Ministry of the
Solicitor General

OFM - 04-40a-12

Simplified Risk Assessment

Public Fire Safety Guidelines

Subject Coding

PFSG 04-40A-12


Fire Prevention and Public Fire Safety Education


March 2001


Simplified Risk Assessment


Under Review


Municipalities have a legislated responsibility under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) to provide public education with respect to fire safety and certain components of fire prevention. Conducting a simplified risk assessment is the first step towards compliance with these requirements and is intended to identify information required by a municipality to make informed decisions about the programs and activities necessary to effectively manage the community fire risk based upon local needs and circumstances.


Simplified Risk Assessment:

Conducting a simplified risk assessment is a practical information-gathering and analysing exercise intended to create a community fire profile that will aid in identifying appropriate programs or activities that can be implemented to effectively address the community's fire safety needs.
As a minimum, a community fire safety program must include:

• a smoke alarm program,

• distribution of fire safety education materials, and

• participating in inspections upon complaint or when requested to assist with Fire Code compliance.

(Refer to PFSG 04-40-12 in respect of public education and fire prevention services.)
As each community is different, the simplified risk assessment will indicate the degree to which these activities take place in accordance with its local needs and circumstances.


Assessment Components and Risk Considerations:

The following categories of information are important to consider when gathering data and developing a community fire profile through a simplified risk assessment.

Community Demographic Profile

• Population makeup, based on age groupings

• Vulnerable individuals or occupancies

• Cultural differences, such as language and customs

• Seasonal population shifts in tourist areas, mobile homes, trailer parks, university/college locales, etc.

• Other considerations specific to certain municipalities

Building Stock Profile

• Breakdown by Ontario Building Code occupancy classification

• Building density (core areas)

• Age of building stock

• Potential high fire risk occupancies (industrial, commercial, residential)

• Potential high life safety risk occupancies (hospitals, nursing homes, detention centres, group homes, residential care, retirement homes)

• Potential economic/employment/environmental impact

Municipal Fire Loss Profile

• Deaths/injuries

• Dollar loss

• Breakdown by occupancy classification

• The information gathered in each of the 3 categories must be examined, evaluated and analysed to identify the community fire profile and to identify potential fire concerns.

Provincial Fire Loss Profile

To assist municipalities in interpreting and understanding the significance of their municipal fire loss data, provincial data is provided in the following areas:

• fires by property type

• fire deaths by property type

• fire deaths by age of victim

• fire loss ($) by property type

• smoke alarm status in fatal fires


Examining, Evaluating and Analysing the Information:

Municipalities are encouraged to compare these provincial statistics with their municipal fire loss profile. When insufficient municipal data exists in this regard, it is recommended that the provincial profile data be used to establish program and resource priorities.
Priority Setting for Compliance

By reviewing the information gathered in the areas of demographics, building stock and fire loss experience, fire safety concerns can be identified and prioritised. No two communities will have the same fire profile, as local needs and circumstances vary.


Selecting and Implementing Options:

Once the community risks have been identified and prioritised, while at the same time taking into consideration resources and other factors, an implementation strategy would be developed. The strategy would involve:

• Council approval of activities

• Resource allocation

• Assignment of responsibilities

• Development of program operational guidelines
Ongoing program assessment


Codes, Standards, and Best Practices:

Codes, Standards, and Best Practices resources available to assist in establishing local policy on this assessment are listed below. All are available at Please feel free to copy and distribute these documents. We ask that these documents not be altered in any way, that the Office of the Fire Marshal be credited and that the documents be used for non-commercial purposes only.
See also the following Public Fire Safety Guidelines:
Comprehensive Fire Safety Effectiveness Model
& 03 Risk Assessment
Economic Circumstances
Core Services
Selection of Appropriate Fire Prevention Programs
Simplified Risk Assessment
Fire Prevention Policy
Use of Fire Related Statistics