Dens used as bedrooms

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    • #13172
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      I’ve had a question brought forward to me by one of my retirement home operators that I’m looking for additional input.

      They have several suites that were classified as “Studio + Den” on the original building permit drawings (2018 construction). These suites are, for practical purposes, a 1 bedroom suite but the ‘bedroom’ does not have a window and therefore by the OBC, it’s not considered a bedroom and did not have smoke alarm installed within the ‘bedroom’  which is called a Den on the permit drawings. To me it’s a loophole in the OBC; the rooms are bedroom-sized, have closets and pretty much any reasonable person would set up the suite with them as bedrooms but without the window it’s not actually a bedroom and didn’t get alarm installed within the suite.

      Nothing in Fire Code says a bedroom must have a window. There is the clause that says if a building met OBC at time of construction then all is good…but these suites aren’t being used as indicated on the permit drawings which call it a den, not a bedroom. I’m thinking of telling them they need to install the SAs within these dens/bedrooms and consider it good enough.


    • #13173
      Joseph GardinerJoseph Gardiner
      • City: North Bay
      • Department Name: North Bay Fire & Emergency Services

      Hello Jon,

      This is a minimum standards building code issue and not a fire code issue. I would take pictures and send the authority having jurisdiction (local building department) the information and they will follow up. I think it is that simple.

      Hopefully this helps,


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