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Alberta to strengthen building, fire codes


May 23, 2008
By The Canadian Press

May 23, 2008, 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 today 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.