Integrated Risk Management Web Tool

Communiqué du commissaire des incendies

Integrated Risk Management Web Tool

Communiqué 2014-12

May 6, 2014

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) is pleased to announce the official launch of the Integrated Risk Management (IRM) Web Tool, which is intended for municipal and fire service decision-makers. The tool will assist municipalities in fulfilling the responsibilities prescribed in Section 2 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA).

The IRM Web Tool was developed as part of a commitment made by the OFMEM to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) and other stakeholders. The IRM Web Tool can be used by all Ontario’s municipalities and fire departments to determine building fire risks in their respective communities by taking into account building characteristics (Building Factors) and the three lines of defence against fire (Three Lines of Defence):

Line one: Public fire safety education
Line two: Fire safety standards and enforcement
Line three: Emergency response.

The principles on which are founded the Three Lines of Defence, as outlined by the Honourable John B. Webber in the 1983 report entitled Report of the Public Inquiry into Fire Safety in Highrise Buildings (14.77 MB), are still as relevant today as they were in 1983.

A holistic and balanced approach was used in the design of the IRM Web Tool which took into consideration the recommendations set out in the Webber report. “…some of the recommendations have application to fire safety in general, and are not limited to highrise buildings.”1 Below are statements from the Webber report illustrating some of the principles that have helped to shape the IRM Web Tool.

  • “I simply state that public education is absolutely essential.” (p. 12.)
  • “I have recommended a substantial increase in public education regarding fire safety because I believe that through education, human behaviour can be modified, stress can be reduced, and our fire safety record thereby improved.” (p. 222.)
  • “The Ontario Fire Code requirement that fire safety plans be prepared for all high buildings should be enforced.” [Recommendation 15.3, p. 243.]
  • “Chief Fire Officials should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the review and approval of fire safety plans which have been prepared by building owners and submitted to them for approval is given high priority.” [Recommendation 15.4, p. 243.]
  • “The Ontario Fire Code should be more actively enforced…” [Recommendation 2.11, p. 34.]
  • “There should be adequate fire protection for the citizens of Ontario commensurate with the needs of each municipality.” [Recommendation 12.2, p. 196.]
  • “Fire departments should develop pre-fire plans for all highrise buildings.” [Recommendation 12.4, p. 200.]

The principles outlined in the Webber Report are further validated by recommendations from Coroner’s inquests into multiple deaths caused by the following tragic fires:

  • Rupert Hotel,
  • 2 Forest Laneway,
  • Meadowcroft Place Retirement Home, and
  • Muskoka Heights Retirement Residence.

The introduction of the FPPA in 1997 was a transformation event. It established the framework for a fire protection services delivery model that would promote an integrated and balanced approach to the Three Lines of Defence.

The introduction of the IRM Web Tool supports the continued modernization and transformation of the Ontario fire service through the integration of the Three Lines of Defence.

The development of the IRM Web Tool began with consultations with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), which provided a methodology that incorporated best practices, metrics and a risk-ball that plots probability and consequence.

The development of the IRM Web Tool included a number of phases to test functionality, design and validation:

  • Alpha phase participants: Brampton, London, Minto, Oakville, Otonabee South-Monaghan, and Toronto fire departments;
  • Beta phase participants: Carleton Place, Georgina, Greater Napanee, Haldimand County, Hamilton, Huntsville, Kingston, London, Meaford, Selwyn, Springwater, and Toronto fire departments.

For final consultations, feedback and support, the OFMEM engaged the following associations:

  • the OAFC,
  • the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO),
  • the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA), and
  • the Fire Fighters’ Association of Ontario (FFAO).

Staff members from Field and Advisory Services have been trained to assist municipalities and fire departments in using the IRM Web Tool.

In early May, fire chiefs will receive by e-mail a password to access the IRM Web Tool at www.ofm.ca. A user’s guide can be found on the Web site to help to navigate through the IRM Web Tool.

The OFMEM thanks all those who participated in the development and testing of the IRM Web Tool.

The OFMEM will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure future adjustments and improvements are consistent with the needs of the Ontario fire service and municipalities.

Enquiries regarding the IRM Web Tool should be directed to Field and Advisory Services, OFMEM; staff members can be reached by e-mail at FPSDAR@ontario.ca, or by telephone at (416) 325-3100 or 1-800-565-1842.

 

1 Report of the Public Inquiry into Fire Safety in Highrise Buildings, Introduction, p. xi