Why do I need a fire code consultant when I can just call my local fire department and ask for clarification?
Good question! Why pay for a service when you can get it for free…. well, not actually free.
Fire safety inspectors are extensively trained in understanding and applying the code. Whereas Firefighters have limited experience with the code as their training centres around the suppression of fires and first response.
Calling and speaking to a local firefighter will not necessarily get you the information you need. Especially as each situation is unique and onsite review of your property is generally outside the scope of a firefighter’s role.
Reaching out to your fire department’s prevention division might also not produce the hoped-for results. Fire safety inspectors generally carry a heavy case load and will not have a great deal of time to assist in a meaningful way. As well, their role is clearly defined as code compliance enforcement officers and not consultants. This is to limited the liability of both the individual inspector and of their department/city. Generally, you will not receive a visit from an inspector unless a complaint has been made or your property has been identified as requiring inspection. If this is the case you may be issued a violation notice. Which is very costly. If you request an inspection and a violation is noted you will be given a strict deadline and little guidance on cost effective ways to address the deficiency.
Fire code consultants allow you to get ahead of this process by identifying your unique needs and the sections of the code that apply to your situation. Consultants will work with you to determine cost effective ways to meet the code requirement, something that is outside the mandate of your local fire inspector.
Unified Fire Protection Consultants can quickly and effectively determine which areas of the Ontario Fire Code apply to your unique situation and work with you to achieve compliance in a cost-effective manner.
Those 6 sprinklers that the fire inspector may have told you were mandatory may not be required if you just close off that one door
You may not have to have interconnected smoke detectors if you close off the underside of that back stairway
If you fill in those two windows you won’t have to move the external fire escape stairs two feet over
These are all ways UFP Consultants have helped our many clients work with the code to protect both lives and their investment.
We look forward to working with you to navigate the OFC together.