Fire Code compliance is less like picking up an insurance policy (mostly a “done” item after you secure a policy) and more like accounting. Accountants must balance books on an ongoing basis, keep up with changing Codes, and do work that requires subject-matter expertise to be done properly on a consistent basis. Much like fire protection professionals.
Ongoing Fire Code compliance is also like accounting in that it’s extremely detail-oriented, requires record keeping, its repetitive — some might say monotonous— and vulnerable to audits. It has the potential for major negative financial repercussions when a detail is missed.
If you regard fire protection providers as you would most skilled tradesman, you are missing the boat. Carpenters don’t need to stop by and re-confirm that your floors are still beautiful and structurally sound on a weekly or monthly basis. Other service professionals will do a great job (hopefully) and be done. Your fire protection provider, however, will be back to check on his work regularly and make sure everything is still working . . . that you are protected. It’s an ongoing commitment.
Business owners see the benefits of accounting services. After all, reputable accountants protect your money, make sure you are paid timely and correctly, help you avoid overpayments, and maintain your records so that you are protected in the event of an audit.
A good fire protection partner works much the same way. They protect your occupants and assets from costly damage. They make sure your equipment is serviced timely and correctly. They help you find the most cost-effective path to compliance based on your business needs, so that you don’t pay more than you need to. And, they maintain your records so that you are protected in the event of a compliance audit. When you consider the whole costs of fire and noncompliance fines, investing in quality fire protection services looks smarter and smarter.
How to keep your business or property compliant with Ontario Fire Code:
- Get a fire protection partner you can trust. Learn how to find a good one here.
- Do a walk-through of your building with this trusted professional.
All buildings are different. While the Fire Code applies to all buildings, its application varies depending on age, height, occupancy and other factors. Many times you may be able to weigh options of different paths to compliance and different associated costs. You need someone who not only knows the code but is able to help you find your best path to compliance based on your business needs and resources.
How to stay compliant with your Fire Code obligations as a business owner in Greater Toronto:
- Get an updated Fire Safety Plan which includes ongoing servicing.
- Be sure you understand the delegation of responsibilities and what your obligations are.
- Educate your employees and tenants about do’s and don’ts to protect your fire safety investment.
While a big part of Fire Code compliance may be accomplished through limited-time projects such as installation of an alarm system, sprinkler system or construction-related updates, it also requires ongoing, documented maintenance work. So, choose your fire protection provider with the same care you would an accountant!
How do I find out about local resources for Fire Code compliance & fees?
Here are some links that may be helpful to you:
- Barrie’s Schedule of Fees for Fire and Emergency Services (pdf)
- Toronto’s Fire Service Fees and Charges (pdf)
- Niagara Falls Permit Fee Summary (pdf)
- St Catharine’s Fire Guidelines FAQs for New Businesses
- Why Fire Sprinkler Testing & Maintenance is Smart Business for Toronto
- Greater Toronto: What are the Business Costs of Fires & Fines?
- 13 Potential Hazards in Your Toronto-Area Medical Facility
- What to Look for in a Fire Protection Services Provider
Get Our MONSTER LIST of Questions for Fire Safety Providers: