Media Release- Fire Safety Prevention

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2008

Re: Fire Safety

Toronto – City of Toronto Councillor Anthony Perruzza to introduce a motion asking City Council to endorse the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all new residences built by the City of Toronto, and that City Council ask the Province of Ontario to amend the Ontario Building Code to require all future residential dwellings to install fire sprinkler systems.

Two fires occurred within the span of two weeks in York West residences with tragic consequences. Such tragic deaths could arguably have been prevented had there been sprinkler systems installed in these homes.

Currently, the 2006 Ontario Building Code does not require that sprinkler systems be installed in newly constructed residential buildings. Since the creation of a municipal by-law in Vancouver requiring the installation of sprinklers in new residential developments, there have been no fire-related deaths in sprinkler-installed homes. In addition, the National Fire Prevention Association has reported that in the United States no multiple deaths have been recorded in residential buildings with functioning sprinkler systems.

For more information, contact Tom Rakocevic in the office of Councillor Perruzza:
416-338-5335.
trakoce@toronto.ca
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NOTICE OF MOTION

FIRE SAFETY MEASURES

Moved by: Councillor Perruzza

Seconded by:
Councillor Augimeri

SUMMARY:

Currently, the 2006 Ontario Building Code does not require that sprinkler systems be installed in newly constructed residential buildings. Since the creation of a municipal by-law in Vancouver requiring the installation of sprinklers in new residential developments, there have been no fire-related deaths in sprinkler-installed homes. In addition, the National Fire Prevention Association has reported that in the United States no multiple deaths have been recorded in residential buildings with functioning sprinkler systems. Based on direction from Council, the Fire Chief has requested the Provincial government to amend the Ontario Building Code to require the installation of sprinkler systems in future residential dwellings. Two fires with tragic consequences occurred within the span of two weeks in Wards 8 and 9 residences. Such tragic deaths could arguably have been prevented had there been sprinkler systems been installed in these homes.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. That the Fire Chief consult with the Provincial government to amend the Ontario Building Code to require residential fire sprinkler systems in all new residential dwellings.

2. That all future residential units built by the City of Toronto install fire sprinkler systems.

3. That City Council request the Board of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation to consider:

(i) the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in all future housing developments;

(ii) consulting with Toronto Fire Services to develop a comprehensive education program with an emphasis on fire safety programs for TCHC tenants;

(iii) working with Toronto Fire Services to develop and implement a pilot project to determine the most appropriate smoke alarm type: ionization or photoelectric smoke alarms to be used in existing TCHC units.