Inspections & Investigations
It is the mandate of the Charlottetown Fire Prevention Office to conduct inspections in various types of occupancies
throughout the city.
Fire inspections are conducted to ensure the safety of people within the building. The fire department conducts inspections according to the National Fire Code of Canada and the Uniform fire Code. The authority to conduct such inspections is sanctioned by the City of Charlottetown Fire Prevention Bylaw Part VI “the authority having jurisdiction is authorized to enforce the provisions of this bylaw and adopted codes”.
During the course of any given year, the Fire Prevention Office will complete inspections involving an array of different occupancies. Inspections can be done upon request, complaint generated, plan reviews, after a fire. When conducting inspections the AHJ may be required to reference several Codes in order to bring the non- conforming building into compliance with the applicable codes. As a result the City of Charlottetown has adopted the following standards in accordance with the Fire Prevention Bylaw Part V, Section 5.1.
During inspections the following steps can occur.
- Once an inspection has been completed of your building and fire code violations have been identified a hazard compliance order will be given to the owner/occupant of the building.
- Included in this hazard compliance order is a list of fire code violations and a pre-set date as to when the violations shall be corrected.
- On or about that date, a re-inspection will be conducted to determine if the necessary corrections have been completed.
- Should the re-inspection reveal the corrections have not been made, the provisions of the Fire Prevention Bylaw Part VI can be enforced and the person is guilty of a summary conviction to a fine in the amount not less than $100.00 and not more than $2000.00 for each offence.
The primary goal of any fire investigation is not only to determine the origin and cause of a fire, but also to help in future building and fire code development.
The primary responsibilities of the fire investigator are to determine the origin and cause of a fire scene using the standard guide as set forth in NFPA 921 to determine a fire cause in one of four categories:
- Natural – Fires ignited by acts of nature, such as lightning
- Accidental – Fires caused by careless means, non-malicious electrical, mechanical, chemical, nuclear
- Undetermined – Fires that cannot be proven
- Incendiary – Fires intentionally and maliciously set
When fires are determined “incendiary” and “undetermined,” and criminal maliciousness is determined, the fire investigator will request the Police Department to assist in the investigation process. A team concept is developed whereby the investigative process becomes an origin-and-cause and a criminal investigation. A working relationship with fire and police sharing information can result in closing an investigation in a timely manner.
Fire investigators shall respond to incidents involving:
- Fires believed to be intentionally set
- Fires involving juveniles
- Fires involving a fatality or injury to civilians and/or firefighters
- Fires involving high dollar loss
- Hazardous condition of an occupancy representing an immediate threat to life safety (i.e. blocked exits, overcrowding, building collapse, compromised fire protection and detection systems, etc.)
- Other related hazards and/or incidents as requested