Fire Safety Plans


Many Buildings are required to have a fire safety plan prepared and submitted to the authority having jurisdiction for review/approval. Each plan is customized to the individual building based on the occupancy and life safety systems in the building.

The Ontario Fire Code (Section 2.8 – Emergency Planning) requires a fire safety plan to be prepared for:

  • Group A (assembly) occupancies
  • Group B (care, care and treatment and detention) occupancies
  • Group C (residential) occupancies (With an occupant load exceeding 10)
  • Retirement homes
  • Group D & E (business, personal service and mercantile) occupancies (With an occupant load exceeding 300)
  • Group F – Division 1 (high hazard industrial) occupancies (With an occupant load exceeding 25)
  • Group F – Division 2 (medium hazard industrial) occupancies (With an occupant load exceeding 100)
  • Group F – Division 3 (low hazard industrial occupancies (With an occupant load exceeding 300)
  • Buildings containing 4 or more storeys (including below grade)
  • Outdoor tire storage yards
  • Buildings containing flammable and combustible liquids exceeding 500 L or 250 L of Class I liquids
  • Laboratories where flammable or combustible liquids are used or handled
  • Boarding, lodging or rooming houses regulated by section 9.3
  • Buildings used as a convalescent home or children’s custodial home providing sleeping accommodations for more than 3 persons
  • Recreational camps regulated under the Health & Protection and Promotion Act

Who is responsible?

The fire safety plan must be:

  • Developed by the owner
  • Approved by the Chief Fire Official
  • Implemented by the owner
  • Reviewed at least annually but at intervals not greater than 12 months to ensure that it takes account of changes in the use and other characteristics of the building
  • Kept in the building in an approved location

The Ontario Fire Code defines an owner as:

“Any person, firm or corporation having control over any portion of the building or property under consideration and includes the persons in the building or property”

For example in a condominium, the corporation would be considered the owner in respect of the building features i.e. sprinklers, separations, etc..  However, the person or persons running/maintaining the building could also be considered “owners” in regard to the Fire Safety Plan, inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection equipment, etc…

What is a Fire Safety Plan?

A Fire Safety Plan is a unique document tailored to the individual needs and resources of a specific property.  Fire protection begins with good planning.  A strong Fire Safety Plan, when properly implemented, protects building occupants, reduces damage and helps reduce the likelihood of emergencies.  It helps building occupants gain confidence and familiarity with emergency procedures.

A Fire Safety Plan shall:

  • Provide for the emergency procedures to be followed in case of fire, including;
    • Sounding the fire alarm,
    • Notifying the fire department,
    • Instructing occupants on procedures to be followed when the fire alarm sounds,
    • Evacuating occupants, including special provisions for persons requiring assistance,
    • Procedures for use of elevators, and
    • Confining, controlling and extinguishing the fire
  • Provide for the appointment and organization of supervisory staff to carry out fire safety duties,
  • Provide for the training of supervisory staff and the instructions of other occupants in their responsibilities for fire safety,
  • Include documents and diagrams showing the type, location, and operation of the building fire emergency systems,
  • Provide for the holding of fire drills and set out fire drill procedures,
  • Provide for the control of fire hazards in the building,
  • Provide for the maintenance of building facilities provided for the safety of occupants, and
  • Provide for alternative measures to be provided for the safety of occupants during a shutdown of any or all fire protection equipment or systems.

Submission and Approval Process

Once prepared, a Fire Safety Plan is required to be submitted to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (municipal Fire Department) for review or approval.

Plans are required to be kept in the approved location to be available for Fire Services Personnel when they respond to your building, typically where it is readily accessible (Near the FACP).  A copy of the approval letter from the Authority Having Jurisdiction must be kept with the Fire Safety Plan at all times. 

Fire Safety Plans are required to be reviewed at least annually to ensure that all information contained within is up to date and applicable. Where changes have occurred, the plan is required to be updated accordingly.

Qualpro Management Inc