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I didn’t mean to imply that you go by the age of a building when you are deciding whether to issue a F Order.
In my opinion the Change of Use in recent years is the main indicator/concern here. I do not know the date but it is known that this property was all commercial use and at the time of the inspection it is now mixed use. The Building Inspector should be contacting the Owner regarding Construction without a Permit, and ask the Owner to apply for Change of Use permit which would include a review and submission by a designer and planning approval. So in other words, they should be asking the Owner to take the actions now that the Owner at the time should have taken when they first thought about converting the second floor to residential.
If an F order is written instead of the Building Department taking the action that their legislation allows them to take, the Fire Department (municipality) is taking on the liability of being the designer, and spending time on designing. With an F Order there is the potential of the Order being appealed. This will result in an OFM Engineer reviewing issues the Building Inspector had the means to deal with in their legislation.
At the end of the day, after Fire puts the concerns forward in writing to the Building Department, and if Building is not going to take action, I would write a F Order. The municipality is now aware of the lack of fire separations and will be liable if there is a fire and they have not taken action.