Life Safety Inspections

Life Safety Inspections are inspections of apartment and multi-unit dwellings to ensure that the building meets all fire codes, and is safe for tenants. Inspections are conducted by the Fire Prevention & Investigation Division on a regular basis, with certain properties inspected more frequently.

Landlords’ fire safety and maintenance checklist

The following list contains the major fire safety requirements for life safety systems and exiting for your building:

  • Exit lights and emergency lighting shall be tested monthly. Bulbs and batteries replaced as required.
  • Fire alarm systems shall be inspected and tested yearly and records kept.
  • Automatic sprinkler systems shall be inspected and tested quarterly.
  • Fire extinguishers shall be serviced annually and records maintained.
  • All doors to stairwells, service rooms, etc., shall be kept closed and latched at all times. Monthly checks are required to ensure proper latching and door operation.
  • All exits and exit paths shall be kept clear. Snow must be cleared from any external exits, and fire escapes must be kept clear of ice and snow.
  • Occupant loads as posted shall be strictly complied with at all times.
  • If renovations or other work is done, plans are required to be submitted to the Office of the Fire Marshal. Check prior to performing any work.
  • Fire drills shall be conducted yearly and records kept, in conformance with the fire safety plan. The fire safety plan is required to be reviewed annually, and any changes made included in staff/occupant education.

Non-compliance of any of the above items may result in a life safety risk for the occupants and could result in legal action. Negligence that leads to or contributes to a fire can lead to criminal charges. Remember, ignorance of the law is no defence.

Tenants’ responsibilities

As a tenant, you should be aware of the fire and life safety systems in your building. Not all buildings are required to have fire alarm or sprinkler systems, and not all fire alarm systems are required to be monitored. If you smell or see smoke, sound the alarm, evacuate, and call 911.

The law requires smoke alarms to be installed in every dwelling unit. It is an offence to tamper with any fire alarm system, including the smoke alarms within an apartment. If you have a problem with the smoke alarm in your apartment, you should contact the building superintendent or owner.

If you require a life safety inspection, please contact the Fire Prevention Division.