In nature, fire can seem almost impossible to control, as the devastation in British Columbia this summer has reminded us.
When it comes to our buildings, however, it is possible to control fire and the damage it causes — if we take the right preventive steps. Consider, for instance, a recent blazen that tore through an unfinished apartment highrise in Kelowna. It not only destroyed the highrise, but also spread to two buildings on either side.
One displaced homeowner described the “wall of fire right up the side of the building”.
A concrete block firewall probably would have stopped those flames in their tracks. But without the fire-resilience of block, buildings now — even those with sprinklers — often can’t withstand the intense heat and speed of modern fires.
Today’s lightweight framing burns hot and it burns fast. And it leaves little time to get out.
Block prevents flames from spreading, helping to save the structure — and the people in it.
Put the block on fire. Build with concrete masonry.