Are you serious about fire protection, Toronto? With the rising fines across the area it seems that there are plenty of businesses that aren’t. This is due, in part, to the zero tolerance attitude that has been taken by the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal and communicated down to the local fire departments.
This document covers the cost of each individual infraction, however this is per infraction. So if you own a company and every one of your smoke detectors is faulty then you will be fined $195 for each and every one. If you do not have an operating plan that’s a further fine, and because of the requirements for an operating plan you will have additional levies added to the initial fine. Almost always there is a victim fine surcharge added on top of the fines, which generally represents a percentage of the fine.
How to Avoid Fines?
Failure to install a carbon monoxide alarm will cost you $295 for each missing unit. Installing them incorrectly is a fine of $195. $295 for wedging open a fire door, and another $295 for obstructing emergency exits (per blocked exit), and it’s easy to see how corporations can end up with fines of $100,000 and individuals with a tab of $50,000. If there are multiple owners of a business each owner will be liable, the fine will not be split but instead replicated across them, thus doubling or tripling the fine. On top of that the issues need to be remedied and if they are not brought up to code within the specified time businesses could be shut down, facing additional fines daily that can climb as high as $20,000.
A quick look at instances throughout Ontario shows the cost of fire. It can happen to anyone, as we see from businesses that have suffered damage after high visibility fires: restaurants, residential businesses, schools, retail businesses, and industrial facilities.
Fire Safety Guidelines
The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Community Services offers a news bulletin in which you can follow the cases of fire safety regulation breaches, and instances of fires. It shows that the average cost of estimated damage in the event of a fire is over half a million dollars.
If you’re wondering what instigates the case of fines, there are actually a number: the majority of them stem from the post fire investigations, also random inspection, reports of smoke, nuisance alarm, a complaint regarding an electrical issue, planned inspections, and ongoing complaints relating to failure to deal with prior violations. Most recently a Brantford landlord was fined $750 for just one violation, as he failed to repair it within the specified time.
How Fines Are Determined?
So, how do we count the cost? Fines have been levied to the tune of several millions of dollars, with an average fine over $150,000 for corporations, with the average for residential properties totalling just over $20,000. In some cases, jail terms are given, and in other cases probation is deemed more appropriate.
What is clear that the cost of failure to comply is far greater than the expenses surrounding following fire safety regulations. It has never been more important to ensure that your home, or business, is up to code and Steadfast Safety Services in Toronto is the business to help you get there. You can find a full copy of Ontario’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act 1997 here, as well as the Ontario Regulation 213/07. A read of these regulations will show you just how important it is to draft in the professionals to ensure that you are fully compliant, so that you can prevent any breaches of law and the fines that come with them.