Experts agree that Every building needs a Fire Safety Plan

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Commerical Criminal Code

The Criminal Code and Fire Safety Planning

The importance of a Fire Safety Plan (FSP) cannot be emphasized enough. Recent civil court decisions resulting from fire losses have placed financial responsibility on building owners for not having or not following existing FSP's. These awards far exceed the cost of producing, implementing and maintaining a Fire Safety Plan. In addition, amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada arson legislation have placed criminal liability on building owners who do not act with due diligence.

Section 436 (1)
Every person who owns in whole or in part, or controls property is guilty of an indictable offence for a term not exceeding five years where, as a result of a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would use to prevent or control the spread of fires or to prevent explosions, that person is a cause of a fire or explosion in that property that causes bodily harm to another person or damage to property.

Section 436 (2)
Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (1), the fact that the person has failed to comply with any law respecting the prevention or control of fires or explosions in the property is a fact from which a marked departure from the standard of care referred to in that subsection may be inferred by the court.

As a building owner, it makes good business sense to mitigate risks to your tenants, your building and yourself. While the above reflects potential punitive actions, everyone’s main goal should be to ensure the voluntary and effective adoption of a Fire Safety Plan to minimize potential damage to property or loss of life.