Two construction crews have suffered setbacks after possible arsons did damage over the weekend.
A large fire lit up a condo complex under construction in Wolseley Saturday.
Then on Sunday evening, a fire damaged a seniors’ housing project under construction on Sinawik Bay.
Ron Hambley of the Winnipeg Construction Association says arson is something builders have to prepare for.
“I think our contractors take these risks very, very seriously. The sites themselves are secured and fenced and insured, obviously. But sometimes people that are determined to get in there will get in,” he said.
He says projects are particularly at risk early in construction, like when wood frames go up, before fire safeguards are put in place.
“At certain stages of construction, these properties are very vulnerable. They don’t have the benefit of sprinklers and fire separations at those stages and they burn very well. So we have to recognize the risk, insure for it and make sure the sites themselves are protected,” he said.
He says ultimately though, these incidents add to the cost for builders.
“They do take out significant insurance policies for loss of property like this and certainly injuries that may occur, and it adds to the cost of construction,” he said.
Aside from fires, thefts are another major concern for the industry. Hambley says crews do their best to prevent theft by locking away equipment and materials like lumber and copper.
“Sites always have to be fenced, generally locked up. Lots of security cameras in use these days, that’s pretty popular, and many of the larger piece of equipment have GPS tracking devices embedded in them,” he said.