OFM - 11(2)
FPPA Opinions & Applications
Subsection 11.(2) Duty to Report
"The assistants to the Fire Marshal shall report to the Fire Marshal all fires and other matters related to fire protection services as may be specified by the Fire Marshal."
It is the responsibility of all municipalities to submit fire incident reports to the Office of the Fire Marshal, which are then used for statistical evaluations.
Other information may be requested by the OFM from municipalities from time to time, in support of fire protection programs.
What mandates a municipality to investigate cause and origin of fire incidents?
The FPPA does not specifically require municipalities to investigate the cause and origin of fires.
Section 14 gives the fire chief the authority to enter lands or premises where a fire has occurred and to take specified actions related to the investigation of fires. Subsection 6.(6) gives the fire chief the authority to delegate this investigation function to other firefighters.
Fire investigation could be considered to be part of the fire prevention duties mandated by clause 2.(1)(a) or one of the fire protection services that the municipality decided it must provide to meet its obligations under clause 2.(1)(b).
In addition, subsection 11.(2) requires that assistants to the Fire Marshal (i.e. some designated representative of a municipality) shall report all fires. To do so requires the completion of a fire incident evaluation on a form provided by the OFM and this form requires a determination of cause.
If a community hires a private fire department, does the Fire Marshal have the right to require reports of that fire department?
Every fire department must have a fire chief, and according to subsection 11.(1), the fire chief is an assistant to the Fire Marshal. Accordingly, subsection 11.(2) describes the reporting relationship of the assistant to the Fire Marshal to the Fire Marshal, including the responsibility to report fires and other matters as required by the Fire Marshal. The fact that the fire department is private should have no bearing on this relationship, however the municipality should specify this relationship in any contract.