Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services: Public Consultation on the implementation of Technical Advisory Committee Recommendations to Enhance Fire Safety in Occupancies Housing Seniors, People with Disabilities and Vulnerable Ontarians
Regulation - Other
Bill or Act:
Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997
Summary of Decision:
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is amending Ontario Regulation 213/07 under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
Ontario is the first province to make automatic sprinklers mandatory in care homes for seniors, homes for people with disabilities, and vulnerable Ontarians.
Mandatory sprinklers are part of amendments to the Fire Code and Building Code that will improve fire safety in these occupancies. Other improvements include:
?Enhanced fire inspections and staff training
?Annual validation of fire safety plans by local fire services
All licensed retirement homes and most private care facilities will have up to five years to install sprinklers. Some care and treatment facilities, including public long-term care homes, will have an 11 year phase-in period to coincide with redevelopment plans scheduled to be completed by 2025.
The amendments are based on recommendations made by the Technical Advisory Committee led by the Office of the Fire Marshal and public consultation.
January 14, 2013
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing are seeking public input on proposed changes to Ontario's Fire Code and Building Code and implementation of other related actions aimed at improving fire safety in residences for seniors, people with disabilities and other vulnerable Ontarians.
The proposed Code changes and related actions to improve fire safety are based on expert advice the ministry received from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) led by the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM). Recommendations from the TAC have been incorporated into the ministry proposal within the following categories:
The TAC included representation from fire services, building officials, owners and operators of residences for vulnerable occupants, advocacy groups, professional and trade associations, and impacted Ontario ministries.
The scope of the TAC's review related to care occupancies and care and treatment occupancies as defined in the Fire Code and Building Code. These types of occupancies include long-term care homes and hospitals and may also include retirement homes, group homes and supportive housing where residents receive treatment or other forms of special or supervisory care for cognitive or physical limitations.
Care occupancies and care and treatment occupancies have been subject to several fatal fires over the past 25 years. While the Building Code prescribes comprehensive fire safety standards for new construction of care occupancies and care and treatment occupancies, including mandatory automatic sprinkler protection, Coroner's Jury verdicts into some of these fires have identified the need for additional fire safety features, particularly for existing buildings that pre-date the introduction of the enhanced standards in the Building Code.
Recommendations from the TAC have been incorporated into proposed Fire Code and Building Code changes, including:
- A phase in of enhanced fire safety features, including mandatory sprinklers for all existing care occupancies with more than four occupants, all retirement homes regulated under the Retirement Homes Act and all long-term care homes;
- Enhanced fire safety features, including mandatory sprinklers, for all newly constructed retirement homes regulated under the Retirement Homes Act consistent with those already required for other vulnerable occupancies; and
- Enhanced fire inspections and fire safety training
Public consultation is part of the process for amending the Fire Code and Building Code. The Ministries of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Municipal Affairs and Housing are asking for input from residents of care occupancies and care and treatment occupancies, their families and associations who play important roles in ensuring the safety of seniors, people with disabilities and vulnerable Ontarians.
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
25 Grosvenor Street
January 1, 2014