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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.

Why Fire Extinguisher Training Is Important to Comply with OSHA Regulations

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Practical fire extinguisher training is essential to save lives in any type of fire scenario. Most homeowners and all workplaces have one or more types of fire extinguishers strategically located throughout their homes/properties. Knowing how to properly use one in an emergency situation is a valuable life lesson.

Most people are familiar with the portable fire extinguisher and how to use one—the acronym PASS is helpful to remember (pull pin, aim low, squeeze lever slowly, sweep side-to-side). But knowing when to use a fire extinguisher and the type of fire a fire extinguisher is designed for is also important.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that all employers provide operational fire extinguishers within their place of business. Furthermore, OSHA has also published a list of regulations to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of the general public when it comes to using fire extinguishers.

OSHA Regulations About Fire Extinguisher Training

  • Employees must be trained in use of fire extinguishers when first hired and once a year thereafter.
  • Fire extinguishers are to be identified with above signage indicating location.
  • Fire extinguishers must be accessible without obstructions.
  • All fire extinguishers must be OSHA-approved.
  • Fire extinguishers must be charged, operational, and in their designated place when not in use.
  • Fire extinguishers cannot contain carbon tetrachloride or chlorobromomethane.
  • Fire extinguishers must be mounted on brackets or in wall cabinets with the carrying handle placed 3-1/2 to 5 feet above the floor.
  • Fire extinguishers require a monthly visual inspection of all portable extinguishers.
  • Mandatory annual inspections and periodic maintenance inspections must be documented for all fire extinguishers.
  • Employees are prohibited from handling portable fire extinguishers unless trained.

Who Should Get Fire Extinguisher Training? 

To comply with OSHA regulations regarding fire extinguisher use, all employees within an organization—regardless of their position or type of employment—should be trained on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. This training should include educating employees on which type of extinguisher to use for specific fires and how to operate the device safely and effectively.

Do Firefighters Also Need Fire Extinguisher Training?

Part of regular firefighter training involves proper management and use of all types of fire extinguishers. Each and every fire truck has standardized fire extinguishers. Having this knowledge and experience allows firefighters to effectively educate the general public or the community on how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

What Are the Different Fire Classifications?

Fires are classified based on the type of fuel and material within the combustion. Each type is assigned a classification letter.

  • Class A fires refer to the basic combustibles of paper, wood, cloth, plastics, and rubber.
  • Class B fires involve flammable and combustible liquids, tar, oils, petroleum greases, solvents, lacquers, oil-based paints, flammable gases, and alcohols.
  • Class C fires are those of electrical equipment nature.
  • Class D fires include combustible metals of titanium, sodium, lithium, magnesium, potassium, and zirconium.
  • Class K fires are common kitchen appliance-related fires with combustible cooking matters such as vegetable and animal oils and fats.

What Is the Difference Between a Portable vs. a Wheeled Fire Extinguisher?




Size and Weight

Smaller, lightweight and compact

Large, bulky and heavy

Fire Suppression Capability

Limited suppression capacity for small fires

High suppression capacity for large fires

Fire Class

Class A, B, and C fires

Class A, B, C, D and K fires

Suitable For

Offices and homes

Industrial facilities, warehouses, and commercial buildings


Water, foam, wet chemical, dry chemical powder, vaporizing liquid, carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide, dry chemical, halons, dry powder, AFFF-type foam pre-mix solutions


One person

Multiple persons

FESTI’s Fire Extinguisher Training Programs

The Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) is a world-class college offering certification programs and courses to emergency personnel and corporate members. We have two accredited fire extinguisher training certificate courses.

Portable Fire Extinguisher Training

Our Portable Fire Extinguisher training program teaches the science behind fire ignitions, the various classes of fires, and proper extinguishing techniques for a successful outcome. With videos and live fire scenarios, students will gain the knowledge and confidence to react in a safe and effective method.

Wheeled Unit Fire Extinguisher Training

Our Wheeled Unit Fire Extinguisher training program is designed for those working in industries that involve use of large fuel loads. The introductory material of Portable Fire extinguisher training program is included in this course.

Get Fire Extinguisher Training Today to Protect Your Workplace and Employees

As a private career college, FESTI provides the highest standards of certification and education for all emergency response personnel. Our location at Canada’s largest airport of Toronto Pearson International Airport allows our students to immerse in training with the members of the airport’s fully operational fire service.

Contact us here with any questions, concerns, or for more information on our variety of programs, including our onsite fire extinguisher training.

The Life-Saving Significance of Trench Rescue Training for Firefighters

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Trench rescue training is often considered a high skillset for firefighters, with many departments reserving it for a select few of their members. However, firefighter training actually encompasses specialized training for all firehouse members to ensure the community receives comprehensive, effective service.

A trench rescue involves a specialized emergency response to people trapped within an enclosed or confined space. It can happen on public and private properties where any form of excavation is occurring.

Firefighters work to rescue victims by providing emergency care while securing the area and the trench walls for a safe, effective rescue.

Hazards of Trench Rescue Operations

Part of trench rescue training involves preparing firefighters for the hazards involved in this kind of emergency operation. So, let’s go over some of the risk scenarios that will be covered in trench rescue operations instruction.


A cave-in is a common result of trench accidents. This occurs when the area’s walls become unstable and collapse inwards. This scenario is especially hazardous when there’s a victim trapped in the trench.

Limited Access 

Whether the collapsed trench is within a building or on the grounds of a property, there can be a high chance of limited access to the danger zone. Trenches can be deep and narrow, limiting the ability to perform rescues.

Limited Visibility 

Regardless of whether the accident occurs during daylight hours or after dark, a trench rescue is often performed in pitch-black or dark conditions. This can increase the risk of danger for both the rescuer and the victim.

Hazardous Materials 

The location of the trench may expose the victim and rescuers to dangerous materials. For instance, chemicals and hazardous waste may be stored in nearby tunnels or bins.


Aside from the danger of a trench collapsing and sending debris onto the victim, these narrow and confined spaces may lack adequate oxygen supply.


Trench rescues may involve the risk of electrocution due to utility wires and cables buried beneath the ground or within the collapsing walls of a building.

Machinery Accidents 

Building and road construction sites are notorious for trench collapses. This is because the heavy machinery used to move dirt and debris increases the  risk for trench accidents.

Fatigue and Stress 

The rescuers’ existing physical or emotional state can add to the dangerous situation of a trench collapse. Let’s not forget that the physical demands of a trench rescue can lead to fatigue and stress. 

Why Trench Rescue Training Is Essential for Firefighters

Now that you have a better idea of the risks involved with trench rescue operations, here’s an overview of why getting proper training for these situations is so critical:

  • Saves lives: Trench rescue courses provide fire and emergency personnel with the education and proper training required to save lives.
  • Provides safety: Firefighters and emergency personnel need to be able to keep themselves and their team members safe during a hazardous situation to be able to help others. 
  • Complies with regulations: Trench rescues are dangerous for all involved. This type of rescue requires strict scrutiny and regulations to ensure all safety measures are adhered to for the victims and firefighters. 
  • Enhances skill set: With the increasing use of rescue equipment and techniques, it’s vital for firefighters to update their skills regularly. And this is especially true with trench rescues.
  • Provides a comprehensive service: A trench emergency can happen at any time at construction sites, abandoned buildings, and near waterways. Having the skill set to attend any rescue is part of the comprehensive services the local community expects.
  • Improves response times: Proper trench rescue training helps firefighters respond quickly and safely to any dire emergency with successful outcomes.
  • Prevents accidents: While firefighters cannot predict what will happen during a trench rescue mission, they can identify security issues that may lead to serious accidents or even death. This form of training and education can reduce such incidents as trench accidents.
  • Builds teamwork and trust: As with any training program, the knowledge received can help develop a bond of trust and reliability between fire team members.
  • Increases community safety: Trench rescue training programs are another step in a firefighter’s role in keeping the community safe.
  • Meets community needs: By offering the community comprehensive and reliable service, firefighters can better meet the needs of those they serve.

FESTI’s Trench Rescue Training Course Programs

The Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) offers trench rescue training for firefighters among its programs for fire and emergency services.

NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Operations

Candidates are required to have current Standard First Aid, CPR-C, and AED training before beginning the NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Operations program. This course teaches the fundamental techniques to rescue people trapped in a basic trench measuring no deeper than eight feet.

NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Technician

The NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Technician program requires candidates to hold valid Trench Rescue Operations certification before starting this five-day training. This course focuses on rescuing victims from complex trench emergencies through classroom learning and hands-on rescue training at our mock-up area.

NFPA 1006 Machine Rescue

Our NFPA 1006 Machine Rescue program requires candidates to hold pre-requisites of Standard First Aid with CPR Level C. With the advanced technology of machinery, it is vital for firefighters to be aware of and trained in rescue tactics involving emergency machine situations.

This course involves managing resources, incident and scene surveys, site operations, hazard and fire control, victim and rescuer protection, disentanglement and removal of victims, and building mechanical equipment operation.

Rescue Training Facilities at FESTI

FESTI offers a wide array of certification programs at our unique training location at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario.

Our facility has received certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It is the world’s most widely used green building rating system and is recognized as a symbol of sustainability achievement.

We have modern in-classroom facilities in conjunction with training buildings. These include a confined space building, a rescue tower, a burn building, an auto extrication area, and a machine rescue area.

Our aircraft training mock-up area, hazardous materials training site, and a Trans Canada rail car (dubbed TransCAER CCPX 911) for superior training.