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Fire Prevention

Fire Safety Plans

Watch "No Time To Spare" - Dramatic Fire Re-creation (Duration: 10:29)

The Ontario Fire Code, Section 2.8 requires the establishment and implementation of a Fire Safety Plan for every building containing a Group (A) or (B) occupancy and to every building required by the Building Code to have a Fire Alarm System.

The Fire Protection and Prevention Act states that “every person who contravenes any provision of the Fire Code is guilty of an offence and upon conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both”.  A corporation convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000.  Additionally, a director or officer of a corporation who knows that the corporation is violating or has violated a provision of the Fire Code is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both.

This Plan is required to be acceptable to the Chief Fire Official.

The implementation of a Fire Safety Plan helps to assure effective utilization of Life Safety features in a building, to protect people from fire.  The required Fire Safety Plan should be designed to suit the resources of each individual building or complex of buildings.

Fire Safety Plans are intended to assist the owner of a building with the basic essentials for the safety of all occupants.  They are also designed to ensure an orderly evacuation at the time of an emergency and to provide a maximum degree of flexibility to achieve the necessary Fire Safety for the building.

This information is for Building Owners, Property Managers and other persons controlling properties.

See the Downloads section on the right for a Fire Safety Plan template and other useful information.

Information for Schools

Ontario Fire Code Requirements

Subsection 2.8.3.  Fire Drills

Procedures (1) The procedure for conducting fire drills described in Clause (1)(e) shall be included in the fire safety plan, taking into consideration

(a) the building occupancy and its fire hazards,

(b) the safety features provided in the building,

(c) the desirable degree of participation of occupants other than supervisory staff,

(d) the number and degree of experience of participating supervisory staff, and

(e) the testing and operation of the emergency systems installed in buildings within the scope of Subsection 3.2.6. of Division B of the Building Code.

(2)  The fire drill procedures required in Sentence (1) shall be prepared in consultation with the Chief Fire Official.

Frequency (1) Fire drills as described in Sentence (1) shall be held at least once during each 12-month period for the supervisory staff, except that

(a) in day care centres, facilities regulated by or under the Developmental Services Act and care or detention occupancies, fire drills shall be held at least monthly,

(b) in schools attended by children, total evacuation fire drills shall be held three times in each of the fall and spring school terms, and

(c) in buildings within the scope of Subsection 3.2.6. of Division B of the Building Code, fire drills shall be held every three months.

(2)  In addition to the requirements of Sentence (1), every employee in a hotel establishment shall take part in at least one fire drill during each 12-month period.

(3)  Records of a fire drill required by this Article shall be kept for 12 months after the fire drill.

Planning a fire drill or an event in your Gym? See the Downloads section for Non-fixed Seating Requirements and other useful information.


Rental Property Owner Information

Do you own a rental property of ANY kind?  Make sure you’re familiar with your responsibilities as outlined under the Ontario Fire Code.

“Unless otherwise specified, the OWNER shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this Code”.

The bottom line for building owners is: 

  • There are requirements for ALL buildings.  (Yes, even single family dwellings)
  • Ignorance of the law is NO excuse, you ARE responsible.
  • Fire Inspectors WILL ask to see your records of maintenance and testing.

Failure to comply with any of the requirements of the Fire Code including to keep and produce records is an offense under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to 1 year or both.  (For corporations, the fines are up to $100,000).

Why are the penalties so harsh?  The requirements of the current Ontario Fire Code have come about as a result of past fires that resulted in the tragic loss of life and property.   The Fire Code is a minimum standard that’s sole purpose is to save lives and property.  While it may not necessarily be on the best sellers list, the Ontario Fire Code is essential reading (the relevant sections) for property owners.  If you don’t know what it says, how do you know if your building is compliant?  Fortunately, there are lots of ways to obtain the information you need:

  • Purchase a copy of the Ontario Fire Code.
  • Reference a copy of the Ontario Fire Code on the “The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal” website Contact a private consultant experienced with the Ontario Fire Code.
  • Contact the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service.

Remember, when it comes to smoke alarms in residential dwelling units, YOU must install them, YOU must maintain them, and YOU must provide the tenant with a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions.  It is strongly recommended that you complete the maintenance log with the tenants and have them sign as well for your records.  Do this when they move in and annually after that.  How else will you prove you have installed and maintained the smoke alarm as per the Fire Code should a discrepancy arise?

The Foundation of Fire Prevention in the City of Barrie

On Tuesday, June 18, 1918 the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire were scheduled to visit the City of Barrie. This event was expected to be the news highlight of the day; however the event was overshadowed by a fire in the downtown.

The alarm sounded at half-past nine in the morning. The fire had apparently been burning for three quarters of an hour. Flames had burst through the windows and the burning structure at the foot of Maple Avenue was throwing flames as high as 100 feet in the air by the time the fire brigade arrived on scene. Two carloads of flour destined to be shipped overseas to the troops were lost and suspicion arose that sabotage might be the cause of the fire.

By half past eleven, the building was transformed into charred and smoking ruins, resulting in $75,000 damage. The suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire incited an investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal.  Mr. C. H. Cowen (Deputy Fire Marshal) spent several days in Barrie and eventually identified the cause of the fire as an overhead electric motor.

The Deputy Fire Marshal also drew attention to a few more fire traps in the City of Barrie. One of the most dangerous and certainly the most disreputable sights in town were the ruins of the Queens’s Hotel fire of several years earlier. He was concerned that a potential for disaster existed here, especially for the owners of the surrounding properties.

In July 1918, as a direct result of the comments by the Fire Marshal’s Office, council ordered the Fire Chief to make arrangements for the brigade to carry out fire inspections. They were to inspect businesses, factories, schools and other large buildings as thought necessary in order to locate fire hazards. The inspections also gave firefighters the pre-planning knowledge of these buildings if a fire happened to occur.

Mr. Doug Skelding,

Forged in the Flames, Commemorating 150 Years of Service by the Barrie Fire Department. (Published Privately in 1993)

Recalls and Product Concerns

2014 Health Canada List of Recalls:  

2014  Electrical Safety Authority Recalls

Relevant Links

Ontario Fire Code

Fire Protection & Prevention Act

Commentary of Retrofit, Section 9.8 (Two Unit Dwellings)

Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal

Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal Frequently Asked Questions 

National Fire Protection Association

Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officers Association

Niagara Region - EB Monkey's Safety House

Technical Standards and Safety Authority (T.S.S.A.)

Electrical Safety Authority 

Sparky the Fire Dog

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