Fire Safety – Knowing Your Responsibilities

As a business owner, your fire safety responsibilities are changing.  It is no longer as simple as it’s the building owner’s responsibility to comply with the Ontario Fire Code.  The Barrie Fire and Emergency Services website sums it up perfectly.

“Business owners are responsible for the maintenance of their space and for ensuring the business operates with respect to fire safety. In addition to practicing the three lines of defense against fire — Prevention, Detection, Escape — business owners have specific requirements under the Ontario Fire Code.

The Ontario Fire Code defines “owner” as any person, firm or corporation having control over any portion of the building or property under consideration and includes the person in the building or property. Therefore, whether a business owner owns the building, or simply operates a business within a building, business owners have obligations with respect to fire safety for which they can be held accountable.”

It is important to understand your lease when it comes to the Ontario Fire Code Violations. Fire Safety Plans must reflect these responsibilities.  There needs to be a clear understanding of who’s responsible for fire watches, fire drills, and maintenance of equipment.  Recently, I completed a plan that specifies that the owner does the fire watch however, there was a provision for renovations in the unit where the tenant is responsible for the fire watch.

Having a fire safety plan is the first part; implementation of the fire safety plan is the second part and undoubtedly the most important part.  When there’s a clear understanding of the responsibilities as laid out in the Fire Safety Plan, staff training must be done.  It is important to train supervisor staff so they clearly understand their defined roles and are confident to implement them.

Congratulations to Jennifer on her NFPA Certifications

It’s been a busy summer full of accomplishments.

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator Practical at FESTI

Congratulations to Jennifer who has complete her Fire Safety Certificate through Seneca College, NFPA 921 – Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, as well as NFPA 1035 – Public Fire and Life Safety Educator and Public Information Officer from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall.   National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) set the standards used by Fire Departments in Ontario.  For the last year, Jennifer has dedicated evenings and weekends to attending classes in order to become an expert in the industry.  With over 20 years experience training coupled with her new certifications, Jennifer’s training sessions are full of practical information, made fun and interactive.  Pyramid Fire Safety Plans is very fortunate to have such qualified staff to offer the highest level of knowledge and experience to our clients.


Congratulations to Jeff on Achieving his Fire Inspector Level II

Congratulations to Jeff Norris for achieving his Fire Inspector Level II issued by the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal.  Jeff has worked very hard to achieve his key National Fire Protection Association certifications.  Jeff holds NFPA 1031 Fire Inspector Level I and II,  NFPA 1035 – Fire and Life Safety Educator Level I and II and NFPA 472 Hazmat Awareness.  NFPA set the standards useFire Inspector Level IId by Fire Departments in Ontario and these key certifications are held by Fire Prevention Officers.  Pyramid Fire Safety Plans is very fortunate to have such qualified staff and are able to offer the highest level of knowledge and experience to our clients.

Having NFPA certified staff, Pyramid Fire Safety Plans can create customized fire safety plans but more importantly can assist owners in the implementation of the plan as well as fire code compliance.   It is the fear of the unknown that makes owners reluctant to voluntarily submit a fire safety plan.  Pyramid Fire Safety Plans can reduce the fear of the unknown when it comes to Fire Code Compliance.  We are able to conduct an audit of the building and identify any deficits prior to submitting a fire safety plan. We are reducing Fire Code Violations in Ontario one Fire Safety Plan at a time.

What does a Fire Safety Plan Box Mean to You

Fire Safety Plan Box

Recently, I was in the Yorkville Pottery Barn and noticed a Fire Safety Plan Box at the front door.  A majority of people see the large white and red box at the front door but don’t know significance of the box.

What does it mean to have a fire safety plan box? What is a fire safety plan and what is its significance?  The purpose of the Fire Safety Plan is fire prevention, evacuation and emergency response.  This document facilitates, designates and organizes employees during an emergency.   If a property does not have a clear plan in place it can result in confusion, injury and property damages.   Unfortunately, we never think that a fire will happen at all and definitely not while we are working.  The key to successfully dealing with an emergency situation is staff training.  Staff training and fire drill requirements are laid out in the Ontario Fire Code. When staff are trained, it allows them to be more confident in their responsibilities in an emergency situation.  Well trained staff know the emergency procedures and are able to complete their responsibilities as well as assist in the evacuation of occupants.  When training is not done on a regular basis, staff will not be aware of their responsibilities making it difficult to assist in the evacuation of occupants.

Another key component to fire prevention is to ensure that fire protection is working properly.  Both staff and qualified technicians check, test and inspect equipment to ensure that it is working properly.  The Ontario Fire Code specifies how fire protection equipment should be maintained and requires records be kept on property for 2 years.

The next time you enter a building with the Red and White Fire Safety Box at the front door, you can feel more confident knowing that fire hazards in the building have been reduced, fire protection equipment is in working order and staff are prepared and trained for emergency situations.

Pyramid Fire Safety Plans Now Offers Residential Fire Safety Inspections

Pyramid Fire Safety Plans now offers residential fire safety inspections.

Residential fire safety inspections assist owners to ensure that their home is as safe as possible and compliant to the Ontario Fire Code.  Jeff, who is an active member on the Cobourg Fire Safety Team, saw a need to assist members of the community.

In 2013, structure fires accounted for 67% of the total fires in Ontario.  Residential fires account for 73% of all fire structure fire losses. There were 801 injuries and 67 fatalities and an estimated losses of $572,7000.00 due to fires. (Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. MCSCS Website)

We complete a comprehensive home fire safety inspection of your residence.  After completing the home fire safety inspection, we review the inspection report with you.  Suggestions on how to increase the overall safety of your home will be given.  Many homeowners have questions about their fire safety devices.  Homeowners aren’t sure of location and maintenance of their fire safety devices. We help homeowners make sure they have the proper devices for the correct locations.   If there are any specific concerns Fire Safety Logosuch as hearing impairments, we can make suggestions for product options to provide the highest level of fire protection security for your home.

Don’t let your home be a statistic, contact us today to book your residential fire safety inspection.



Teaching Children About Safety Is As Important As Training Staff On Fire Safety Plans




With the start of a new school year, we are all focusing on the safety of our children.  As a parent of a 4-year-old, I believe that it’s important to teach our children at a young age about safety.  As I’m sure that most parents feel the same way, safety of our children is our number one priority.  I have been teaching my 4-year-old his address and phone number, how to call 911 and our family evacuation plan in case of a fire.



A building/business owner should consider customers and employees their children.  It is the building/business fire-safety-planowners number one priority to make sure that everyone is safe.  A Fire Safety Plan is developed to ensure the highest level of safety for people as well as the property.  Once a Fire Safety Plan has been developed, staff should be trained regularly to effectively manage situations safety and assist people out of  dangerous situations.  A Fire Safety Plan is also submitted to the Fire Department so that they are also familiar with the property and know pertinent details of the property in case of emergency.   The training, education, and information that is contained in a fire safety plan provides essential fire safety measures for the fire department, employees, residents, customers, and the public.  These components are essential to create a fire safe environment for the community.



Fire Safety Plans Are More Than Knowing Where Exits Are

If you were asked about a Fire Safety Plan for your company what would you say. We speak to people every day who aren’t familiar with a Fire Safety Plan.   Staff members are aware of where the emergency exits are located in the building however, they aren’t aware of the many pertinent details that consist in a fire safety plan.

Fire Safety Plans are more than evacuation plans; they contain essential information that staff should be trained on in case of emergency.  Compliance with the Ontario Fire Code is very important but compliance doesn’t save lives.  Staff education, training and preparation for an emergency situation will save lives.   Designated staff members must be familiar with the Fire Safety Plan and know how to execute assigned duties.  All staff members should know who the designated staff members are in an emergency. With staff trained on the procedures of a Fire Safety Plan it can reduce the risk of incident, reduce the loss due to fire and most importantly save lives.


Fire Departments Adopt a Zero Tolerance for Building/Business Inspections

Under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, Fire Prevention Officers are mandated to conduct fire inspections based on complaints and request and if possible establish a routine or proactive inspection program. Currently most Fire Prevention Inspections Program are driven primarily by complaint inspections.

According the St. Catharine’s Master Plan, “St. Catharines Fire Service has implemented a Zero Tolerance Procedure. The goal for St. Catharines fire inspections is to move from reactive (complaint) inspections to proactive (routine). A proactive inspection program is true fire prevention that will aid in reducing fire deaths”

As part of the ToronFire Safety Logoto Fire Department Master Plan 2015-2019, there will be a strong focus on Fire Prevention with the hiring of at least 25 fire prevention officers a year until 2017. In the master plan starting in 2015, Toronto Fire Department will develop and implement aggressive strategies for pre-incident planning, inspections and Fire Code enforcement focused on violations that impact the immediate life safety of buildings.

Toronto isn’t the only Fire Department whose Fire Prevention Department is experiencing growth.  Many Fire Prevention Departments are currently developing initiatives to work with residents and building/business owners in the community to become compliant with the Ontario Fire Code.   All building/business owners should also be proactive to make sure they are in compliance with the Ontario Fire Code.  Under section 2.8 of the code a Fire Safety Plan is required to be submitted to the Fire Department.

January 1, 2017 Compliance Date for the Qualifications of Persons Responsible for Implementing and Approving Fire Safety Plans in Vulnerable Occupancies

On June 1st, 2016 the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management sent out an e-bulletin regarding the January 1, 2017 date of compliance for the qualifications of persons responsible for implementing and approving Fire Safety Plans in vulnerable occupancies.   This is the fifth of the six stage compliance schedule for the requirements introduced through O.Reg. 150/13

As of January 1, 2017, Articles and of Section 1.2 (Qualifications) of Division C of the Fire Code, come into force.  Article requires persons responsible for implementing fire safety plans in vulnerable occupancies to have successfully completed a qualification course acceptable to the Fire Marshal.  Article requires Chief Fire Officials who are responsible for approving such fire safety plans to have also completed a qualification course acceptable to the Fire Marshal.

Ontario Regulation 150/13 amended the Fire Code (Ontario Regulation 213/07) to require that two groups of people successfully complete, before January 1, 2017, a course approved by the Fire Marshal in regard to their fire safety responsibilities.

  • owners and operators of care occupancies, care and treatment occupancies and retirement homes regulated under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010, or their delegates.  They are the persons having primary responsibility for implementing the emergency planning provisions of Section 2.8 (Division B) of the Fire Code in such facilities, including a fire safety plan.  These persons may also be known by other titles, such as manager, general manager, executive manager, executive director, chief executive officer, and chief operating officer.
  • chief fire officials responsible for approving fire safety plans for buildings containing care occupancies, care and treatment occupancies, or retirement homes.

It is not required that all supervisory staff (defined in the Ontario Fire Code) who work in vulnerable occupancies successfully complete a course approved by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. However, all staff must be trained and able to competently carry out their assigned responsibilities as specified in the buildings fire safety plan.