Ministry of the
Solicitor General

OFMEM - Retrofit of Automatic Sprinklers Compliance Dates Reminder

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Place Nouveau Building 7th Floor5775 Yonge Street North York ON M2M 4J1 Telephone 416-325-3100 Facsimile: 416-325-3119 Ontario logo

October 17, 2014

Dear Owner/Operator:

As of January 1, 2014, Ontario became the first province to require the retrofit of automatic sprinklers in all vulnerable occupancies, which include care occupancies, care and treatment occupancies and licensed retirement homes.

Mandatory sprinklers are but one part of a comprehensive set of changes introduced by Ontario Regulation 150/13 which amended the Ontario Fire Code. There are a number of other building retrofits and strengthened fire safety measures that are now required by the Fire Code in these occupancies.

Effective January 1, 2014 all owners/operators of vulnerable occupancies were required to comply with the following requirements:

  • Implementing an approved fire safety plan;
  • Undertaking an annual fire drill based on a scenario representing the lowest staffing level complement, as approved by the Chief Fire Official;
  • Notifying the Chief Fire Official within an approved time period of a scheduled annual drill;
  • Ensuring sufficient numbers of supervisory staff to carry out duties as outlined in the fire safety plan;
  • Keeping records of supervisory staff training regarding their roles and responsibilities within the fire safety plan.

Effective March 1, 2014 all buildings with a care occupancy or licensed retirement home subject to Retrofit Section 9.7, were required to have smoke alarms installed in individual sleeping rooms.

January 1, 2015 marks the next important compliance deadline and I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that by this date:

  • All vulnerable occupancies will be required to have completed their first annual fire drill witnessed by the local fire department.

Furthermore, buildings with a care occupancy or licensed retirement home subject to Retrofit Section 9.7 will be required to have met the following requirements:

  • Fire alarm monitoring;
  • Emergency lighting in all exit stairs, public corridors and principal access to exits in buildings over 3 storeys high or where sleeping accommodation is provided for more than 10 people; and
  • Provision to notify the fire department where a sprinkler system is activated, except where a fire alarm system or interconnected smoke alarm system is equipped with this provision.

I encourage you to visit the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) website portal for Care Occupancies, Care and Treatment Occupancies and Retirement Homes, which includes a comprehensive set of resources for owner/operators, including a full Compliance Schedule.

It is the responsibility of facility owners/operators to ensure their buildings are in full compliance with the Fire Code. For enquiries regarding Fire Code application to specific buildings, please contact your local fire department.



Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek
Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management