Ontario's Government Strengthening Fire Protection for the People
Ontario's Government for the People is acting to improve public safety by strengthening fire protection rules across the province.
"Protecting citizens is our government's most fundamental responsibility. That's why our government has taken action to improve fire safety across the province. Ensuring modern and robust fire safety rules protects the lives of citizens, as well as firefighters," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General.
In addition to strengthening fire safety, these amendments will provide Ontario's fire services with more enforcement options to keep communities safe. These changes include:
- Extending the time for fire departments to initiate prosecutions to one year after they become aware of an offence;
- Enabling fire departments to recover the costs incurred when they are required to immediately close buildings due to serious fire and life safety risks;
- Increased maximum fines for most offences and the establishment of higher maximum fines for subsequent offenders;
- A requirement to notify building supervisory staff when a firefighters' elevator is not operational, and to notify the fire department and building occupants when a firefighters' elevator is not operational for more than 24 hours;
- Requiring industries using hazardous extraction operations to ensure that door release hardware for exits and access to exits, egress aisles, ventilation and fire safety planning are sufficient to protect people and property in the event of a fire or explosion; and
- Lifting the Fire Code exemption for low occupancy farm buildings where hazardous extraction is used for cannabis processing so that the Fire Code requirements apply.
"Ontario's fire protection rules are designed to keep buildings and communities safe and protect the lives of building occupants and emergency responders," said Jon Pegg, Ontario's Fire Marshal. "These changes will provide our first responders with additional mechanisms to better protect the public."
- The Fire Protection and Prevention Act establishes the legislative framework for the delivery of fire protection services in Ontario, including the role and powers of municipalities and Ontario’s Fire Marshal.
- The Fire Code consists of a set of minimum mandatory fire safety requirements that apply within and around existing buildings and premises.
- Failure to comply with the Fire Protection and Prevention Act or the Fire Code is an offence. Upon conviction, persons may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.