Every business in the Greater Toronto Area needs to comply with Ontario Fire Codes, and scheduling Toronto fire inspections is crucial. The scope of these inspections varies based upon the type of business you have and the type of building where your business is located, but here’s a basic idea of what to expect.
Keep in mind, that many residential buildings also need to be inspected, as well as government buildings such as schools. All of this might seem like a hassle, but complying with fire codes is the best way to ensure the safety of your employees, customers and residents.
What Is Inspected?
In general, the following items are what will be looked at during the inspection process. In some cases, your building or type of businesses might be exempt from needing certain fire protection devices, such as a fire hood suppression system. These are needed for restaurants and other businesses with industrial kitchens, but obviously not for a clothing store or financial planner, etc.
1. Fire Extinguishers
Every business, no matter how small or large will be required to have a set amount of extinguishers and specific types of extinguishers. During your fire inspection, Toronto inspectors will ensure that you have the correct number of extinguishers and the correct type of extinguishers.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, they will check to see if each extinguisher is charged and ready for immediate use. Inspectors also ensure that each extinguisher is easily accessible. After all, if you have extinguishers but they can’t be accessed in a matter of seconds, they aren’t of much use.
Did you know that if you use just a tiny bit of extinguisher chemical, your extinguisher needs to be refilled and recharged? Even if you don’t use an extinguisher, it needs to be refilled every six years. We can refill and recharge any type of extinguisher you might have.
As a business owner, you also should be inspecting your extinguishers regularly. Check each extinguisher and ensure that the needle on the pressure gauge is in the green area, which indicates that the device is charged and ready to go. Also ensure that each extinguisher is accessible. Keep records of these monthly extinguisher checks, so that fire department officials can see that you are in compliance with Ontario Fire Codes.
2. Fire Alarms
Fire alarm systems vary greatly. A giant hockey stadium, for instance, will have a much more sophisticated system than a small, one-storey bookshop. No matter how big or small your system might be, inspections are required by Ontario Fire Codes.
During an inspection, the inspectors check to see if your control panel is in good working order, as well as any manual pull stations. They also check smoke detectors and all of the components of your fire alarm system. If something is not working or perhaps you are not up to current fire codes, your inspector will identify all problems areas so that you can schedule repairs and upgrades.
3. Fire Suppression Systems
Many businesses and residences are required to have fire suppression systems installed. This might include sprinklers or, in the case of restaurants, fire hood suppression systems. The number of sprinklers varies upon the size of your building and the type of businesses and during your fire inspection in Toronto, the team of inspectors will ensure that each sprinkler is working and that the entire system is up to code.
Fire hood suppression systems at restaurants must be inspected at least twice each year by a licensed service technician. The owner of the restaurant also should inspect the system each month to ensure that the system is working and that grease and debris are not building up on the hood, which greatly can reduce the effectiveness of the suppression system. During this monthly inspection, be sure to inspect nearby fire extinguishers to ensure they are charged and unobstructed.
4. Emergency Lighting & More
Many buildings in Canada are required to have exit and emergency lighting installed, and this will be part of the fire inspection. Toronto business owners also should conduct their own monthly inspections check that lights are working throughout the building.
Inspectors also look at the means of egress in your building or facility. This simply means that you need to provide easy exit access for all employees, customers and residents in any facility. In general, your business will be required to have at least two means of egress or exit.
Many larger facilities obviously will be required to have many more than just two exit options. Let’s go back to that hockey stadium. Obviously, a large stadium, filled with thousands of people would not be in compliance if there were just two means of egress. The inspector will ensure that you meet or exceed the number of exits required and that exits and hallways are clear and easily accessible for everyone, including those that might have mobility issues, such as people who must use wheelchairs.
Homeowners aren’t subject to the same fire codes and inspections as businesses and landlords, but it still makes sense to ensure that your home includes a myriad of safety devices. Homeowners definitely should have several fire extinguishers as well as working fire and smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Fire suppression systems, such as sprinkler systems, also can be installed for extra protection.
How To Schedule
You can schedule Toronto fire inspections with your local fire department or you can hire a licensed service for fire inspection in Toronto. At Tesla Fire Systems, we can provide you with fire hood suppression certifications, provide fire extinguisher inspections and refills and install or repair fire alarm systems and suppression systems.