Building codes updated, hopefully
I'm not sure if this "zero lot line" is a problem in other jurisdictions, but this fire was only 1 of several where the fire spread quickly due to radiant heat and "chip board" sheeting on exterior walls. A lot of the new dubdivisions here more resemble a row of dominos than a residential district. Edmontons fire chief Randy Wolsey deserves a lot of credit for getting this problem addressed.
Alberta toughens building, fire codes in response to huge Edmonton housing fire
THE CANADIAN PRESS
EDMONTON - Alberta is changing the way some homes are built to try to prevent another fire like the one that destroyed 88 homes in Edmonton last summer.
The province is announcing amendments to its building and fire codes Friday for houses built close together. The Canadian Press has learned that slower-burning gypsum wallboard will now be required under vinyl siding in high-density neighbourhoods where homes are built 1.2 metres or less from the property line.
Edmonton fire Chief Randy Wolsey said a few months ago that manufactured wood products used under vinyl siding were burning much too quickly, putting public safety at risk.
Wolsey says using gypsum wallboard instead will probably improve safety, but he wants to hear more details before commenting further.
Municipal Affairs Minister Ray Danyluk is holding a demonstration Friday of how quickly certain building materials burn.
© The Canadian Press, 2008