News Flash

Marketing & Communications

Posted on: December 9, 2021

Pine Straw To Be Prohibited Around Combustible Commercial and Multi-Family Buildings

The Winston-Salem City Council has amended the city fire code to prohibit the use of pine straw (pine needles) as a landscaping material within 10 feet of commercial and multi-family residential buildings with combustible exteriors. The council approved the ordinance Nov. 15. It will take effect on Nov. 15, 2022.

The ordinance applies to commercial and multi-family residential buildings with exteriors using wood, Masonite, aluminum or vinyl siding or other combustible material.

Single-family and two-family (duplex) houses are exempted. Also exempted are commercial and multi-family residential buildings with exteriors made of brick, stone, stucco, cement, metal or other non-combustible material.

Specifically, the ordinance applies to any landscaping material that can spread fire at a rate of 24 inches or more per minute. Pine straw has a fire-spread rate of 90 inches per minute, said Fire Chief Trey Mayo. 

“Pine straw naturally contains flammable resins, has a large surface area, dries quickly, and burns six to ten times faster than other materials typically used as mulch,” Mayo said. “If you have pine straw against a building that has a combustible exterior, and that pine straw catches fire, it can quickly spread to the building.

“This is exactly what happened on Jan. 23, 2021, when there was a fire at an apartment building on High Meadows Drive here in Winston-Salem. In just a matter of minutes the fire spread to the open stairwell of the building, engulfing the primary way out of those apartments.” 

The Fire Department will be mailing postcards to owners of commercial and multi-family residential buildings, as well as to landscaping businesses, to ensure they are aware of the new law.

Although most single-family houses are exempted, single-family houses that are used for an R-4 Home Daycare or R-4 Residential Care Home must comply with the ordinance. The R-4 category covers day cares with 6 to 16 children or residential care homes with 6 to 16 occupants.

More information about the ordinance, including frequently asked questions, is posted at CityofWS.org/PineStraw.


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Marketing & Communications

Tuesday Sanitation Collections Canceled

Posted on: January 17, 2022

Nominations Sought for Walk of Fame

Posted on: January 7, 2022

SOAR Program Accepting Applications

Posted on: December 30, 2021

Christmas Tree Collection

Posted on: December 29, 2021
recovery_fund_update_NOV_Facebook

Council Approves Pandemic Recovery Grants

Posted on: November 19, 2021
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - March 2021

Posted on: March 5, 2021
Winston-Salem Operations Department logo

Reynolds Drive Closure Postponed

Posted on: March 3, 2021
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - February 2021

Posted on: February 17, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - December 2020

Posted on: December 10, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - October 2020

Posted on: October 21, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - August 2020

Posted on: July 31, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - July 2020

Posted on: July 8, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - June 2020

Posted on: June 3, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - May 2020

Posted on: May 1, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - April 2020

Posted on: April 2, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - March 2020

Posted on: March 5, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - February 2020

Posted on: February 7, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - January 2020

Posted on: January 3, 2020