder, but Schreiner is unsure when they might arrive.

He said the upcoming summer “looks to be a scary (one)” in terms of the wildfire threat, and the department has been training and “is ready to go on short notice” should a fire occur or firefighters need to be dispatched to an affected area.

The home sprinkler kits are $154.99 and can be purchased by visiting the detachment at 1870 Noel Ave. or by calling 250-339-2432.



erin.haluschak@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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