For Immediate Release: 11 February, 2009
BURLINGTON, ON.- A representative for the owner of a Burlington rental house appeared in the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial Offences Division in Burlington on Tuesday February 10, 2009 in relation to two charges for failing to comply with the requirements of the Ontario Fire Code. The charges were filed in connection with a Burlington Fire Department response to a fire in house at 470 Brock Ave. on October 24, 2008.
Fire crews were dispatched to a fire in the home just after 10:00 p.m. and found the female occupant and an infant had narrowly escaped with their lives through a main floor bedroom window after a fire started in the living room. Crews quickly determined that there were no smoke alarms in the basement of the home and the alarm on the main floor had been intentionally disabled.
Further investigation was conducted to determine if the tenant had removed the alarms or if the owner had never provided them. The investigation lead to charges being laid against the owner for not providing an alarm in the basement and failing to maintain the other alarm on the main floor. A ticket with a set fine of $235.00 was also issued to the tenant for intentionally disabling the main floor alarm.
The representative for Emily Shih, the owner of 470 Brock Ave., entered a guilty plea for the following Ontario Fire Code infractions:
- Failure to install a smoke alarm in the basement.
- Failure to maintain smoke alarms in operating condition.
- Total fines of $15,000.00 (plus victims surcharge fee $3,750.00)
The Burlington Fire Department continues to work with apartment owners and property managers to educate them on their responsibilities to provide and maintain working smoke alarms in their rental units. Coupled with that is the important aspect of maintaining records of their smoke alarm installations and maintenance.
We also continue to educate tenants of rental units, as they also have responsibilities to report problems with the smoke alarms in their units to the owner or property manager. Tenants must also be aware that they can be ticketed or charged for contravention of the Ontario Fire Code if they intentionally remove or disable a smoke alarm in their unit.
Fire Prevention Officer