How much does a fire safety violation actually cost you?
We know that fines are trending up in frequency and amounts, as part of a plan to discourage fire code violations in Ontario. But it can seem ambiguous unless you are the one facing the violation. For perspective, we’ve tracked recent fines involving property owners, businesses and industrial settings in Ontario.
Fines for recent workplace safety violations involving fires in Ontario include:
- Magna Exteriors & Interiors Corp. of Brampton, Ontario (a manufacturer of plastic automotive parts) was fined $80,000 on June 1, 2015 after one of their workers suffered burns on the job. The court found that Magna failed to ensure safety measures and procedures were carried out as required by law. In addition to the fine, a 25% surcharge was imposed on the company under the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharges go to a government fund which assists victims of crime.
- On May 19, 2015, Jay Patry Enterprises, Inc., (a construction company contracted to work on a residential project in Kingston, Ontario) was fined $74,000. The structure caught fire, requiring a crane operator to be rescued by military helicopter. An investigation found an inadequate assembly of standpipe (which serves as a fire safety measure) was installed at the site. To comply with Section 57, hose valves should have been fitted to the hose outlets on the standpipe at every level up to the fifth storey of the new construction. At the time of the fire, they were only installed on the ground floor. Additional fines were levied against the crane company in a separate case and the 25% victim fine surcharge was applied.
- Linamar Corp. (operating as Vehcom Manufacturing in Guelph, Ontario) was fined $100,000 on April 17, 2014 after an employee was burned. While replacing cooling fans in a capacitor panel, a fan fell and made contact with an exposed power terminal. An arc flash was created, burning the worker. An investigation found the employer did not adhere to requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act with regard to protective equipment. The 25% victim fine surcharge was applied.
- Vomar Industries, Inc. of Manitoba (then operating as Tank Traders in Smithville, Ontario) was fined $55,000 on March 28, 2014. The charges came from a 2010 fire involving three trucks and 30,000 propane tanks. The company was found guilty of failure to take reasonable precautions for storage of their propane cylinders and mishandling damaged or leaking cylinders. The 25% victim fine surcharge was applied.
Attention-getting fines for property owners in Ontario:
- Saickley Enterprises, owner of 16 Ottawa high-rise apartments was fined $75,000 in July 2014 for multiple violations of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
- Konstantin Lysenko, individual owner of an illegal rooming house in Toronto was fined $75,000 for multiple fire code violations after a fatal fire resulted in the death of his tenant.
- The unnamed individual owner of an illegal rooming house in Toronto was fined $370,000 for fire code violations that resulted in severe burn injuries for a tenant.
Significant fines for other businesses in Ontario:
- An auto recycler in Flamborough was sentenced to jail for unpaid fire code violations and un-addressed fire safety requirements going back two decades and fines totalling $65K as of April 2014.
Want more information about the specific costs of violating the Fire Protection and Prevention Act? The Ontario Court of Justice has published a schedule of fines, which was recently updated in April, 2015 to reflect new fines. You can also contact Rohen Fire or your local fire authority to do a walk-through of your property for potential fire safety issues.
Read more about the costs of fire safety noncompliance here: