Fire safety is something that should always be evolving. As we learn more, it becomes important to put that knowledge into practice to save as many lives as possible. This is why Ontario is continuing to update Fire Code standards and requirements.
The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) recently released Planning Gateway One: New Fire Safety Planning Requirements . The document provides guidance on some changes that affect new and existing homes, schools and community safety zones. These standards became effective January 1, 2014.
Some of the key updates include:
– a specific requirement for Fire Safety Plans in schools and daycares
– new requirements for fire safety when multiple single family dwellings are contained within a common complex
Starting in 2018, owners of existing homes will have to appoint someone responsible for coordinating fire safety planning. Homeowners associations may also need to appoint someone.
So what does this mean for homeowners? The good news is that if you are planning to do renovations, especially in schools and daycares, now is the time to start thinking about fire safety. The new requirements will bring much needed standards to Ontario Fire Code standards for schools and daycares.
For example, in homes, the Fire Code requires three fire extinguishers on each floor of a house. The code for schools and daycares require six on each floor.
For existing homeowners, you can still do renovations until 2018, but please make sure that they are done safely and with due consideration for fire safety when planning your construction.
Now that you know about these new changes, please help spread the word to family and friends.
Stay safe everyone!