Enhancing Fire Safety in Occupancies Housing Vulnerable Ontarians: Compliance Dates for New Fire Code Requirements

Communiqué du commissaire des incendies

Enhancing Fire Safety in Occupancies Housing Vulnerable Ontarians: Compliance Dates for New Fire Code Requirements

Communiqué 2013-16

November 29, 2013

In May 2013, Fire Marshal’s Communiqué 2013-05 announced that Ontario Regulation 150/13, which amends the 2007 Fire Code (Ontario Regulation 213/07), had been filed. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) is reminding the fire service and affected stakeholders that Ontario Regulation 150/13 will come into force on January 1, 2014.

Key Fire Code amendments being introduced by Ontario Regulation 150/13 include:

  • revised definitions for “care occupancy” and “residential occupancy”, and a new definition for “retirement home”;
  • new requirements for an annual fire drill for an approved scenario representing the lowest staffing level complement to confirm adequacy of supervisory staff levels to carry out required duties under the approved fire safety plan; and notification to the Chief Fire Official of the fire drill;
  • new requirements for mandatory automatic sprinklers for long-term care homes and large homes for special care that are care occupancies or care and treatment occupancies;
  • the addition of Section 9.7, a new retrofit section for care occupancies and retirement homes, to include mandatory automatic sprinklers and fire alarm monitoring for all buildings with more than 4 persons, smoke alarms in suites, self-closing devices on suite doors, and emergency lighting;
  • new qualification requirements for people responsible for implementing fire safety plans, and for Chief Fire Officials responsible for approving fire safety plans.

Although Ontario Regulation 150/13 comes into force on January 1, 2014, it is important to note that many of the retrofit requirements will be phased in and come into effect on later dates. See the attached compliance schedule for details.

The OFMEM has established a section on its Web site dedicated to care occupancies, care and treatment occupancies, and retirement homes, where useful resources and additional information on Ontario Regulation 150/13 and the new requirements can be found. Fire departments and other stakeholders are encouraged to visit the Web site periodically for updates.

It is recommended that discussions about the new annual fire drill requirements be initiated between the owners/operators of care occupancies, care and treatment occupancies and retirement homes, and fire prevention staff members of their local fire department early in the new year to ensure that these requirements are met in a timely manner. A template to facilitate the discussions on the fire drill scenario is currently under development and will be released in the near future.

Enquiries about the Fire Code amendments should be directed to the Technical Services Section of the OFMEM: staff members can be reached by e-mail at FireSafetyStandards@ontario.ca, or by telephone at (416) 325-3100 or 1-800-565-1842.

Attachment

Compliance Schedule