By E. Tan
It was comforting to hear the assuring statement by Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg: –
Officials say London inferno won’t happen in Toronto: Strict building codes and inspections should prevent similar infernos
Of particular interest here is the fact that the Fire Chief himself confirmed Fire Code refers to Building Code to determine building safety. In another word, building that contravened the building Code in fire safety also violated the Fire Code (under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997).
Unfortunately, an inquiry with Toronto Fire Prevention revealed the responsible staff actually didn’t know the very fact mentioned by Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg above, that Fire Code refers to Building Code to determine building safety.
Credit: Great London Fire 1666 Inferno
This is what happened: –
The fire hazards as reported in the previous posting (“Why London inferno will happen in Toronto”), which is posing safety risks to the public was reported to Capt. O’Connell of the Toronto Fire Prevention North Command.
Illegal Extension – Fire Hazards
The first thing he did was to inform us that “He won’t be giving any update on the safety hazards for privacy reason.”
After he was told there is No Privacy issue here, because Fire Hazards affecting safety of the public is not a private matter. The public has every right to know safety risks are being dealt with as stipulated by the law. For example,
Criminal Code of Canada (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)
219 (1) Every one is criminally negligent who
(a) in doing anything, or
(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.
ii) WILFUL AND FORBIDDEN ACTS IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN PROPERTY
429 (1) Every one who causes the occurrence of an event by doing an act or by omitting to do an act that it is his duty to do, knowing that the act or omission will probably cause the occurrence of the event and being reckless whether the event occurs or not, shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Part, wilfully to have caused the occurrence of the event.
At first, Capt. O’Connell responded by saying the same thing: “I won’t be giving update due to privacy issues.”
Two days later, he responded by saying: “We’ve cleared the file.” (I supposed the reason why he changed course and responded is because he finally realized the responsibility he has over public safety hazards as stipulated by the law).
I followed up by asking him politely “What do you mean by “We’ve cleared the file”? Does that mean the fire hazards have been eliminated, and the public can sleep in peace now?”
And what does Building Code says about the fire hazards?
Answer: The structure contravened the Building Code. Therefore, also violated the Fire Code.
In accordance to,
O. Reg. 332/12: BUILDING CODE
188.8.131.52. Openings in Exposing Building Face
(1) Except as provided in Sentences (3) to (7) and Sentence 184.108.40.206.(1), the maximum aggregate area of unprotected openings in an exposing building face shall,
(a) conform to Table 220.127.116.11.,
(b) conform to Subsection 3.2.3., or
(c) where the limiting distance is not less than 1.2 m, be equal to or less than,
(i) the limiting distance squared, for residential occupancies, business and personal services occupancies and low hazard industrial occupancies, and
(ii) half the limiting distance squared, for mercantile occupancies and medium hazard industrial occupancies.
(2) Except as provided in Sentence 18.104.22.168.(1), openings in a wall having a limiting distance of less than 1.2 m shall be protected by closures, of other than wired glass or glass block, whose fire protection rating is in conformance with the fire-resistance rating required for the wall.
In layman’s terms, it simply means: –
“Any opening (window/door) less than 1.2m (4ft) from the border/fence must have fire protection eg. Fire Curtain, and be constructed with non-combustible materials that have certain fire rating (that can withstand fire for certain amount of time) eg. Masonry Bricks.”
- The structure is within 0m (0ft) from the border, erected right on the border next to a wood fence that is connected to all the homes in that particular neigbourhood.
- The structure is built with combustible materials. It has no fire protection whatsoever.
- It’s therefore a Fire Hazard in accordance to the Building Code, violated not only the Fire Code, but also all safety related law.
This incident proves the responsible Toronto Fire Prevention staff either didn’t know Fire Code refers to Building Code to determine building safety, or perhaps he does. And he chose to mislead the public for reason unbeknownst to us.
The matter has since been referred to his superior.
- He certified a wooden garage (converted from an illegal carport) that has been confirmed by Toronto Building is a fire hazard (as defined by the Building Code) as COMPLETELY SAFE. Meaning as an “Acting Captain”, he too doesn’t know that Fire Code refers to Building Code to determine building safety.
- A firefigther is not authorized to inspect, let alone confirm building fire safety. Only authorized Fire Inspectors are allowed to inspect building for fire safety.
- He also goes around soliciting construction business, openly claiming he has connection with someone in the City who can help to build anything. You read it correctly – anything, even the proposed building is unsafe and illegal.
- Why London inferno will happen in Toronto
- London Inferno – “Posing Fire Risks & Killing A Few Is Okay”
- Is replacing OMB with Local Planning Appeal Tribunal a Boon or Bane?