10 Tips On How To Prevent Workplace Fire
According to recent studies, people who live in rented or shared accommodation are seven times more likely to fall victim to a fire. The Ontario Landlords Association has repeatedly emphasized to landlords how important it is to make fire safety a priority in your rental properties. Therefore, it is vital that landlords educate themselves on the dangers of fires spread and also actively take precautionary measures to prevent fires from happening on their property. This guide will outline eight fire safety tips for private and social landlords to ensure tenant safety in rented accommodation.
- Educate Yourself On Fire Safety Legislation
It is vital that landlords keep up to date with fire safety legislation in order to understand which legislation applies to their property. Landlords are responsible for their property to comply with all applicable requirements of the Ontario Fire Code. Under the Ontario Fire Code, it is the owner’s responsibility to comply with the provisions of the Code, in the case of a rental suite the landlord shall be considered to be the owner (Division B, Article 188.8.131.52. and Article 184.108.40.206., O. Reg 213/07 as amended).
- Conduct A Thorough Fire Risk Assessment
Landlords should also have a thorough understanding of the Fire Safety Code, which stipulates that there must be a listed ‘responsible person’ who complies with legislation and conducts fire risk assessments. Flame Resist Inc conduct risk management reports, flame tests and facility inspections. During the risk assessment and facility inspection, we list all fabric, furniture and fixtures referred to in the Fire Code, particularly in the lobby of the building.
- Flame Retardant Application
Based on the risk assessment report and facility inspection, the furniture and fabrics in the building need to be in compliance with the Ontario Fire Code. By applying flame retardant application to furniture and fabrics, particularly in the lobby of the building, the landlord can create more time for tenants to escape once a fire starts.
- Installing Fire Safety Systems
Landlords should be familiar with anti-fire products and should consider installing fire doors, fire blankets, fire extinguishers and fire alarms in each apartment. Fire alarm installation is not the end of the story either as landlords have a moral and legal responsibility, it is imperative that alarms are checked at the beginning of each tenancy. Landlords should also make their tenants aware of their responsibility of checking alarms once a week and cleaning them every three months.
- Implement A Smoking Policy
According to recent statistics, cigarette smoking is a leading cause of fires that cause injuries and deaths across the globe. For example, in Canada between 1980 and 1999 there were 3929 smoking-material fires, which resulted in 278 injuries and 67 deaths. This translates to 7.1 injuries and 1.7 deaths for every 100 smoking-material fires.2 3 Therefore, the risks from smoking-material fires represent a significant public health concern Landlords should consider implementing a smoking policy and alert tenants of the dangers or install smoking points with safe cigarette disposal spots outside of the property.
By keeping up to date with the Ontario Fire Code and understanding the legislation that applies to you, you as a landlord can take precautionary measure to ensure that you are in compliance with the Ontario Fire Code and most importantly, ensure that your building is safe from flame spread.