Dates for 2021 Annual Fire Alarm Inspections

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    • #12830
      Al BastienAl Bastien
      Participant

      Hi everyone. I had an interesting discussion topic come up during a conference call with our branches and I’m looking for the input of the AHJs. In advance, I’m looking for the “real world” answer of what you would do and not the “if I had it my way” 😉

      Here’s the scenario… a building had its annual fire alarm inspection performed in April of 2019. Because of the COVID-19 situation, we were unable to gain access to the building (perhaps it was a care occupancy with an outbreak, maybe it was a business that wasn’t open due to the restrictions placed on them) until July 2020 to do the annual inspection. When is their 2021 annual inspection due? According to both the OFC and CAN/ULC-S536, the next inspection must be performed 12 months from the date of the last one which would be July 2021.

      I understand that there is the potential for this to be abused and year over year continue delaying the inspection and end up with a only 4 inspections in a 5 year period. Or do you view it as this year’s delay was unforeseen and unavoidable and so you would let it slide and we carry on every July moving forward. Or would you be of the opinion that they must get back to what the schedule was two years prior?

      Please remember that as a service provider we have no authority to tell the building owner that they must have their next annual inspection performed at ANY time, so we’re looking to see what the general mood of the AHJs would be from an enforcement perspective so we can better assist our clients what they should consider before asking their own AHJ directly.

      Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    • #12831
      Doug KellamDoug Kellam
      Participant

      Speaking only for myself, I would gauge the mood of the municipality to be one of accommodation for the needs of business right now. Providing that there has been no prior history of code violations or the like, I would carry forward from the new July date, provided this situation doesn’t present again.

      Doug

    • #12832
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      I’m with Doug and would work off the new date.

      Yes as you mention Al, there is the possibility of abuse of the system but we also all have those properties already that are at best 4 out of 5 years. At day 366 they are technically out of compliance and subject to enforcement actions. Earlier this year we did receive Communique from OFM to be sympathetic during the pandemic but that will presumably expire once the Provincial Emergency Order is lifted and the service companies have been able to catch up. That being said, just because a business had been Ordered closed, that didn’t absolve them from complying with other Applicable Law. I remember there being a specific note  in one of the early Emergency Orders that spoke directly to this. The LTC Home delaying due to an outbreak? Sure that makes sense. An otherwise empty assembly or business occupancy delaying? I don’t see that as a legitimate excuse for delay unless the service company was unavailable.

    • #12833
      Steve FowldsSteve Fowlds
      Participant

      Al, In my opinion an annual inspection would be due 1 year from the last inspection.  So in the scenario you described, regardless of why the annual was delayed (pandemic or deliberate) it would be from the July date.  Similarly, a business could have their annual due in June, but their contactor advises them they are booked/unable to attend, but can be there late July or early August and the business owner showed the inspectors the emails ( and monthlies had continued), it would not be an immediate enforcement issue.

    • #12834
      Al BastienAl Bastien
      Participant

      Thank you for the replies. I felt the same way and also like Doug’s approach of considering the history of the owner and the building from a compliance standpoint. I think that makes sense where the owner has a history of being non-compliant or the building is known to have issues on a regular basis or is in the process of being brought into compliance.

      Service companies often do push dates due to availability and customers often push dates for a myriad of reasons. Does either excuse the building missing the annual inspection – no. Is it the reality of the real world – absolutely. Although the “intent” or reason behind the delay isn’t an excuse, I appreciate that the AHJs do take it into consideration.

      Thank you again for the input. I’m glad to know we’re on the same page.

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