Fire fighters risk their lives to protect us.

They deserve a National Building Code that protects them.

Fires today burn hotter and faster than ever before. Lightweight floor assemblies can now collapse 10 minutes into a blaze — just when fire fighters may be arriving and entering the premises, or when you may be exiting.

Yet Canada’s National Building Code no longer treats fire fighter safety as a core requirement. As a result, builders don’t have to consider it. Factors such as objective-based building codes, 6-storey all-wood buildings, and an aging population put even more pressure on fire fighters to risk their lives in order to save ours.

Virtually every other country recognizes fire fighter safety in its building code. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is asking Canada to do the same when its National Building Code is reviewed in 2015.

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) argues that doing so could change how houses are designed, and have “major technical, policy and cost implications”. The IAFF believes that cost and policy implications should not come before safety

We agree. As members of the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (CCMPA), we know the difference materials such as masonry can make in protecting lives — both of homeowners, and the people whose job it is to save them.

Let’s make that job easier and improve everyone’s safety by stepping up our National Building Code in 2015. Because a better building code doesn’t just matter to fire fighters; it matters to all Canadians.

Learn more about the benefits and safety of building with concrete block. Contact the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association.

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