Inspections Services is dedicated to the education of business owners, tenants and residents regarding the requirements of provincial legislation pertaining to fire safety.
The Ontario Building Code specifies the fire safety systems and components that must be installed in different occupancies when a building is constructed and the Ontario Fire Code ensures that these systems and components are checked, tested and maintained on an ongoing basis.
The intent of the regulations is to minimize (and ultimately eliminate) the loss of human life, injuries and limit property damage should a fire occur. Inspectors will look at the type of building, the safety components within the building such as fire alarms, sprinklers, portable fir extinguishers etc., the means of egress and exit facilities, compartmentalization (containing the fire in a given space), fire access routes and fire safety planning.
If you would like us to perform a fire safety inspection, you can fill out this form and mail, fax or email it to us. Please make sure you provide complete contact information so that we can get back to you.
Application for Service Form (pdf file)
Inspections By Request
Residents and business owners often require fire inspections for a variety of reasons. They could be needed to satisfy insurance requirements or licensing needs. These include:
- Liquor License Approvals - all new liquor license approvals in the municipality require that establishments are in compliance with the Fire Code. This includes helping to set occupant loads and insuring exits, kitchen facitlities, etc. meet the minimum conditions set out in the Fire Code.
- Day Care Inspections - Commercial Day Care operations are inspected on an annual basis to ensure code compliance. Home Day Cares are inspected on a request basis to make sure there are adequate exits on all levels of the home that is being used to care for children. We also inspect the electrical system in the home and ensure that the home has operating smoke alarms installed in proper locations. Proper size and location of portable fire extinguishers and appropriate escape plans are also necessary and reviewed by the inspector.
- Wood Stove and Chimney Inspections - These are usually required to satisfy the needs of residents attempting to secure insurance coverage. Click HERE for more information.
Inspections By Complaint
Much of what we do is the result of complaints received. People notice things that they feel aren't fire safe and let us know about it. Many times the complaints are unfounded or the situations can be rectified through simple measures. Complaints must be in writing including the complainant's name and contact information. The identity of complainants is kept in strictest confidence.
Inspections by Response
As the fire department responds to emergencies they can come across situations that may require further investigation. This can include such items as blocked exits, problems with alarm detection systems or general housekeeping. Once identified by the responding fire crews, these inspections will occur in a timely manner.
Any occupancy that is considered a high risk, either by the number of people living, working or staying within, such as Hotels, Resorts and Bed and Breakfast establishments or commerical and industrial occupancies that use special processes in their operations are regularly inspected. During these inspections detailed information on the building, its systems and processes is collected and entered into the departments Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system so that it can be retreived in seconds should an emergency occur.
Change of Use
Many properties are upgraded to change the use from what they were originally constructed for. This can include the addition of accessory appartments, such as basement appartments, or converting a residential building into a commercial use.
In some instances such as new schools and larger industrial occupancies or upgrades of existing buildings, we will examine the plans before construction begins to ensure compliance to the fire code will be met. In most cases this is a Building Department function since the buildings will be built under the auspices of a building permit, but we work closely with the buidling department throughout construction.
Site Plans Examination
We are involved in the site plan process to ensure proper fire department access, hydrant locations, standpipe and hose and sprinkler system connections meet our requirements. We review site plans of proposed commercial and larger multi- unit residential buildings. It is important that we provide our input prior to the construction of the buildings to ensure the best possible response capabilities.
In some instances it is necessary for the fire department to review proposed amendments to the city's zoning bylaw. Similar to site plan review, adequate fire department access is necessary to ensure the best possible response should an emergency occur. An example of a zoning amendment would be the conversion of a single family home into multi unit home or bed and breakfast occupancy.
Issuance of Permits
The fire department will also issue fire permits for special circumstances. This can include commercial burning permits for contractors clearing properties for building. Other not so common permits include special occasion permits. The Fire Department will ensure that the building being used for the special occasion is fire safe, an appropriate occupant load is calculated and in the case of tents, the proper flame-retardant materials and certificates are correct for the tent being used.
Community Event Planning
We are also involved in community event planning where large groups of people may congregate. We work with event planners to ensure that there will be adequate access for emergency personnel and their vehicles and that the event will be held in a fire safe manner.