New fire code requirements focus on role of elevators in safe resolution of highrise emergencies

Recent changes to the Ontario Fire Code involving high rise buildings’ elevators will contribute to improved fire safety in Toronto, according the City of Toronto’s Fire Chief. Chief Matthew Pegg says a July 1 amendment to the code addresses situations where an elevator designated for firefighters’ use is out of service.

Under the new requirement, a highrise building’s supervisory staff must be notified when a designated firefighters’ elevator goes out of service. If the elevator is out of service for more than 24 hours, the municipal fire department – in this case Toronto Fire Services – and the building’s occupants must be notified of the situation. Procedures for those notifications must be included in the building’s fire safety plan – and compliance is the building owner’s responsibility.

Toronto Fire Services continues to work to enhance public safety through comprehensive public education, fire prevention and emergency response services. Building owners who fail to comply with the Ontario Fire Code jeopardize the safety of residents and responding firefighters alike. City officials emphasize that Toronto Fire Services fully enforces the Ontario Fire Code and will initiate enforcement action against any building owner who fails to comply with code. 


“The safe and effective operation of the firefighters’ elevator is an important component of effective and safe firefighting and rescue operations in high rise buildings. These amendments to the Ontario Fire Code will enable Toronto Fire Services to be increasingly aware of elevator-related challenges that exist in highrise buildings, which in turn will enable us to adjust our response and action plans accordingly. Every building owner is responsible for complying with the requirements of the Ontario Fire Code.” 
– Matthew Pegg, Toronto Fire Chief 

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