GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE

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1 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE iii GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction...vii CHAPTER 1: History and the Act... 1 History of the Act... 1 Ontario Fire Marshal and Assistants... 2 Rights of Entry in Emergencies and Fire Investigations... 4 Summary... 6 CHAPTER 2: Fire Code Structure, Objectives and Functional Statments... 7 Structure... 7 Objective... 9 Functional Statements Objectives versus Functional Statements Intent Statement Example CHAPTER 3: CHAPTER 4: Ontario Fire Code Definitions and Referenced Standards Building and Occupant Safety Parts 1 and 2, Division B A Paper Trail Dwelling Units Damaged Fire Separations Closures in Fire Separations Interior Finishing, Furnishing and Decorative Materials Fire Hazards Fire Department Access to Buildings Service Equipment... 56

2 iv GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE Commercial Cooking Open-Air Burning Safety to Life Mercantile and Other Operations Emergency Planning Tents and Air-Supported Structures Day Care Centres Insulation and Re-insulation Covered Malls Smoke Alarms Outdoor Public Amusement Areas Portable Oxygen Systems CHAPTER 5: Fire Safety for Industrial and Commercial Uses Wood Products Storage Industrial Trucks Salvage Shops and Salvage Yards Dry-cleaning and Dyeing Plants CHAPTER 6: Flammable Liquids and Combustible Liquids Basic Control Strategies Fire Safety Planning Spills of Flammable and Combustible Liquids Ventilation Container Storage and Handling Aboveground Storage Tanks Underground Storage Tanks

3 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE v Tanks Inside Buildings Withdrawal from Service Piping and Transfer Systems Fuel Dispensing Stations Spill Control Procedures Piers and Wharves Process Plants CHAPTER 7: Hazardous Materials, Processes and Operations Explosives, Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Cellulose Nitrate Plastics Compressed Gas Cylinders Propane Gas Combustible Dusts Combustible Fibres Spray Applications of Flammable and Combustible Materials Ventilation Dip Tanks Special Processes Organic Peroxides and Duel Component Coatings Floor Finishing Operations Radioactive Materials Fumigation and Thermal Insecticidal Fogging Welding and Cutting Industrial Ovens CHAPTER 8: Fire Protection Equipment Check, Inspect, Test...337

4 vi GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE Portable Fire Extinguishers Fire Alarm Systems Sprinkler Systems Water Supply for Fire Fighting Emergency Power Systems Special Extinguishing Systems CHAPTER 9: Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Fire Emergency Systems in High Buildings General Overview Inspection, Testing and Maintenance CHAPTER 10: Demolition General Overview CHAPTER 11: Retrofit Residential Retrofit Existing Multi-Tenant Residential High-rise Buildings Fire Separations CHAPTER 12: Fire Safety Basics The Fire Triangle Classes of Fire Products of Combustion Fire Safety Plans Due Diligence APPENDIX Division C... A1 Ontario Building Code Excerpts, Division B, Parts 3 And 9...A7

5 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE vii INTRODUCTION There are a number of Codes and Standards that govern fire safety in Ontario. However, the two primary documents are the Ontario Building Code Act (Ontario Regulation 350/06) and the Ontario Fire Protection and Prevention Act. 1997, as amended by S. O. 1997, Chapter 4. Within the Fire Protection and Prevention Act we find the Ontario Fire Code. The Ontario Building Code is essentially a document that provides a set of minimum provisions respecting the safety of buildings from the day of building permit application to the final day of construction. These provisions address public health, fire protection and structural sufficiency. The Ontario Building Code applies to new construction and renovations. INTRODUCTION The Ontario Fire Code, Ontario Regulation 213/07, is contained within the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) and is a companion document to the Building Code. The Fire Code is a set of rules prescribing minimum requirements in order to help prevent fires and explosions in and around buildings. With the exception of Part 9, Retrofit, the Ontario Fire Code is primarily a maintenance document. Where the Building Code mandates how buildings are constructed, the Fire Code mandates how they are to be maintained with respect to fire safety. The Ontario Fire Code is an important document as it applies to a building from the last day of construction or the date of any occupancy, whether full or partial, to the final day of demolition. The Ontario Fire Code is the minimum fire and life safety standard that one must meet; however, in the interest of life and fire safety; it is always prudent to provide more than just minimum safety standards. This Guide is written to assist the building owner, property manager, building operator, maintenance personnel and other Code users, in interpreting and applying fire safety measures to their site. While each Article, Sentence, or Clause in the Ontario Fire Code is not specifically referenced, we have attempted to explain fire and the concepts of fire safety, including certain definitions, so as to make the Ontario Fire Code easier to understand and apply. NOTE: all excerpts from the Ontario Fire Code have been italicized to aid in differentiating between the Code and interpretive text. This Guide is not intended as a replacement for the actual Ontario Fire Code, but as a fire safety handbook. When in doubt, check it out; contact the local fire service and/or call in a professional. As a former Fire Prevention Inspector, I can attest to the fact that maintaining a good relationship with the local fire department can go a long way in assisting one in maintaining a safe building.

6 96 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE control and extinguish. Although tires may be difficult to ignite, once burning they will burn vigorously. Due to the shape of the tires themselves, the burning can occur inside the tire out of reach of water from sprinkler systems. Their shape further adds to the fire problem by allowing plenty of space for air to circulate and increase the intensity of the fire. As rubber is a hydrocarbon, along with a high heat release, they will also produce great volumes of thick black smoke. As well as the smoke produced, run off from tire fires can result in significant environmental damage. Subsection Indoor Tire Storage Application This Subsection applies to buildings used for the storage of tires in which the bulk volume of tires stored in one fire compartment exceeds 425 m3. Tire pile dimensions A single pile of tires in a tire storage location shall occupy an area not greater than 500 m2 with a maximum length of 30 m (1) The maximum piling height of tires shall not exceed the height used for the design of the fixed extinguishing system installed as required in Article (2) The maximum piling height allowed in Sentence (1) shall be posted in conspicuous locations. Pile height is an issue that many employees may not be aware of with regard to fire safety. However, these height restrictions are in place to ensure the sprinkler system can control a fire in these piles and all affected staff must be aware of this. L W Area 500 m² L 30 m²

7 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE 97 As was stated earlier, hydrocarbons burn hotter than ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper and cloth. Accordingly, tire fires are very hot, smoky, and difficult to extinguish; the smaller the pile, the smaller the possible fire. Limiting the size of the pile will obviously aid in firefighting operations, with the result being less damage to the building and less damage and interruption to the operation as a whole. Pile clearance A clearance of at least 914 mm shall be maintained between the tops of piles and sprinkler head deflectors Aisles between individual piles shall be at least 1.8 m wide A clearance of at least 600 mm shall be maintained between piles of tires and columns and enclosing walls. CHAPTER A tire storage location shall be classified as a medium hazard industrial occupancy. Warehouse fire extinguishing systems (1) Where the floor area of a tire storage location exceeds 250 m², the floor area shall be provided with an approved automatic fire extinguishing system installed in conformance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. (2) The design of the automatic fire extinguishing system required in Sentence (1) shall be based on the maximum piling height available A standpipe and hose system shall be installed in conformance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

8 98 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE Standpipe and hose systems make firefighting easier, resulting in less damage to your product as well as your building. By using existing interior fire hoses and connections, and not having to stretch hose lines feet into the building, firefighters can make a quicker attack on the fire which results in less damage. As within any occupancy, care must be taken so as to not obstruct these hoses or connections. Further care must also be taken so not to obstruct the discharge of water from the sprinkler system. That s why Article mandates a minimum distance of 914 mm from the top of the storage piles to the deflector of the sprinkler heads. If the water cannot get to the fire it cannot control it, let alone extinguish it. Accordingly, the fire will continue to grow, resulting in a possible total loss. Maximum height Water Stored tires Fire out of control Fire under control Portable extinguishers (1) In addition to the requirements of Section 6.2, multi-purpose dry chemical portable extinguishers having a rating of 4A:80B shall be installed (a) in every 500 m² of floor area, and (b) so that the distance travelled to any extinguisher does not exceed 25 m. Travel distance to a portable fire extinguisher is just what it says, travel distance, not straight line distance; it may include travel down aisles and around corners. Portable fire extinguishers are another piece of firefighting equipment that can be taken for granted and often placed behind doors or other out of the way places. Remember, most fires start small and can be extinguished with a portable fire extinguisher if discovered and attacked early enough.

9 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE 165 Dispensing Dispensing of flammable liquids or combustible liquids from containers having a capacity of more than 30 L shall be by pumps or through self-closing valves, designed in conformance with good engineering practice. In any dispensing operation it is important to ensure proper precautions are taken. These include personnel protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and aprons so to prevent possible injuries from spills or splashing. When transferring liquids from drums to containers, static charges must be electrically grounded in order to prevent a static discharge from igniting vapours. First the drum must be properly grounded to earth as shown in the following diagram. Then the container must be bonded to the drum by connecting a bonding wire from the drum to the container, as shown in the diagram. Bonding provides an electrical path from the drum to the container being filled. Although not shown here, it is a good practice to use a drip can below the faucet to catch minor spills and any possible dripping from the faucet. Faucets used on drums of flammable and combustible liquids must be of the self-closing type and equipped with drip-proof, replaceable O-ring Teflon seals. These faucets are often made of brass as it is a non-sparking metal. Pumping from drums into containers may be faster than a gravity flow faucet and provides less chance for a spill as they come with a fill hose. Ensure that any pumps used for the transfer of flammable and combustible liquids are listed for such use by either ULC or FM. Common Ground Line Ground To Pipe Screw Clamp Transfer Pump Hose CHAPTER 6 Bonding Wire Bond Wire Safety Can Grounding Wire Solvent Drums Spring Clamp Transfer of flammable and combustible liquids

10 GUIDE TO THE ONTARIO FIRE CODE 545 safety pin handle/ trigger indicator hose and/ or nozzle tank inspection tag CHAPTER 12 label Again, as with a Class B fire; one would not want to use water to extinguish a Class C fire as water and electricity do not mix well. Here you would use a portable fire extinguisher with a C classification. Fortunately, many portable fire extinguishers are listed for the three main classes of fire A B C. Look for the symbols on the front label of the fire extinguisher. TIP: Be familiar with the portable fire extinguisher(s) in your area before you have a fire! For a Class D fire, combustible metals, you would use only a portable fire extinguisher that has a D classification. This extinguishing agent is also available in boxes and drums so that it can be shovelled onto the fire. Combustible metals often generate their own oxygen when they burn; accordingly they require a specific extinguishing agent to fight these fires. The Class K fire is reasonably new and results from the improvements in the burning quality in oils and greases used in commercial kitchens. Approximately 65% of restaurant fires start in cooking equipment. Although they are still technically, at least in my mind, flammable liquids, they tend to have unique characteristics and it has been found that the standard BC portable fire extinguisher is not as effective on commercial cooking fires as it was in the past. The Class K fire extinguishing agent is a potassium acetate based wet chemical that provides a cooling effect as well as saponification. In other words, it cools the burning liquid (the heat side of the fire triangle), and it puts a blanket of foam over the burning liquid blocking out the air (the oxygen side of the fire triangle). Of course the remainder of the restaurant would still require 5 lb. A B C portable fire extinguishers. Regarding a Class E fire (nuclear fusion or fission), my advice is to run away as fast as you can, get behind something big, and then call 911 (time, distance and shield). If you work in areas where this may occur be sure that you are aware of all safety procedures and listen intently at all safety lectures.

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