OFM - Fire Service Messenger Article - Code Violations

Code Violations

Cobourg industrial plaza owner fined

The owner of a 74,000 square foot multi-unit industrial plaza in Cobourg was convicted in September 2011 of failing to provide written records of tests under Article 1.1.2.1(1), Division B and fined $6,000 (including victim surcharges). 

The owner had failed to make records of tests of the sprinkler system, emergency lighting, portable extinguishers, fire alarm system, fire pump and hydrants. 

Submitted by Captain Aaron Blair, Fire Prevention Officer with the Cobourg Fire Department.

$10,000 in Charges for Non Functioning Smoke Alarms

In December 2011, accommodation property owners in The Blue Mountains appeared in an Ontario Provincial Court to answer to the charges that multiple smoke alarms in one of their rental properties were not functioning.

One of the property owners was convicted on December 5,2011 with one count of failing to maintain smoke alarms in operating condition at the accommodation property. The other owner appeared in court a few days later and pled guilty to failing to maintain smoke alarms in operating condition.

The owners were each fined $5000 each; with court and victim surcharges the total amount of the fines exceeded $12,000.

Submitted by Duncan Rydall, Chief Fire Prevention Officer. Town of The Blue Mountains Fire Department.

Toronto Fire continues to lay charges

Last year, two directors of a Toronto corporation were fined $31,500 for violating the Ontario Fire Code. The two directors of a four-storey residential building were found guilty and given a suspended sentence. Toronto Fire Services had a previous conviction against one of the directors.

This time, the violations stemmed from:

  1. Test records not available upon request. (1.1.2.1.(1))
  2. Damaged fire separations – electrical room, boiler room, storage room, (2.2.2.1.)
  3. Damaged closures throughout the building. (2.2.3.1.)
  4. Numerous doors/closures not maintained in the building. (2.2.3.2.(1))
  5. Wooden planks on roof forming means of egress are broken. (2.7.1.7.(1))
  6. Emergency lighting test records not available (2.7.3.3.(3))
  7. Fire Safety Plan not up to date, Fire Safety Plan not being implemented. (2.8.2.1.(2))
  8. Emergency procedure signage lacking throughout. (2.8.2.5.(1))
  9. Numerous closures/doors lack the required fire protection rating. (9.5.2.8.(1))
  10. Detection lacking in elevator shaft. (9.5.4.3.(2))
  11. Site lacks a fire route. (9.5.5.1.(1))
  12. Fire Safety Plan Box – lacks building service keys, a spare padlock and the approved plan.

Property owner gets fined and a probation order

In August 2011, the property owner of a Toronto rooming house was fined $15,000 and charged with five Ontario Fire Code violations. The property owner also received a two-year probation order.

Each of the following violations included a $3,000 fine:

  1. All the ceilings in the basement lacked a proper fire separation. (9.3.2.2.(1)).
  2. All the basement bedrooms walls, basement corridor walls and part of the corridor wall in the upstairs hall were not properly fire separated (9.3.2.4.(1)
  3. The ground floor and the basement level each lacked a second exit (9.3.3.1)
  4. Exit signs were not provided (9.3.3.10.(1))
  5. All bedroom doors are required to meet specifications. Note: all devices are to be labelled and listed (9.3.3.8.(1))

Grow op found in Toronto home

In April 2011. the owner of a single family detached home was fined $17,500 for violating the Ontario Fire Code. The two-storey home, with basement was also home to a marijuana grow op. The following violations were found:

  1. Use of non-approved wiring methods, extension cords and electrical devices, has created a fire hazard in the building. (2.4.6.1)
  2. Failure to install smoke alarms. (6.3.3.2.(1))
  3. Activity of grow operation not allowed for in original design of the building, has created a hazard in the building. (2.1.2.2)
  4. Alterations to solid-fuel burning fireplace has created a hazardous condition in the building. (2.6.2.2)

Duplex owners face fines

In June 2011, the owners of a two-storey duplex with a basement were given a two-year probation order and fined $22,500 each for violating the Ontario Fire Code. Their penalties stemmed from:

  1. Each lodging room on the second lacked a working smoke alarm. (9.5.4.5.(1))
  2. The basement lacked a second exit (9.5.3.2.(1))
  3. The doors lacked a 20-minute fire resistance rating including self closing and latching (9.5.2.8.(1))
  4. The furnace room lacked a 30-minute fire resistance rating from the dwelling unit (9.5.2.7.(1))
  5. The building lacked interconnected smoke alarms. (9.5.4.4.(1))
  6. Damaged walls and ceilings lacked a 30-minute fire resistance rating (2.2.2.1)

Submitted by Cathy Robertson, Captain, Toronto Fire Services.

Motel Owner and Two Directors Fined $56,865 and Charged with 21 Fire Code violations

On March 15, 2012 in Provincial Offences Court, the Justice of the Peace made it clear to the owner and directors of a motel in Sarnia that she was not pleased with their lack of interest to serious Ontario Fire Code charges and by their no- show for court.

The Justice of the Peace heard evidence and viewed photographs of seven Fire Code violations, dating back to July 19, 2011 from a Sarnia Fire Prevention Officer who inspected the building after a complaint was received at the fire department. This was the second time that the motel had been charged by Sarnia Fire Rescue Services for Fire Code infractions. The owner and its directors were found guilty of all 21 violations and fined $56,865 with court costs and victim surcharges added in. Each received fines totalling $18,995 and respectively charged with seven Fire Code violations.

The violations included:

  1. Having the main floor hall fire door closure blocked or wedged open.
  2. Failure to ensure the closures in the north stairwell remain closed.
  3. Failure to maintain access to exits free of obstructions namely first and second floor exit corridors.
  4. Failure to provide the exit door with approved hardware designed and installed so that when the latch is released, the door will open in the direction of exit travel under a force of not more than 90 N, applied at the knob or other latch releasing device.
  5. Failure to keep the internally illuminated exit sign clearly illuminated at all times when the building is occupied.
  6. Failure to keep the fire extinguisher operable and fully charged
  7. Failure to maintain the smoke alarms in operating condition contrary to Sentence 6.3.3.2.(1) in Division B of O. Reg. 213/07 and did thereby commit an offence under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, S.O. 1997, c.4 subsection 28(1)(c).

Submitted by Tom Marshall, Public Education Officer with Sarnia Fire Rescue Services.