Five standpipes that supply water for firefighters have been installed at Semiahmoo Marina as a temporary measure while the city of Blaine reviews plans for a permanent system that will bring the marina up to code.
North Whatcom Fire and Rescue fire chief Henry Hollander discussed progress on the marina’s new fire suppression system at the district’s regular meeting June 19.
The marina was out of compliance with International Fire Code (IFC) standards for nearly a year after an inspection revealed that the old standpipe system had fallen into disrepair. Since February, when an article about the issue ran in The Northern Light, Hollander said the marina has cooperated to get the fire suppression system updated.
“It’s been a smooth process,” Hollander said. “They’ve met every deadline.”
The IFC mandates that marinas must have fire suppression pipes with fire hose connections every 300 feet, so that no point of the marina is more than 150 feet away from a hose connection at any time. In the event of a fire, firefighters can quickly connect the other end of the system to a fire hydrant and skip the time-consuming task of rolling out hundreds of feet of hose.
The marina has submitted engineered plans to the city planner, and a third party consultant is reviewing those plans. Hollander said he expects that the permits to install the system will be granted before Labor Day.
“Officials at the marina have asked to be able to wait until after Labor Day to begin construction because summer is their busiest time of year, and we agreed to that,” Hollander said.
To protect the marina in the meantime, five standpipes with fire hose connections have been installed. One is located at the fuel dock and four are spread throughout the marina to provide adequate coverage.
“If we do have a fire at the marina this summer, we have water down there and we won’t have to lay 1,600 feet of line. We have made great progress,” Hollander said.
Hollander added that he expects the marina will be fully up to code by the end of the year.