At the request of the Canadian Federation of Mayors and Municipalities, the Association of Canadian Fire Marshalls and Fire Chiefs, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) created an Associate Committee on Fire Codes in 1956. The National Fire Code of Canada (NFC) was first published in 1963.
The 1963 NFC was intended to provide Canadian municipalities with a means to constitute a uniform and comprehensive fire prevention bylaw. The NFC was intended to work in parallel with the National Building Code of Canada (NBC).
Subsequent editions of the NFC were released in 1975, 1977, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995. Editions of the NFC after 1977 were not enforceable in B.C. except for federally owned and occupied properties.
By Provincial statute in 1953, the incorporated City of Vancouver was granted powers different than other communities and as such, the City of Vancouver Fire Bylaw (VFBL) and Building Bylaw were created. The VFBL is based upon the NFC and amended to include local requirements which may be more onerous than the provincial equivalent.
The very first BC Fire Code Regulation was implemented.
Since that time, the British Columbia Fire Code has been revised and updated in 1987, 1992, 1998, 2006 and most recently in 2012.
British Columbia Fire Departments typically issued a Notice of Violation (Order) following a regular fire inspection.
The Notice of Violation summarized Fire Code non-compliance issues within the building or property along with a specified time frame to complete corrective actions.
The trend of issuing a Fire Code Notice of Violation is accompanied by possible fines and cost recovery charges (established through a local bylaw) as incentives to achieve compliance.
The truth is that Fire Code non-compliance puts everyone at risk and the majority of the Code violations identified are entirely preventable.
With a little Fire Code training, process implementation and periodic/annual review, you can reduce the fire risk, avoid the ‘incentive’ costs and eliminate the time interruption to your business.