Owners & Authorized Agents at Risk
BC FIRE CODE COMPLIANCE
Division B – Part 2 – Building & Occupant Fire Safety
Section 18.104.22.168 – Responsibility
1) Unless otherwise specified, the owner or the owner’s authorized agent shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this code.
Note: The above regulation is the most important clause in the BC Fire Code. The responsibility of complying with the code lies solely with the building owner or the building owner’s authorized agent. The authorized agent is often a property manager hired by the owner to perform maintenance, building upkeep, and routine equipment tests in order to comply with the fire code.
Fire protection service companies are then hired by the Owner(s) or Authorized Agent (i.e. the property manager) to perform monthly, annual, and, in some cases, three and five year tests and inspections. There are also daily inspections (confirm the “power on” light is illuminated at the fire alarm panel) stated in the supporting standards referenced by the fire code that building owners are required to undertake.
It is incumbent on the fire protection service companies to perform and document the tests and inspections in accordance with CAN/ULC S-536-13 (Standard for the Inspection and Testing of Fire Alarm Systems), CAN/ULC S552 (Standard for the Inspection and Testing of Smoke Alarms), and, if the fire alarm system is also connected to other life safety equipment, such as elevator homing, magnetic door holders, etc, CAN/ULC S1001 (Integrated Life Safety System Testing). If the building is equipped with a sprinkler system, the testing requirements of the applicable NFPA 10 Standards that are referenced in the BC Fire Code must also be included.
CAN/ULC-compliant documentation of the above test, inspections, and repairs are then required to be placed onsite in the Fire Safety Plan for a minimum of two years or for the lifetime of the equipment in Strata Corporations controlled buildings (as per the Strata Property Act).
It is the mission of the Vancouver Island Fire Protection Association to educate owners, authorized agents, Authorities Having Jurisdiction, and Fire Protection Service companies of the requirements and procedures necessary in order to comply with the BC Fire Code and the subsequent regulations and standards referenced within.