Fort Erie Property Owner Fined $1750 for Fire Safety issues

DATE: July 31, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Melanson, Fire Chief
TELEPHONE: 905.871.1600 ext. 2600

The Fort Erie Fire Department attended the property 1500 Stevensville Road to follow-up on a complaint.  During the inspection, Fire Prevention Inspectors identified several fire safety issues on the property.  To remedy these issues, Inspectors issued an Inspection Order pursuant to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) which legally directed the property owner to make certain repairs on the property to eliminate the fire safety issues.  The Inspection Order requires a property owner to make repairs within a prescribed time period.

Efforts were made to work with the property owner to bring the property to compliance. Unfortunately, following the prescribed time period the necessary repairs were not completed.  Accordingly, the Fire Prevention Inspector initiated a prosecution against the property owner for failing to comply with an Inspection Order.  On Wednesday, July 19, 2017 the property owner was fined $1750 plus victim fine surcharge and court costs in accordance with the FPPA following a guilty plea.

The Ontario Fire Code has numerous requirements for fire safety in many different types of occupancies.  Fire Prevention Inspectors are legally obligated to ensure property owners maintain their properties in accordance with those requirements.  The Fire Department will endeavor to work with property owners to achieve compliance on their properties.  However, if compliance is not achieved within a reasonable time period despite the leniency of the Fire Department a prosecution will result.

The Fort Erie Fire Department reminds residents that contraventions of the Ontario Fire Code and the Fire Protection and Prevention Act will not be tolerated.

3 thoughts on “Fort Erie Property Owner Fined $1750 for Fire Safety issues

  1. Sandra Wallace

    this would be a lot more helpful if you provided examples of what is required to meet code requirements. Let’s make this a true learning experience. Thank you

    1. Town of Fort Erie Post author

      Thanks for your comment. The FEFD releases various public education messages pertaining to common Fire Code issues the department deals with (e.g. smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms etc.). The Fire Code is a lengthy regulation with hundreds of requirements for various types of occupancies and buildings. If you have a particular question regarding a fire safety issue, please contact the FEFD at 905-871-1600 x 5600 and they would be happy to assist.

  2. Ben Vander meer

    It is truly unfortunate that such a one sided incomplete article is posted on social media by someone that has never been on site or contacted me. If anyone is curious about what actualy went on please contact me. I would be more than willing to explain this debacle or show you the facility. I take pride in keeping up my facility and maintaining it’s safe environment for everyone that enters it.

    What is failed to be mentioned in this article is the fact that the town and the fire department are only interested in covering their backside. They “pass the buck” quickly and only have one answer to your question. That answer being “the code says” no on is able to think outside the box and come up with solutions that efficiently and financially meet the requirements. They say they are only concerned for my safety. Sadly that’s not the case.

    This debacle started when a disgruntled boarder here at the farm decided to just be miserable and make my life more difficult by calling the town and complaining. As I learned when they showed up here, the bylaw that changed in may 1976 says an apartment is no longer allowed to be constructed above a barn. Well that presented a problem for myself and my three kids. Of course the town doesn’t look into this to remedy they put it on you. I found someone that knew of the apartment prior to May of 1976 that would sign a legal affidavit for me stating this. With that hoop jumped through now the town brings the fire department. As codes have changed the barn did not have the proper fire separation between the stable area and the apartment upstairs. This is where the situation fell apartment. Fire department says there is a problem and I need to fix it. I ask what can we do ? They say check with the town. I check with the town, they say have an architect draw up a solution. I presented the town In a meeting with a solution of an advanced early warning system that is designed for harsh environments which had the capabilities of being connected directly to the fire department. This they said was a great idea but I still had to put drywall on the ceiling of the barn. Above the horse stalls. This will hold up well I am sure. I also had to pull up all my flooring in the apartment because it was 3/8 of an inch shy of being a Rated floor assembly. So up came all of my flooring and 3/8 was installed then all of my flooring put back down. Then in the barn the 22 steel support columns that hold up the two main beams needed to be sprayed with an intumescent paint so that in the event of a fire they will take longer to twist and become structurally unsafe causing the upstairs to collapse into the barn.
    Then the two beams above theses 22 columns needed two layers of type x drywall. This is where all of the barn electrical and plumbing run.

    If only the fire department and town of fort erie understood the scope of this project and common sense could have been used. They ask for a 1 hour fire separation between the barn area and the living space. In case of a barn fire, all this plywood and drywall and intumescent paint will do nothing. I will have died from smoke inhalation long before this 1 hour fire separation does anything.

    Thank you to the prosecutor and justice of the peace for understanding the scope of this project and the time and effort it took to be able to operate the facility with 60 horses here and many people in and out every day. This has been almost $15,000 and two years …….. for nothing. I am still looking into installing the early detection system for the safety of myself and my kids. Which sadly will cost about what I have already thrown away to complete this project to this point because “the code says”

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