Fire inspections are important for the safety of the public, people who live and work in buildings and for firefighters who may have to enter the building in an emergency situation. It is imperative that in an emergency, all building occupants are able to get out in a safe and timely manner.
The British Columbia Fire Services Act requires that all “Public” buildings are inspected on a regular system of inspections. The Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service inspects all public buildings on a one or two-year rotational basis, or sooner if required.
During a fire inspection, the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service is checking to ensure the buildings and the process and/or occupants are meeting the requirements of the current edition of the British Columbia Fire Code and the Fire Service Bylaw. This includes checking the condition and maintenance of fire protection equipment such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems, automatic suppression system, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, power systems, exiting, fire department access and the presence of fire hazards.
To book a non-scheduled inspection, contact the Fire Prevention Division at 604-853-3566.
All fires under the BC Fire Services Act are required to be investigated within three days. Fires are investigated for cause, origin and circumstance. By investigating the fire, we are able to determine if it could have been prevented and once determined, measures can be put into place to prevent re-occurrences.
Most fires are accidental and are therefore preventable, but some fires are intentionally set and then become a criminal offense. In these cases, the police are involved with the fire investigator on the fire scene and assist with seizing of evidence and possible criminal charges.
Fire lanes are put in place to allow the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service access to the site so they can perform firefighting functions. The British Columbia Building Code requires that: Fire lanes must be a minimum 6 metres wide, 5 metres high and have a 12 metre center line radius.
- If a dead-end is over 90 metres in length, a fire truck turnaround must be installed.
- Turnarounds and fire lanes must be a solid surface that safely supports the weight of our heaviest apparatus.
- Fire lanes must be marked with signage approved by the Fire Chief.
- All gates and chains must be approved by the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.
- All gates and chains blocking public access to the fire lanes must be clearly marked on both sides. For signage requirements, refer to the Fire Service Bylaw No. 3055-2020.
No person shall park a vehicle within 5 meters of a fire hydrant, measured from a point in the curb or edge of the roadway closest to the fire hydrant as stated in the Consolidated Street and Traffic Bylaw No. 1536-2006.
Fire Prevention Tip
Property owners and managers are reminded to ensure trees and vegetation is trimmed to meet height and width requirements of the fire lanes.
“Make Fire Safety – Part of your Business”
The British Columbia Fire Code, Section 2.8 requires the establishment and implementation of a Fire Safety Plan for every building containing a Group 'A' - Assembly (churches, schools, restaurants, etc.) or Group 'B' - Care/Detention (care home, prison, etc.) occupancy and to every building required by the Building Code to have a Fire Alarm System.
The implementation of a Fire Safety Plan helps to assure effective maintenance and utilization of Life Safety features in a building, to protect people from fire. The required Fire Safety Plan should be designed to suit the resources of each individual building or complex of buildings.
Fire Safety Plans are intended to assist the owner of a building with the basic essentials for the safety of all occupants. They are also designed to ensure an orderly evacuation at the time of an emergency and to provide a maximum degree of flexibility to achieve the necessary Fire Safety for the building. There is a review fee depending on the building systems.
For more information, contact the Fire Prevention Division.
Fire Safety Plan Templates:
This annual October event showcases the essential services provided by the City of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service. Public activities include fire hall open houses, a community smoke-detector blitz and various fire safety lectures and presentations. The open houses provide an opportunity to see all the life saving equipment and to learn ways of being safe in your home and work. Information and fire safety tips are provided to school children in grades K-3.
The History of Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the devastating Chicago fire that took place on October 8, 1871. It killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.
The fire changed the way that firefighters and public officials in Canada and the U.S. think about fire safety. The Fire Marshals Association of North America (today known as the International Fire Marshals Association), decided that the anniversary of the Chicago fire should be observed in a way to educate the public about the importance of fire prevention. Fire Prevention Week was proclaimed in Canada in 1919 to commemorate the Chicago blaze, as well as the major fire that destroyed the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa on February 3, 1916.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) continues today to make National Fire Prevention Week a priority and they count on the participation and efforts of tens of thousands of fire and safety professionals, emergency volunteers, and other individuals who are working to reduce the risk of fire and the toll it takes on our society.
With tremendous help from fire safety advocates throughout North America, Fire Prevention Week continues to be a success each year.