Does the building still meet Code?

Compliance with the Ontario Fire Code is often interpreted incorrectly by landlords, owners, real estate agents, law firms and the general public.

Have you ever heard someone say, “The building was built to code”? What that person has implied is that the building was constructed to meet the minimum requirements of the Ontario Building Code at the time of construction.

All buildings constructed today must meet the minimum requirements of the 2006 Ontario Building Code prior to occupancy.  Building inspectors employed by the local authority having jurisdiction continually conduct site inspections at specific intervals of the construction.  This ensures that applicable minimum codes and standards are being met by the builder or contractor.

Once a building is completed and passes final inspection an occupancy permit is issued.  The Ontario Fire Code then applies once the building is occupied.  The Ontario Fire Code is often referred to as the companion document to the Ontario Building Code.

Although both codes are quite similar the Ontario Fire Code is designed to ensure that fire protection equipment and fire emergency procedures for all occupied buildings are properly maintained and not altered.

Over time, the Ontario Fire Code requirements evolve and buildings undergo renovations that are often performed by an owner or landlord without applying for a building permit. An unknowledgeable handyman or contractor can inadvertently violate fire code regulations such as altering a means of egress, increasing travel distances or compromise fire separations that place the occupants at risk.

If you’re buying or selling a building, working as an agent in a building transaction or just want to ensure your building meets today’s requirements, contact and request an inspection by a qualified and experienced inspector.