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How to Comply with the Ontario Fire Code

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The Ontario Fire Code (OFC) compliance requirements are designed to protect lives and structures through fire emergency protection and prevention laws. Even the basic regulations of fire extinguisher training is an important part of fire safety.

What Is the Ontario Fire Code?

The Ontario Fire Code is the first step towards fire prevention and fire protection by outlining requirements, guidelines, and regulations in the province. It is a regulation under The Ontario’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA).

The OFC provides the standards commercial and residential buildings must follow in terms of fire safety. It encompasses the technical, electrical, and mechanical requirements for the internal, external, and structural components of buildings. The local municipal fire department enforces the OFC in communities.

Who Is Responsible for Complying with the Ontario Fire Code?

Fire safety and the Ontario Fire Code guidelines are everyone’s business. It is designed to protect lives and property by holding everyone accountable. The following people and organizations must comply:

  • Building owners
  • Occupants and tenants
  • Employers
  • Contractors and developers
  • Property managers
  • Municipal fire departments
  • Local fire authorities
  • Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General
  • Fire inspectors and officials
  • Fire safety coordinators

The Importance of Complying with the Ontario Fire Code

  • Protect Lives: The Ontario Fire Code includes requirements for safe evacuations through the use of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire escape access.
  • Prevent Fires: To reduce the potential for fire incidents, the Ontario Fire Code has regulations for the storage of flammable materials.
  • Reduce Fire Damage: The Ontario Fire Code contains requirements for the construction of buildings with fire-resistant materials to help lessen fire damage.
  • Protect the Environment: As flammable materials can lead to hazards and damage to the environment, the Ontario Fire Code includes requirements for the disposal of said materials.

General Requirements for Complying with the Ontario Fire Code 

  • Regular inspection and testing of fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers
  • Fire escape plan
  • Frequent fire drill practice
  • Offer fire safety education and training to occupants and employees
  • Fire-resistant building materials as per code standards
  • Electrical systems and heating equipment that meet fire safety standards
  • Regular fire inspections to ensure compliance and obtain necessary certifications
  • Temporary fire safety measures for construction or renovation projects

More Specific Requirements for Complying with the Ontario Fire Code

There are structures that require additional and more specific conditions than others. Commercial buildings require:

  • Fire alarm systems monitored by a central station
  • Self-closing fire doors
  • Fire extinguishers located throughout the building

Residential buildings require:

  • Smoke alarms on every level of the home
  • Carbon monoxide detectors in all sleeping areas and near heating devices
  • Fire escape plans accessible to all occupants

Consequences of Non-Compliance of the Ontario Fire Code

  • Fines and Penalties: Neglect or failure to adhere to any portion of the OFC will result in hefty fine and penalties, dependent on the severity of the offense. Any repeated violations can lead to more serious consequences.
  • Closure Orders: These serious consequences, and in situations where the non-compliance is a potential risk to one’s life or property damage, can lead to the temporary closure of the business or residency. Under the orders of the Fire Marshal, the closure may remain until all concerns are addressed.
  • Legal Liabilities: In addition to fines and/or possible loss of revenue if a closure occurs, a property owner could be served with a lawsuit if any damage or injury occurs because of the violation.
  • Insurance Implications: A business or residency organization has a legal obligation to carry appropriate insurance. With an OFC non-compliance order, there is a risk for a premium increase and/or cease of coverage by the insurance company.
  • Reputational Damage: While some business owners believe “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, with a violation of a fire code, it can adversely affect the business’ reputation. Whether the situation is intentional or not, an order from the Fire Marhsal can see a decline in the public’s trust of the business or organization.
  • Increased Fire Risk: The OFC is designed to help prevent the risk of fire incidents. By not complying with the guidelines and policies, a business or organization is putting lives at serious risk. All regulations are in place to protect against property damage and injury.
  • Difficulty Obtaining Permits: Once an order by the Fire Marshal has been placed, it may be difficult for certain businesses and residences to access building and zoning permits once the order has been lifted.
  • Corrective Action Costs: Depending on the reason for the non-compliance order, the costs to rectify the matter can be significant. Business and residence owners may need to install and upgrade fire safety equipment which can cost thousands of dollars on top of potential fines.
  • Legal Action by Authorities: With the OFC, government and fire authorities have the right to take legal action if an upper level of safety and security has been found to be in non-compliance. This can see legal proceedings take years to complete, adding extra expenses.
  • Criminal Charges: Legal actions involving criminal charges may arise with particular non-compliance violations. If a fire incident results in injury, property damage, or loss of life, the owners of the structures involved could be charged.

Meet Ontario Fire Code Compliance Requirements with Our Training Program

The Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) offers comprehensive Ontario Fire Code (OFC) training for supervisors and staff. We have an extensive line of programs and courses for firefighter training certification.

The Supervisory Staff and Ontario Fire Code is a half-day training program under our emergency service professionals grading designed for superintendents, property and building managers and owners. This program outlines the legal responsibilities under Section 2.8 of the OFC.

For more information, contact us with this form and we will be pleased to speak to you!

Mastering the Maze: Navigating Complex Industrial Firefighting Scenarios

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Industrial firefighting involves complex firefighting scenarios that command the very best of firefighter training for the health and safety of all involved.

Most industrial businesses and organizations have a dedicated team of firefighters trained in combating high hazardous fires in multi-level buildings with confined spaces. An industrial fire scenario occurs in any business facility such as a manufacturing complex that uses, stores, and/or produces hazardous chemicals and fuels.

Challenges in Industrial Firefighting

Much like any other fire situation, industrial fires present a unique set of challenges. Below are some of the most common challenges fire personnel deal with.

  • Industrial Infrastructure and Layout: As industrial settings often have multi-layer and multi-level layouts, industrial firefighters must be able to navigate the vast spaces, including confined areas, during an emergency response. 
  • Specialized Equipment and Suppression Techniques: With the presence of chemical waste, hazardous waste, and combustible fuels in business settings, industrial firefighters must have access to specialized equipment. Having proper training for use of said equipment and suppression techniques can be the difference between life and death.
  • Electrical Systems and Power Hazards: Industrial firefighters have to contend with high voltage electrical systems that lead to power hazards during any form of an emergency response. Understanding how to tackle these situations with the proper equipment can introduce new challenges as technology changes.
  • Chemical Management and Hazardous Materials: The management and suppression of fires due to the chemical components of the hazardous materials requires constant education and training in the identification of such materials.
  • Team Coordination and Incident Command: During an emergency response to an industrial fire or situation, the firefighters face communication challenges as various resources are key in the management of a response. 
  • Continuous Training and Preparedness: As no two industrial fires are the same, it is pertinent that all firefighters and counterparts are adequately trained and prepared for any and all fire and rescue-related scenarios. Continuous training through education is crucial.

The Role of New Technology in Industrial Firefighting

Firefighting strategies can only improve by integrating the latest technology into training for industrial firefighters.


The use of drones in emergency response is the perfect example of how advanced technology can be used to save lives and property. Special equipment drones have the ability to combat dangerous fires where hazardous chemicals and toxic fumes restrict firefighters. Drones also give industrial firefighters the advantage of accessing aerial imagery that can improve firefighting.


Extensive training, knowledge, and resources cannot always protect the health and safety of industrial firefighters. Use of robotics to replace the firefighter in extremely hazardous situations is becoming increasing popular in various departments. With sensors to detect smoke, heat, fire, and the presence of unseen human beings, robotics are the best choice to send into complex scenarios. 

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality technology has been used in everyday settings and has become a gamechanger in fire rescue. AR thermal vision cameras can be a lifesaving tool for industrial firefighters in low vision fire situations. To enhance the safety of the firefighters, specialized AR technology has been developed for such scenarios.

Artificial Intelligence

The continuing advancement of AI in firefighting is significant. AI has the ability to analyze the behaviour of a fire before it begins to spread. Training industrial firefighters to use various AI tools introduces new strategies to save time and lives.

Essential Certification Training Required for Industrial Firefighters

The Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) offers extensive training and certification for firefighters of all fields and industries. We offer several industrial firefighter certifications for new and veteran members.

NFPA 1001 Level 1 and 2

New firefighters can begin their training and certification with this course offered in-house and online. The NFPA 1001 Level 1 & 2 involves use of FESTI’s unique training facilities with active fire scenarios, search and rescue, firefighting survival, ladder drills, and auto extrication.

Hazmat Training

FESTI offers several training programs for hazmat training in response to emergency situations. We have the Hazardous Materials Officer Program, Hazmat Scene Management, CBRNE Hazardous Material Awareness, NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Operations, NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Awareness, and NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Technician.

Confined Space Rescue Training

This course uses practical training to address hazards of rescue in confined spaces. FESTI offers the Basic Industrial Confined Space Rescue, Confined Space Entry Certification, and Confined Space Entry Recertification.

Standard First Aid, CPR Level “C” with AED

This two-day certification program is for the responders first on the scene of an emergency. The Standard First Aid, Level C CPR and AED involves training and use of real-world tools and equipment.

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

The EMR program gives practical assessments and interventions for proper patient care from a firefighter or other emergency responder.

Enroll in Our Specialized Industrial Fire Fighter Training Courses Today!

Contact FESTI to enroll in our industrial firefighter training programs and accreditations. We are located at Toronto Pearson International Airport as we are part of the fire service onsite. Check here to access more details on our training college. To learn more about our courses, contact us today by filling out the form here.

How to Become a Fire Inspector in Canada

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Looking for a rewarding and exciting career? Become a fire inspector to help keep the general public safe by reducing the risks of fires. Working with fire departments, private companies, or government departments, a fire inspector ensures the safety of all structures as per Ontario Fire Codes and Ontario Building Codes.

What’s the Difference between a Fire Inspector and Fire Investigator?

While their titles may sound similar, fire inspectors and fire investigators actually serve different purposes within the firefighting community.

Fire inspectors are responsible for checking buildings and ensuring they meet safety codes, while fire investigators are trained to determine the cause of a fire after it has occurred. Both roles are critical in keeping Canadians safe, and it’s important for the public to understand the difference between these two vital positions.

Minimum Qualifications to Become a Fire Inspector 

  • Post-secondary education in Fire Protection Technology, Building Science, Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, Criminology, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Successful completion of NFPA 1031, Level 1
  • Possess a current and valid minimum Level C, CPR Certificate, Standard First Aid Certificate
  • Possess a valid Ontario Driver’s License Class “G”
  • Pass in-house entry level TFS exam on Fire Protection and Prevention Act, Provincial Offences Act, Building Code Act, Ontario Fire Code, Ontario Building Code, related legislation and By-Laws and other related material

What Are the Responsibilities of a Fire Inspector?

  • Conducts fire and safety inspections
  • Address fire code contraventions
  • Complies with orders issued by the Ontario Fire Marshal
  • Issues Orders pursuant to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act
  • Prepares summonses pursuant to the Provincial Offences Act
  • Receives complaints, inspects, and tests fire protection equipment and systems
  • Provides evidence in Provincial Offences Court, Fire Safety Commission, Coroner’s Inquests and tribunals, criminal/civil proceedings etc.
  • Performs public relations activities on fire prevention and life safety to members of the public
  • Reviews and recommends for the approval of Fire Safety Plans
  • Exercises all powers as a Provincial Offences Officer
  • Participates in pre-incident planning
  • Performs administrative activities

Steps to Become a Successful Fire Inspector

Meet the Minimum Education Requirements

To become a fire inspection, you need to meet basic educational requirement and have specialized certification training under The National Fire Protection Association. A high school certificate or recognized equivalent may be sufficient to become a firefighter in training with some organizations. Fire inspector requirements usually demand post-secondary courses in conjunction with experience as a firefighter.

Gain Relevant Work Experience

To be a great fire inspector, it helps to have first-hand knowledge and experience with various types of fire scenarios. Those who were firefighters before becoming a fire inspector have the advantage of understanding the behaviour of fires. All levels of firefighting will be an asset to the career path of a fire inspector.

Obtain Certifications and Licenses 

Each Canadian province and territory may have its own particular set of certifications and licenses for a fire inspector. In Ontario, all fire inspectors require certification with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The targeted agency may also require specific certifications. This includes NFPA 103 – Fire Inspector I, NFPA 472 awareness, Fire Code Part 2 and 6, Fire Code Part 9, Courtroom Procedures and Legislation, and NFPA 1035 – Fire, and Life Safety Educator I.

Apply for Fire Inspector Jobs

A certified fire inspector works for and with various government departments, on municipal, provincial, and federal levels. These positions are seen within fire departments, city code enforcement agencies, and trade organizations.

Participate in Ongoing Education and Training 

Once certified, it is important for firefighters to continue their studies and access knowledge by participating in ongoing training. The National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) require standards and qualification examinations for fire inspectors.

Gain Experience in a Variety of Areas

Knowledge is power, as is experience. Holding various positions and performing tasks within the fire department can help firefighters gain experience in the field. Fire inspectors may take on the roles of firefighter, fire chief, building inspector, or even a code enforcement officer before beginning their career as a fire inspector.

What Is the Average Salary of a Fire Inspector in Canada?

With accredited firefighter training and a fire inspector certification, new fire inspectors may start with a base salary of $58,474 per year with experienced fire inspectors seeing up to $89,956. In Ontario, fire inspectors average a yearly salary of $74,964.

How FESTI Can Help You to Become a Fire Inspector

The Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) offers an online credited fire inspector course under the NFPA 1031 Level I certification program. Over approximately 12 months, candidates will learn fire safety, codes, standards, and compliances, fire protection systems, inspections, investigations, suppression systems, and the legal responsibilities.

NFPA 1031 Certification Program (Level I)

The NFPA 1031 course in Ontario encompasses five separate co-requisite courses all of which are accredited by the Office of the Fire Marshall.

Ontario Fire Code Part 2 & 6

The Ontario Fire Code Part 2 & 6 plays a major role in the NFPA 1031 Level I certification program. This course focuses on the establishment of a fire safety plan, elimination of potential fire hazards, and ensuring all life safety systems are in place.

Ontario Fire Code Part 9

One of the challenges for any fire inspector is understanding the integrated components of high-risk occupancies. These buildings are categorized under retrofits, which is a huge part of the Ontario Fire Code.

Fire Inspection & Legal Procedures

Our Fire Inspection & Legal Procedures program involves the legalities in relation to fire safety inspections under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act and the Ontario Fire Code. As part of the NFPA 1031 Level I certification, candidates will take part in 13 weeks of the online course.

Don’t Wait to Start Your Fire Inspector Training – Enroll Now!

As a leading firefighter academy, FESTI provides a range of comprehensive courses and programs for those in the fire and emergency services. Corporate training and team building programs are also available and can be customized to meet the demands of your group.

FESTI is located within Canada’s largest international airport, Toronto Pearson, and is part of the airport’s fully operational fire service. All practical training courses are offered onsite with our state-of-the-art facility. Contact us for more information.