I was recently blessed enough to do a presentation at the Canadian Fire Safety Association’s 50th Annual Education Forum, and what an experience it was!
It was so energizing and inspiring to be around people from all different sectors of the fire safety world. I had a lot of eye-opening conversations and meaningful discussions with people on both sides of the coin, from building owners, to Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), to Fire Marshals from all over Ontario.
There was so much good information, I wanted to pass some of it on and help condo owners know what trends and changes they need to know about right now, and what’s going to impact them for the next year or so.
With that in mind, here are 5 things that all building owners and property managers should know about fire safety…
1. Fire Safety Has NEVER Been More Important
Sure, we could say this every year, but let me explain…
We’ve seen a huge increase in residential fires because of the number of people that were home during the pandemic, and many of them still remain home now. This raises the risks exponentially.
More people means more risks. And more risks mean more work for condo building owners and property managers to mitigate those risks and stay compliant with fire codes.
2. Fire Departments and Municipalities are Cracking Down
(and it’s a Good Thing)
The alarming fire statistics and the heightened risks we spoke about in the previous section have led to authorities doing everything they can to keep condo buildings as safe as possible.
They’re doing more inspections and they’re sending more orders out to building owners across Ontario.
Because fire safety is now being so heavily enforced by municipalities, you’re now more likely than ever to get an inspection. And if you’re not compliant, you’re more likely to get an inspection order or a notice of violation.
3. We’re Seeing Increased Fines
This is a part of the initiative I mentioned above.
Building owners that get issued a notice of violation are not facing the $50,000 fine that they would’ve received a couple of years ago. They’re facing something closer to a $150,000 fine right now.
You can see why I led with fire safety being more important than ever. We’re seeing more inspections and bigger fines. The demands and the penalties are increasing.
If you haven’t had an inspection lately, it’s definitely in your best interest to contact us right now to find out how to prepare for an inspection and ensure your building is compliant ASAP.
4. Changes to Your Systems? You Need a Partial Integrated Test
There were several AHJs at the event. Many of them said they will be asking for a partial integrated test if you do any work to parts of your existing buildings that are interconnected, or an auxiliary function, or an interface to the fire alarm system.
This would include things like:
- Replacing the fire control panel
- Adding or upgrading mag locks
- Changes to hold-open devices
- Any work on fan control and/or the pressurization systems
- Any work on their elevators
If this is your first full or partial integrated test, you will definitely want to contact us ASAP.
5. It All Starts With Fire Alarms
It’s hard to say enough about fire alarms.
In fact, The Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario is really focusing on fire alarms right now. The theme for their fire prevention week in October will be Cause for Alarm.
As a condo building owner or property manager, of course, it is important to make sure your alarm systems are functional at all times.
However, it’s just as important to make sure that every resident knows what a fire alarm indicates, and what they need to do when they hear one.
It’s about more than maintaining compliance. It’s about saving lives!
If you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com any time, or call us at (705) 436-9865 or 1-800-281-8863.