It is unlikely that a home inspector has the expertise, or qualifications, to conduct an inspection for fire code compliance. For a small fee, St. Catharines Fire Services will conduct an inspection for compliance with the Ontario Fire Code.
Only the St. Catharines Fire Prevention office retains records regarding fire code violations on properties within the city.
As the owner, you will assume responsibility for all violations of the fire code. Failure to comply can result in a fine of up to $50,000 per violation and you will also have to complete the required work to bring the building into compliance. In addition, there could be insurance concerns with a non-compliant property.
The Ontario Fire Code is a maintenance document. This means that it is used to ensure that the building continues to be maintained in a fire safe manner.
It is your responsibility to ensure compliance with this code at all times. In addition, future changes to the code may require you to perform additional upgrades to the property. Generally, major changes are accompanied by a period of time in which to perform the work.
Inspections can be arranged through the Fire Prevention Office by calling 905-688-5601, ext. 4224.
All inspections, as well as file searches, require the written permission of the present owner. This will allow the release of information about outstanding violations on file, as well as the findings of the on-site inspection. There is a small fee for the on-site inspection. Arrangements for inspections should be made as far in advance as possible to allow for scheduling.
Inspections by fire services are to confirm compliance with the Ontario Fire Code. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to ensure compliance with all other regulations such as building, zoning, parking, property standards, etc. Fire inspections of the property are conducted as it exists at the time of inspection with the assumption that the property meets all other applicable regulations.