Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services: Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Fire Code Relating to Hazardous Extraction Operations in All Buildings and to Hazardous Cannabis Extraction Operations in Farm Buildings
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997
Summary of Proposal:
In anticipation of cannabis legalization, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services undertook a review of Ontario's Fire Code to ascertain if there was a need for new requirements relating to the cannabis industry. The review identified a few opportunities to strengthen requirements relating to certain hazardous operations that may be present in some cannabis and other processing industries.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is therefore seeking public input on proposed changes to the Fire Code that will apply to floor areas or portions of floor areas within buildings that contain extraction operations where flammable liquids, combustible liquids or flammable gases are used as extraction solvents. These changes will also apply to floor areas in farm buildings but only where the extraction operation specifically pertains to cannabis processing.
The proposed changes to the Fire Code are intended to:
- Enhance public fire safety and the safety of fire service personnel.
- In some areas more closely align Ontario Fire Code requirements with the National Fire Code.
- Provide fire services with Fire Code requirements that can be readily enforced to address activities that may pose fire safety hazards.
The proposed changes to the Fire Code will consist of the following:
- In buildings with floor areas or portions of floor areas that contain extraction operations where flammable liquids, combustible liquids or flammable gases are used as extraction solvents, new requirements for:
o Door release hardware for exits and access to exits,
o Egress aisles,
o Prohibited locations,
o Fire safety planning and other miscellaneous requirements.
- Ventilation requirements for processes involving flammable gas.
- A revised farm building exemption requiring that all proposed Fire Code changes noted above, apply to portions of floor areas within farm buildings that contain cannabis extraction operations that involve use of flammable liquids, combustible liquids or flammable gases as extraction solvents.
The proposed Fire Code change pertaining to prohibited locations is proposed to come into force upon filing of the regulation, while the remaining proposed changes will come into force on July 1, 2019.
Please see the attached Code Change documents for further information.
These proposed changes may entail a consequential amendment to Ontario's Building Code to reference applicable provisions in the Fire Code as they apply to new or renovated farm buildings that contain cannabis extraction processes where flammable liquids, combustible liquids or flammable gases are used as extraction solvents. This consequential amendment, should it proceed, would be consulted on separately by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs at a future date.
The proposed changes to the Fire Code reflect advice the Ministry received from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) led by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM). The TAC included representation from fire services, the cannabis industry, various government ministries and safety authorities.
Public consultation is part of the process for amending the Fire Code. The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services welcomes your comments and feedback on this proposal.
October 22, 2018
Comments Due Date:
November 21, 2018
Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management
Technical Services Section
25 Morton Shulman Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M3M 0B1