Canadian Underwriter

B.C. government proposes risk-based fire code compliance monitoring

February 16, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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A bill before the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia would, if passed into law, introduce an “administrative enforcement model” for fire safety compliance, the province’s Liberal government suggested Monday.

Transportation & Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone tabled Monday the Fire Safety Act, which, if passed into law, would replace the Fire Services Act.

The new act will establish an administrative enforcement model to address non-compliance issues in a “more timely and effective manner.”

“The new act will include changes to improve fire code compliance monitoring by making it risk based; enable local authorities to appoint fire safety personnel to carry out fire inspections, investigations and evacuations; and establish an administrative enforcement model to address non-compliance issues in a more timely and effective manner,” Stone told the legislative assembly in Victoria.

“The adoption of a risk-based model of fire code compliance monitoring will help local governments apply their fire prevention and inspection efforts where the need exists, preventing fires and providing for life safety where the fire risk is highest,” stated Timothy Pley, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia, in a release. Local government, Pley added, would be “empowered to exercise local government authority in mitigating imminent fire risk rather than the older system of referring those concerns to the provincial government for action.”

The government stated that the proposed law “takes into account a full range of feedback” from various groups, including the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, the Local Government Management Association, the Wildfire Management Branch, the Fire Training Officers Association, the Fire Prevention Officers Association of B.C and various groups representing firefighters.