Limerick Township council heard from Cindy Fuerth, bylaw enforcement officer and fire prevention officer, about the WASP sprinkler system that could mitigate the effects of wildfires in the township should they break out. Council discussed it and decided to offer a box of 10 packages of two sprinklers for sale to the township’s residents as a fundraiser for the township fire department. Fuerth comments on this system.

The WASP sprinkler system is manufactured by WASP Manufacturing Ltd. in Port Coquitlum, B.C. and proved itself invaluable in saving the town of Skeetchestn from the B.C. wildfires in 2017. Over 250 fire departments, HOAs, and other organizations have either participated in WASP’s community program or procured the sprinklers for themselves. These low volume, low pressure sprinklers can be mounted on a home’s gutters, a stake or a fence to keep the home and yard wet respectively, and less impervious to fire damage. They also use less water than other commonly available sprinkler systems. Fuerth showed council a video of the sprinklers in action and the large area it can keep irrigated and wet to prevent fire from encroaching on a property or laying waste to a home.

Last year, the risk of forest fire in the township was at 92 per cent, and this year, in the opinion of Fire Chief Greg Maxwell, the risk could be higher, as we had limited moisture through a fairly balmy winter season. Fuerth told council that at 23 kilometres per hour winds, embers can blow up to two kilometres, setting fire to a dry surface like a roof, whereas if you can make your roof and other parts of your property wet with these sprinklers, the chances of saving your home or cottage are very strong. She said the township can buy a package of two of these sprinklers for $125, which retail for $229, and sell them at a profit at a fundraiser to raise money for the Limerick fire service. At a 100 per cent buy in for all lakes in the area (Sweets Lake, Steenburg Lake, Woodhaven Campground, St. Ola Lake, Limerick Lake, Robinson Lake and Spring Lake), Fuerth projected raising approximately $30,000.
“What it’s going to do is help the fire service so if you already have these installed in your home or cottage, it helps the fire service, especially in hard-to-reach parts of the township, like water access only cottages,” she says.

Council also noted it would be good for potential lightning strikes when grass and foliage are hot and dry and may also decrease insurance costs.
Council had some queries on what would happen if hydro went out, how long they’d last and if there would be any insurance savings related to their use. Fuerth replied that properties would need a generator to allow for uninterrupted power if the hydro went out, the sprinklers were agricultural grade so should last a long time, and that she’d been in touch with McDougall Insurance and had yet to hear back on potential insurance savings.

Ultimately, council voted to go ahead with it and initially order a package of 10 boxes of these sprinklers, to be sold as a fundraiser for the Limerick fire department. They’ll advertise them online on the township website, their Facebook page, at St. Ola’s Station and through the Lake Associations. They will also be posting the video of these sprinklers in action on the township website to demonstrate their effectiveness.  

Fuerth told The Bancroft Times that she was very pleased that the Limerick fire department will be offering the WASP sprinklers for sale as they’ve been proven in the epicentre of the B.C. wildfires.
“Council response was positive to the new initiative to assist the Limerick fire department in the case of a wildfire breakout.”

By Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 30, 2024 at 13:20

This item reprinted with permission from   Bancroft Times / This Week   Bancroft, Ontario

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