In a bid to reduce cases of extensive property damage and loss of lives due to fire hazards, the government has made significant developments in fire safety. If you own a building or you are a tenant, installing the latest sprinkler systems may not be enough. You must learn about fire safety to prevent violations that can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and surcharges. We’ll take a look at 5 fire safety developments that probably affect your building.
Increase In Fines For Fire Safety Violations
Property owners and businesses are now facing high fines and prosecutions due to violating fire safety standards. For instance, failure to maintain fire sprinklers is a serious violation. There is a push for zero tolerance in fire safety noncompliance in order to prevent the unnecessary deaths that occur in Ontario due to fires. Reports have indicated that businesses are being charged up to $300,000 in fines for committing multiple fire safety violations. The increase in prosecutions and hefty fines are meant to send a message to businesses and property owners to improve their fire safety protection systems.
Facilities Must Meet Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements
Carbon monoxide is an undetectable gas (it is odorless, colorless and tasteless) emitted during fires. Approximately 11 people die every year in Ontario in buildings that lack the necessary carbon monoxide detector equipment. These detectors must be installed in sleeping areas in homes and care facilities like retirement homes. However, homes that are 100% electric and don’t contain furnaces, stoves, fireplaces and fuel-burning appliances are exempt from the carbon monoxide detector requirement. Failing to comply to this particular requirement can lead to fines of up to $50,000 for individual. Businesses and organizations violating the carbon monoxide detector requirement can be charged up to $100,000 in fines and surcharges.
Sleep Areas Must Have Smoke Detectors Installed
Fire safety laws in Ontario also require smoke alarm systems to be installed on every storey of the building. If a property owner or business is found without a fully functional smoke detector, the fines imposed can be up to $100,000. Smoke detectors are not just important to fulfil the building code but can also go a long way to prevent loss of lives and damage to property during an impending fire. Anyone who violates the smoke detector requirements can face incarceration for up to 3 years. Criminal charges can even be applied in fire emergencies that result in death or severe injuries.
Tenants Can Face Serious Charges For Tampering With Smoke Detectors
Though businesses and property owners are given the most responsibility to keep buildings safe, tenants are also required to maintain the smoke detectors installed. Tenants who commit fire safety violations such as disabling the alarm or failing to let the property owner know when the smoke alarm is faulty can face fines of up to $50,000.
New Guidelines For Fire Sprinkler Systems Installed In Retirement Homes
There have also been new fire safety regulations that apply to retirement homes as well as long term care facilities. For instance, individual sleeping rooms in these facilities must have smoke alarms installed.