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Greater Sudbury

Fire Prevention

Greater Sudbury Fire Services provides fire prevention information, services and programs. We conduct fire inspections, resolve fire safety concerns, enforce the Ontario Fire Code and specific municipal by-laws, issue permits, and review and approve construction plans for fire safety issues.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher can help you put out a small fire before it turns into a large one. Read the instructions and use the correct type of extinguisher for the fire you are fighting. If you use the wrong type of extinguisher, you can endanger yourself and make the fire worse.

Types of Extinguishers:

  • Class A: fires started with paper, wood, drapes and upholstery.
  • Class B: fires originating from fuel, oil, paint, grease, and other flammable liquids.
  • Class C: fires started with wiring, fuse boxes, conductors, and other electrical sources.
  • Class D: dry powder extinguisher to fight certain metals such as magnesium and sodium.

Extinguishers rated ABC Multipurpose provide the required protection for most types of fire.

Numbers are also used for Class A and B fire extinguishers. The larger the number, the larger the fire the extinguisher can put out. 

Buying and maintaining an extinguisher:

  • The extinguisher should be labeled by the Underwriter’s Laboratories of Canada (ULC).
  • Recharge it after use.
  • Store it near an exit and away from any source of heat or fire.
  • Keep it in plain view and out of reach of children.

Remember P-A-S-S:

  • Pull out the locking pin, breaking the seal.
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire about 3 meters from the fire.
  • Squeeze the trigger handle all the way, the release the extinguishing agent. 
  • Sweep the contents of the extinguisher from side to side, moving front to back, across the base of the fire until it appears to be out

Only fight a fire if:

  • the fire is small and not spreading
  • occupants have been alerted and have left or are leaving the building
  • 9-1-1 has been called
  • you have a clear escape route that won't be blocked by fire
  • you know how to operate your extinguisher

Don't fight a fire in any other circumstance. Leave the premises immediately, close off the area and call 9-1-1 from a neighbour's house.

How many fire extinguishers do I need?

Assess your needs and provide accordingly. Place an extinguisher in the kitchen which has many ignition sources. If you have a wood burning stove or a fireplace, place an extinguisher between the hazard and the exit, so you never get trapped when retrieving your extinguisher.

Inspections

The role of the Inspectors is to enforce the minimum life safety standards of the Ontario Building Code and the Ontario Fire Code within all buildings in their jurisdiction. Authority to conduct inspections is derived from Part two of the Ontario Building Code and Fire Protection and Prevention Act - "Assistance to the Fire Marshal". In addition, occupancies that require special licenses such as tents and outdoor activities have to be inspected on a regular basis.

This component of the Fire Prevention and Public Education enforces various codes, performs routine safety and complaint inspections, deals with mandated code compliance issues, enforces some municipal by-laws, issues permits, reviews and approves construction plans, site plans and subdivision/development agreements. Fire safety planning and plan review are important functions of this service. Fire safety plans provide instructions and procedures for dealing with the various aspects of fire safety relating to a specific building or property. When designed and implemented correctly, they can significantly reduce the incidence of fire and its impact. The Fire Service assists owners with this responsibility

In addition, the Division presents several education and safety programs on fire prevention policy, facilitates smoke alarm initiatives and provides access for media. Both, Learn Not to Burn Preschool & Curriculum Programs are used extensively throughout the community. Other areas that are addressed are Seniors, Home Fire Safety, Evacuation Procedures, Fire Extinguisher Training, Industrial Fire Safety and Girl Guide Fire Safety.

Fire Prevention and Public Education are mandated by the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. The goal is to reduce the threat of fire to the public and lessen the impact of fire on the community.

Inspections 


Inspections ensure that buildings in Ontario comply with the Ontario Fire Code. The Code states that new and existing buildings must be built and maintained to be fire-safe.

Specific inspections are required for:
  • lawyers' letters for property sales,
  • certification for public garages,
  • liquor licences,
  • public-hall licences,
  • demolition permits,
  • fire-safety plans, and
  • fire routes
Fire-safety inspections can be initiated three ways:
  • public complaints
  • firefighter-identified fault
  • owner's request
  • regularly scheduled

Plans Review

The Plans Review is part of the Fire Prevention Mandate and ensures that all fire and life safety requirements of the Ontario Building Code and the Ontario Fire Code are addressed prior to the issuance of a building permit.

As part of the development process, the Plans Review Section reviews drawing submissions for fire access routes, site servicing, fire alarm systems, automatic fire sprinkler systems, emergency power systems, emergency lighting systems, specialized process operation and protection, sub-division agreements, land division agreements and committee of adjustment rezoning applications.

Working with hundreds of different codes, regulations, acts and legislation, staff must keep their knowledge level current, accurate and of a high standard in order to deal effectively with professional architects and engineers on a weekly basis.

Residential Wood Heating

Woodburning systems must operate under a variety of conditions during each heating season, and these different conditions create the need for a number of maintenance tasks. For example, the slower burning needed in fall and spring when heat demand is low, tends to result in more rapid creosote formation in the flue pipe and chimney. Chimney cleaning is usually needed more often in spring and fall. On the other hand, wood- burning appliances operate closer to their maximum heat output during the coldest winter months, creating stresses on internal components. Many of the modern wood heaters have internal components that can wear out because of their exposure to high temperatures. These components can be replaced.

One of the best ways to ensure that your wood heating system gets the maintenance it needs to be safe and effective is to hire a fully-trained professional chimney sweep. A professional sweep will clean the system top to bottom and report any problems to you. The sweep might suggest that it is time to replace the flue pipes, catalytic combustor, or door gaskets and will probably be able to do the work for you when the time comes. Your wood heating retailer may also offer sweeping and maintenance services.

Here are the most important maintenance tasks to consider as you look over the condition of your wood heating system:

Clean and inspect the chimney and flue pipes


The chimney and flue pipes must be checked regularly until rate of creosote build-up is determined. Chimney fires usually occur because the user was surprised at how fast the deposits developed. Check them often and clean when the deposits have built up to more than 4 mm (1/8"). Older systems, or ones that experience smoldering fires too often can need cleaning as often as every three weeks. Most modern systems operate so efficiently that cleaning is needed only once a year. Never assume the chimney is clean; check it often to be sure. During maintenance it is a good idea to check the condition of the chimney and flue pipes to determine if there has been any deterioration. Check the flue pipes for corrosion that can weaken the joints. Look for corrosion or rust stains on the outer shell of a metal chim- ney, and check for bulges or corrosion in its liner. When inspecting a masonry chimney, look for black or white stains on the outer bricks, and cracks or missing pieces in the chimney liner. Always check the condition of the chimney in hidden spaces including the attic, wall and chimney chase areas where corrosion and other deterioration can occur. The most thorough cleaning and inspection of the system should be done in the spring just after the heating season is over. If you leave deposits in the system, the warm humid summer air will cause corrosion of steel parts. Cleaning and inspection in spring will also give you plenty of time to order replacement parts and do any repairs that are necessary before the fall heating season begins. If you see any problems during your cleaning and inspection, have the system thoroughly inspected by a qualified chimney sweep and repaired before continuing to use it.

Replace door gaskets and other seals


These gaskets and seals are used by the appliance designer to control the location and flow rates of air into the appliance. Leaky seals will reduce the efficiency of the unit. Some gaskets may need replacement as often as once per year, and others may be fine for several years of use. All gaskets and seals should be checked at least once per year during a thorough maintenance check and perhaps once during the heating season.

Replace baffles or catalytic combustors


Components inside the combustion area of modern wood-burning appliances are exposed to extremely high temperatures and may deteriorate with use. Catalytic combustors and internal baffles may last as little as one year, or as many as four years, depending on how the appliance is used. If in doubt about when to replace these parts, check with your chimney sweep or wood heating appliance retailer.

Maintaining door glass


The door glass in modern wood burners is not glass at all, but a transparent ceramic material that can withstand very high temperatures. It is very unlikely that the 'glass' will break because of heat, but if it is struck with a hard object, it will break. Always go back to the store where you bought the appliance or to its manufacturer for replacement glass so you are sure to get the right size, shape and material. This ceramic glass will need cleaning at least every week or two. Wait until the appliance has cooled before cleaning the glass. Usually, a damp cloth or paper towel will remove the ash dust or light brown stains. For darker more stubborn stains, you can buy special stove glass cleaner that removes the stains easily and does not scratch the surface. Don't forget to replace the door glass gasket if it gets worn.

For Additional copies of this publication write to:

Energy Publications 
c/o Canada Communication Group Ottawa, Ontario K1A OS9

Fax: (819) 994-1498

Telephone: 1-800-387-2000; In Ottawa: 995-2943
or
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Canadian Housing Information Centre 700 Montreal Road Ottawa, Ontario KlAOP7

Tel: (613) 748-2367 Fax: (613) 748-4069 

For information on cleaner, safer and more efficient wood burning practices go to:
www.burnitsmart.org

Retrofit

Retrofit legislation as described in part 9 of the Fire Code addresses the upgrade of existing buildings. Under part 9 of the Fire Code, corrective action may require some construction, renovations or additions. The owner must submit plans, obtain necessary permits, and have all of the work approved by the local Building Code officials. The buildings concerned include:

  • assembly occupancies
  • rooming houses
  • health - care facilities, and
  • multi-unit residential buildings.

Since the application of these regulations, all City of Greater Sudbury health - care facilities, most local rooming houses and some urban - assembly occupancies have completed the retrofit process.

To date, most high-rise apartments have been inspected and are in various stages of completing compliance with the Code. Because there are more buildings than resources, it may take years before some of these structures meet minimum safety standards.

Residential buildings with two dwelling units must also meet the retrofit safety regulations. They must have:

  • an electrical inspection by and subsequent approval from Ontario Hydro
  • inter-connected smoke alarms
  • fire separations
  • adequate exits.

Smoke Alarms