Ministry of the
Solicitor General

OFM - 04-41a-13

Community Fire Safety Program

Public Fire Safety Guidelines

Subject Coding

PFSG 04-41A-13


Fire Prevention and Public Education


March 2000


Community Fire Safety Program


Under Review


To assist the integration of the community fire safety concept into a fire department.

Service Delivery Implications:

Municipalities are responsible for provision of fire protection services within their areas of jurisdiction. As a minimum, they must establish and deliver programs that include public education with respect to fire safety and certain components of fire prevention.

  • a smoke alarm program
  • fire safety education material distributed to residents/occupants
  • inspections upon complaint or when requested to assist with code compliance
  • simplified risk assessment

Service Delivery Option:

The concept of a community fire safety officer/team can be integrated into the fire department as a program.

Policy Requirements:

Every municipality shall ensure that an effective fire safety program is available and that the residents of the community are aware of the program, and service levels provided.

When a municipality chooses to integrate the community fire safety officer/team concept into the fire department:

  • The fire department establishing and regulating bylaw shall clearly indicate that responsibility for the activities of the community fire prevention or public education officer/team shall rest with the fire chief.
  • The program should form an integral part of the council approved fire prevention policy of the fire department.

Quality Management Standards:


An OFM fire protection adviser can be assigned to support local initiatives and maintain regular contact with municipality and the fire department.
All personnel involved in delivery of community fire safety programs should be trained under direction of a competent person familiar with the legislation, codes, and acceptable fire safety practices.
Where necessary, the Office of the Fire Marshal will make a service provider available and/or initial fire prevention and public fire safety education instructional materials.

Service Providers

The type of service provider is influenced by a number of important factors, such as the:

  • resources of the community
  • availability of personnel
  • community risks
  • frequency and number of incidents
  • range of services expected from the officer/team

Integration of the community fire safety officer/team concept into the fire department may offer new opportunities for the fire department. It does not mean that existing personnel will have to take on additional responsibilities unless that is the direction chosen by the municipality.
It may be able to seek out and utilize members of the community who have an interest in or support the fire department but are unable or uninterested in functioning as suppression personnel.
The goal is to attract qualified individuals to support the community fire safety program.
Service providers may include:

  • students
  • teachers
  • trades persons
  • municipal staff
  • business leaders
  • community leaders
  • community group members
  • retired persons including emergency services personnel

All activities shall be under the direction of the fire chief.

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 this document. We ask that the document 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 PFSG
04-42-12 Sample By-law to Establish and Regulate Community Fire Safety Officers or Team and to Appoint Community Fire Safety Officers or Team
04-02-01 Service Delivery Considerations
04-01-12 Selecting Fire Suppression Capability
01-02-01 Comprehensive Fire Safety Effectiveness Model Considerations
04-61-12 Fire Administration (Human Resource Practices)
Fire Protection and Prevention Act
Additional Resources: OFM Community Fire Safety Officer/Team Support Materials. (Available on CD format or hard copy.)