New Fire Codes

August 23, 2018 Larissa G.

Don’t get burned by updated fire codes!

Over the past few years, the fire code for new home construction and soffits has been updated to combat the spread of flames between neighbouring buildings*:

• Where the exposing building face has a limiting distance of not more than 0.45 m, projecting roof soffits shall not be constructed above the exposing building face; [1]

• Where the exposing building face has a limiting distance of more than 0.45 m, the face of roof soffits above the exposing building face shall not project to less than 0.45 m from the property line; and  [2]

• Where roof soffits project to less than 1.2 m from the property line, the centre line of a lane, or public thoroughfare or an imaginary line between two buildings or fire compartments on the same property, they shall have no openings and be protected. [3]

Soffits are intake vents that bring air in from the outside and reduce moisture levels by allowing air circulation within a roof space. Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can build in the attic, increasing cooling costs and allowing mould and mildew to grow. This can ultimately impact the integrity of the roof and shingles!

So how do you ensure proper attic ventilation in a new home while meeting these updated fire codes? According to Bill Gay, the Western Region Sales Rep for Duraflo®, “regular vents were designed to allow air to flow out, but when you reverse this process you need to be concerned about drawing in the weather, namely snow.” Unlike regular vents, the Duraflo® PROSlantBack was designed as both an intake and exhaust vent, allowing you to properly vent the attic while also protecting the space from the elements.

The Duraflo® PROSlantBack has a number of features which make it ideally suited for use as an intake. There is a large grill opening on the front which allows the vent to draw air in at the bottom of the vent. The vent is elongated so the air entering the vent has to pass through bug screen, the patented weather baffle system and travel further to get in the opening. This allows better protection from weather infiltration. The extended slantback design at the top of the vent means the lid is attached directly to the roof sheathing. In the event that heavy snow or ice slides down the roof, it will slide over the vent rather than dislodging or removing the vent from the roof.

When fire code prevents conventional soffit installation, the Duraflo® PROSlantBack provides a solution!

*Fire code specifics may differ on a province-by-province basis.


[1] National Building Code 2010 Division B Article

[2] National Building Code 2010 Division B Article

[3] National Building Code 2010 Division B Article

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