Fire Protection In Toronto: What Do You Need?

fire extinguisher and hose reel in hotel corridor

If you own a business in the GTA, you know that there are certain fire codes by which you must abide, and licensed fire protection companies in Toronto can provide you with what you need. But what if you aren’t a business owner, do you still need to be concerned about fire safety products? The answer is a resounding yes!

If you are a homeowner or renter, you might not be thinking about fire protection, but you should. On average, 85 people die every year in Toronto due to fire, and most of these deaths occurred in residential structures. Furthermore, in most cases, these deaths could have been prevented if proper fire safety measures had been in place.

Toronto Homeowners

Fire codes are much different for homeowners, especially those in a single family home as opposed to a duplex or condominium. For instance, businesses are required to have items such as sprinklers and many other complex fire safety features, while homeowners don’t have to follow these strict guidelines.

However, if most deaths due to fire occur in homes, and most fires could have been prevented quite easily, then homeowners can do a great deal to keep themselves safe from harm. The majority of fire deaths occur in homes where smoke alarms and smoke detectors are not working, and in homes without safety gear such as fire extinguishers.

So, what do you need to buy from fire protection companies in Toronto? Your home needs a proper number of smoke alarms and smoke detectors. Typically, you need detectors on every storey of your home, especially in hallways outside of bedrooms and in the kitchen, the laundry room and any room with a fireplace. Every home also should have one or more carbon monoxide detectors, depending on the size of the home.

You also need to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and it’s wise to keep an extinguisher in the garage as well as each bathroom and perhaps the laundry room. Any area of the home where fires might occur should have an extinguisher. Fire experts also encourage homeowners to place extinguishers in each bedroom, as these can be used to clear an escape route if a fire breaks out.

Additionally, if your home features multiple storeys, it’s wise to purchase a fire safety ladder to make it easier for your family to escape if the stairway is blocked by fire or smoke. If your home is older and features knob and tube wiring, contact a licensed Toronto electrician (such as ourselves) and upgrade your electrical wiring. For one thing, this old wiring cannot handle the electrical load of today’s homeowner and, secondly, this wiring will deteriorate over time and may become a fire danger.

Toronto Renters

When it comes to rental units, the fire codes vary depending on the size and type of the building. If you are renting a single family home, your landlord should have installed a proper number of smoke and fire detectors, but it’s wise to make a count yourself to ensure that you have the correct amount. In many cases, your landlord also should have carbon monoxide detectors installed.

In some units, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to check these detectors frequently to ensure that they are in working order and to maintain these alarms and in others, it is the landlord’s responsibility.

Landlords might have to ensure that each storey of a building has a fire extinguisher; they aren’t required to supply them inside each individual apartment unit. Therefore, tenants in all types of buildings should ensure that their home or apartment is equipped with a proper number of fire extinguishers.

With an apartment, for instance, you might keep one extinguisher in the kitchen and one in each bedroom and one in the bathroom. These don’t have to be large extinguishers; typically a 2.5 lb. or 5 lb. ABC extinguisher will be perfect.

Whether you buy extinguishers yourself or your landlord (kindly) has supplied these extinguishers for you, be sure to check the gauge on the extinguisher to ensure that the needle is in the green section of the gauge.

For smoke and fire alarms or detectors, the type of alarms you will have may vary because of the size of your rental unit. As one example, buildings with a certain number of residents or storeys will need to have sprinklers installed, while a landlord renting a duplex or single family home might not be required to have sprinklers.

Generally, in large apartment communities and large apartment buildings, many of the fire and safety systems will be interconnected and managed through a main system. These systems are inspected, as required by law, to ensure that the owner is in full compliance with Ontario fire codes.

The best thing Toronto tenants can do is head to the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations website and search for “fire safety.” This will lead you to a link their publication, The Fire Code: An Overview for Tenants. The information provided in this document helps you quickly identify what type of fire safety measures need to be in place, what your landlord must provide and steps you can take to ensure your safety.

Toronto Businesses

All Toronto businesses must comply with Ontario fire codes. Of course, these codes vary widely depending on the type of building and number of storeys. For instance, an industrial building will need to meet different standards than a one-storey stand-alone business.

Keep in mind that fire safety is not just about the steps you take inside the structure. Landscaping also can play a part in fire safety, and there are codes regarding landscaping that you need to follow. For some buildings, especially in urban areas, landscaping is not as much of an issue. But if your facility is in area prone to wildfires, landscaping can go a long way to improving overall fire safety.

If you are a new owner of a business or facility, the best thing to do is to become familiar with the regulations regarding your type of business and to schedule a fire safety inspection. This ensures that you are meeting or exceeding the fire code and that everyone is your building is as safe as possible.

Fire Safety Planning

Toronto business and large housing communities, as well as hospitals and other facilities, are required to have fire safety plans. These plans must be placed in special fire safety plan boxes. While homeowners aren’t required to create a safety plan, it can be an excellent idea to create a family disaster plan and discuss this plan with your family members.

Whether you own a business, rent an apartment or own a house, it’s wise to set aside a time to practice your safety plan so that all residents and employees know precisely what to do and where to go in an emergency. Fire and safety drills can go a long way to ensuring safety and keeping everyone as calm as possible in an emergency.

If you are searching for fire protection companies in Toronto, Tesla Fire Systems can provide you with just about any item you might need. Our selection includes multiple types and sizes of fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms, fire safety plan boxes, emergency & exit lighting and more. We also can provide you with extinguisher refills, fire alarm installation and repairs, sprinkler installation and even electrical services and repairs. No matter what you need, the team at Tesla is here to help, so shop online or give us a call today.