Fire prevention, inspection & enforcement

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How to make a request for a Fire Inspection/ Fire Summary Report/ File Search/ Fire Safety Plans/ Document Replacement

Please complete a Fire Prevention Request form for each type of request by selecting the correct category in the drop-down options. Each request type requires a separate Fire Prevention Request form as they have unique QR codes with the appropriate fees for payment processing. (For example: if you are requesting a daycare inspection and submitting a fire safety plan, you are required to fill out and submit two different forms: the Fire Inspection – Daycare, Nurseries or Group Homes form and the Fire Safety Plan form)

Online Payment Option

You can pay online using the Fire Prevention Request Form with the following payment options: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Interac Online, MasterCard Debit and Visa Debit.

A Paymentus Corporation service fee applies for processing this online payment. Payments using a credit card will be subject to a service fee of 1.99%. Interac Online payments are subject to a flat fee of $0.49 per transaction.

Fire safety plans

Fire Safety Plans (staff copy and firefighter copy) are only accepted in PDF or Word documents. They must both include the floor plans at the end and be sent electronically to We do not accept hard copies of Fire Safety Plans.

Fire Prevention Administration Office

613-580-2424 ext. 15371

Fire Prevention, Inspection & Enforcement Services

Technical Services

Our personnel receive and review the following:

  • Fire Drill and Safety Planning Information   
  • Fire Safety Plans
  • Risk Safety Management Plans

This area also develops additional documentation including:

  • Fire Summary Reports
  • Fire Investigation Reports
  • Compliance Letters

Inspections and Enforcement

Fire Prevention enforces the Fire Code and related fire safety standards in addition to inspects both commercial and residential buildings for Fire Code compliance. Types of inspections include:

  • General Fire Inspections
  • Business License
  • Liquor License
  • Multi-Unit Residential
  • Commercial
  • Retro-fit Inspections

Special Events & Projects

Liaise with various departments within the City of Ottawa and external entities as required to ensure fire safety compliance for major city events and projects.

Vulnerable Occupancies

Since 2014 new regulations have been in place to enhance the fire safety of occupants in retirement homes, care occupancies, hospital/care and treatment occupancies. These requirements include a mandatory fire drill to ensure all duties under the approved safety plan are carried out and a mandatory Inspection of these vulnerable occupancies.

Fire Prevention Officers also manage:   

  • Fireworks Permits
  • False Alarms Issues
  • File Search
  • Specific Event Open Air Fire Permits
  • 3-1-1 Referrals
  • General Inquires

Public Education

Public Education educates the public about fire / life safety and fire safety regulations. This is completed through carrying out the following:

  • Hosting and participating in public education events and training sessions to promote fire safety
  • Developing and distributing education materials
  • Utilizing social media to advocate fire safety

The delivery of Public Education and Fire Prevention is mandated for every municipality under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

Service Fees

Revised fees in effect starting April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 

(Fees below include taxes)

  • Residential File Search: $129.95
  • Commercial File Search: $262.16
  • Inspection for residential building 3 stories or less & Inspection for warehouse & other commercial buildings under 5,000 sq ft: $519.80
  • Inspection for residential building 4-6 stories  & Inspection for warehouse & other commercial buildings between 5,000 – 15,000 sq ft: $831.68
  • Inspection for residential building 7-12 stories  & Inspection for warehouse & other commercial buildings between 15,000 – 25,000 sq ft: $1040.73
  • Inspection for residential building 13 stories or higher & Inspection for warehouse & other commercial buildings over 25,000 sq ft: $1,352.61
  • Inspections for Daycares and Nurseries: $136.73
  • Inspections for MCSS group homes with 4 residents or less: $136.73
  • Inspections for non-MCSS group homes or group homes  with more than 4 residents: $519.80
  • Fire Summary Reports: $106.22
  • Replacement Documentation: $106.22
  • Fire Safety Plan: $206.79
  • Fire Safety Plan when 3 or more buildings are under 1 address: $596.64
  • Fire Drill & Safety Planning Review: $302.84
  • Risk Safety Management Plan Review:
    • Level 1: $690.43
    • Level 2: $1,378.60

Inspections, Retrofitting and Exemptions

Inspections ensure that buildings in Ontario comply with the Ontario Fire Code. The Code states that existing buildings must be maintained as built or retrofitted to ensure occupant fire safety.

Specific inspections are required for:

  • Licensing of public garages
  • Liquor licences
  • Public-hall licences
  • Fire-safety plans
  • Fire routes

Fire-safety inspections can be initiated three ways:

  1. Public complaints
  2. Firefighter-identified fault
  3. Owner's request


Retrofit legislation as described in Part 9 of the Fire Code addresses the upgrade of existing buildings. Under Part 9 of the Fire Code, alteration may require some construction, renovations or additions. The owner must submit plans, obtain necessary permits, and have all of the work approved by the local Building Code officials. The buildings concerned include:

  • Assembly occupancies
  • Rooming houses
  • Health-care facilities
  • Multi-unit residential buildings

Since the application of these regulations, all City health-care facilities, most local rooming houses and some urban-assembly occupancies have completed the retrofit process.

To date, only older highrise apartments have been inspected and are in various stages of completing compliance with the Code.

Residential buildings with two dwelling units must also meet the retrofit safety regulations. They must have:

  • An electrical inspection by and subsequent approval from Electrical Safety Authority
  • Inter-connected smoke alarms
  • Fire separations
  • Adequate exits


Federal and farm buildings (excluding residences) and foreign embassies are exempt from the regulations governing the Ontario Fire Code.

For more information, please call 613-580-2860.

Ontario Fire Code Pre-Inspection Guide

Effective: January 1, 2015

Ottawa Fire Prevention Division

The following is a standard Fire Code guide for business owners, store managers and maintenance personnel to ensure occupant safety and compliance with the Ontario Fire Code (2015) within their establishments.

Please follow this guide carefully as these items will be reviewed for compliance during required routine fire inspections conducted by Emergency Services personnel.

Should you have any questions or concerns in meeting compliance requirements, please visit, or contact the Fire Prevention Division by phone at 613-580-2424 extension 15371 or email

Code references

  • All Ontario Fire Code 2015 (OFC) references are from Division B, unless noted otherwise.
  • All Ontario Building Code 2012 (OBC) references are from Division B, unless noted otherwise.
  • All National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes listed in this document are referenced in the Ontario Fire Code.
  • Records of tests, inspections, maintenance or operational procedures required under the OFC shall be kept on the premise for a minimum of two years for examination by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). (OFC


A civic number sign shall be in accordance with the following table:

Minimum Setback from Property Line*
Minimum Character Height
? 3 m 10.0 cm
> 3 m but ? 9 m 12.5 cm
> 9 m but ? 18 m 15.0 cm
Over 18 m Civic number on building plus blade sign or, where permitted, ground sign

*Distance is calculated from the location on the building where the civic number is to be displayed to the property line adjacent to the private road or highway to which the building is addressed. In the case of buildings adjacent to a private road where the property on which multiple buildings are situated is a single lot, and where measurement of the setback from the property line is not feasible, the measurement is from the centre line of the private road and 5 m should be added to the figures in Column I. 

(Addressing By-law 2014-78)

Fire department access

  • Fire department access to buildings and Laneways must be maintained for fire department vehicles at all times. (OFC

Private and municipal fire hydrants

  • Private fire hydrants must be inspected, tested and maintained annually. (OFC
  • Municipal and Private Hydrants shall be maintained in operating condition, free of snow and ice accumulations and readily available and unobstructed for use at all times. (OFC 6.6.4.)

Fire department connection

  • Fire department connections for sprinkler and standpipe systems shall be kept free of obstructions; this includes: storage of combustible materials and parking of vehicles.
  • Fire department connections shall be equipped with plugs or caps that are secured wrench tight
  • Fire department connections shall be inspected annually for wear, rust or obstruction. (OFC

Fire alarm system

  • Fire alarm systems must be maintained in an operable condition at all times. Maintenance personnel, property managers, or a representative of the owner shall conduct a visual inspection of the fire alarm panel daily to ensure the system is operational. (OFC
  • Fire alarm systems shall be maintained, inspected and tested annually by a qualified & permitted fire alarm company. (You can verify your alarm technician is registered by visiting and entering their technician number into the verification bar.)
  • If the fire alarm system is independent (internal with no monitoring service), permanent signage shall be affixed to the wall near each manual pull station with wording that the fire department is to be notified in the event of a fire emergency with directions to phone 9-1-1 in case of emergency. (OFC
  • If the fire alarm system is monitored by a certified monitoring company, a ULC certificate shall be posted at the main fire alarm panel. (NFPA 72)

Sprinkler systems

  • Sprinkler and standpipe systems shall be maintained in operable conditions at all times. (OFC,
  • Doors to rooms containing sprinkler control valves should include signage indicating “Sprinkler Control Room”. (Recommended)
  • All valves and components for fire sprinkler systems shall be maintained free of obstructions.(OFC,
  • Storage shall not interfere with fire sprinkler head discharge; a 457mm (18inch) clearance is required from fire sprinkler head deflectors to top of storage arrangements. (OFC

Fire extinguishers

  • For low-hazard areas (office and retail spaces), at least one 2A:10BC or larger fire extinguisher shall be available and to which there is a maximum travel distance of 25m.
  • Higher hazard areas, such as repair garages, shall have fire extinguishers with minimum ratings and travel distances as per NFPA 10.
  • Fire extinguishers shall be serviced and tagged annually by a certified fire extinguisher company. (OFC 6.2.7.)
  • Fire extinguishers shall be located near exits or access to exits. They shall be mounted on a wall with the top of the extinguisher not more than 1.5 meters (60 inches) above the floor. (OFC,
  • Portable extinguishers shall be inspected monthly. Visual inspections include verifying the gauge is showing green (fully charged), the extinguisher is mounted properly and easily accessible, is free of dust or grease and has the safety pin in place. (OFC
  • Portable extinguishers shall be prominently indicated by signs or markings in large floor areas and in locations where visible obstructions cannot be avoided. (OFC

Exit lights

  • Required exit signs shall be clearly visible and maintained in clean legible condition. (OFC

Emergency lights

  • Emergency lights, shall be maintained in operable Condition, inspected monthly and tested annually by a certified company. (OFC

Fire separations and smoke control

  • Any penetration or damage to fire rated walls and ceilings shall be repaired as to maintain the integrity of the fire separation. (OFC
  • Mechanical penetrations through fire separations shall be sealed using a ULC approved fire-stopping method.
  • Any replacement or removal of doors shall meet or exceed the minimum rating of the fire separation on which they are installed.
  • Fire rated doors shall not be wedged open, and self-closing devices shall be maintained in an operable condition. (OFC,

Commercial cooking systems

  • Any kitchen activities producing smoke and grease-laden vapours shall be equipped with a commercial exhaust and fire suppression system. (NFPA 96 1-3.1)
  • Commercial cooking exhaust systems must be cleaned to bare metal at frequent intervals prior to surface becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge. Inspection is required every six months by a certified company. (NFPA 96)
  • Filters on commercial cooking exhaust systems shall be checked at intervals not greater than seven days, remain installed when cooking and cleaned at regular intervals. (OFC
  • A listed class ‘K’ extinguisher shall be installed as backup to a fixed extinguishing system (NFPA 96)
  • Maximum travel distance shall not exceed 30 ft (9.15 m) from the hazard to the extinguishers.(NFPA 5.7.1)
  • An inspection and servicing of the fire extinguishing system and listed exhaust hoods containing a constant or fire actuated water system shall be made at least every six months by properly trained and qualified persons. (NFPA 96)


  • All electrical wiring shall be installed and maintained as to not constitute an undue fire hazard.
  • A one metre clearance to combustible materials from electrical panels shall be maintained.
  • Electrical rooms shall not be used for storage.

Housekeeping and storage

  • Rooms containing any building services, i.e.: furnace, mechanical and electrical rooms, shall not be used for storage. (OFC
  • Combustible storage shall not accumulate in exit stairwells, in a means of egress or in front of exits. (OFC


  • Exit doors shall open in the direction of travel, and open easily (OFC
  • Exit doors must be clearly visible at all times and free of storage accumulation. (OFC
  • The exterior of all exit doors shall also be free of storage and accumulation of snow and ice.
  • All locking, latching or other fastening devices on exit doors must permit the door to be readily opened from the inside requiring no keys, special devices, or specialized knowledge of the door opening mechanism. (OFC

Aboveground fuel storage tanks

  • Above ground fuel storage tanks with a total capacity of 5,000 uswg or less requires a Level 1 Propane Licence and Risk and Safety Management Plan (RSMP).
  • Above ground fuel storage tanks with a total capacity greater than 5,000 uswg require a Level 2 Propane Licence and Risk and Safety Management Plan (RSMP) that is completed by a professional engineer.
  • Risk and Safety Management Plans are submitted to Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) for approval as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for the Ottawa area, and then to Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), a copy of the completed plan is to be provided to the fire service for registration.
  • Depending on your type of business and occupancy classification, further requirements may apply at the time of your fire inspection.

Please note -- the requirements listed above are general Ontario Fire Code 2015 requirements.

Depending on your type of business and occupancy classification, further requirements may apply at the time of your fire inspection.

Contact Fire Prevention

Contact Fire Prevention to Request the following:

  • Fire Code Information
  • Fire Drill and Safety Planning Review 
  • Fire Extinguisher Information (not training)
  • Fire Inspection
  • File Search (residential or commercial)
  • Fire Safety Plan (FSP) or to submit FSP *use specific email
  • Fire Summary Report
  • Liquor License Inspection/Information
  • Risk Safety Management Plan Review
  • Smoke Alarm/ Carbon Monoxide Alarm Information
  • Specific Event Open Air Fire Permit *use specific email
  • Lockbox Information or Assistance
  • Retro-fit Inspection/Information

By Email: (for all Fire Prevention services above with the exception of those below)

Fire Safety Plan (submissions/information):

Specific Event Open Air Fire Permits:

By Phone:

Telephone Directory: 613-580-2860

Fax: 613-580-2864 

Please allow 2-3 business days for an initial response after leaving a voicemail or sending an email.

Please note phone lines are monitored during standard office hours Monday to Friday. For after-hours information and non-emergency support or assistance please dial 3-1-1 and a City of Ottawa client service agent will assist you. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only.

Fire Prevention Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who do I contact with a Lock Box inquiry?

Please note - OFS does not install lock boxes. Find your contractor of choice to complete the work. Once the lock box has been installed and all keys are ready to be placed inside, contact Fire Dispatch at 613-232-1551 to request a visit.

2. How do I make a Fire Safety Plan Request?

For information please contact or contact 613-580-2424 x15371

3. Where can I find out more about an Agency Letter of Approval & Business Licenses?

Apply for both at a Client Service Centre location. For more information please visit the Business License Application webpage.

For more information please visit the Agency Letter of Approval business resource.

For more information visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) website.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

It’s the law

On October 14th, 2014 the Province of Ontario announced that the Ontario Fire Code now makes it mandatory to have Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms in most residential properties. Any residential property with a fuel-fired appliance or attached garage must have an alarm. These must be installed near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. It also declared the first week of November as Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.

Owners of properties with six or less residences have until April 15th, 2015 to comply and those with more than six residential units have until October 15th, 2015 to comply.

Units built in Ontario after 2011 were required to have CO installed when built. 

Ontario Regulation 194/14

Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odourless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home, get out immediately and call 9-1-1.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms (without the fever), food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

 High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim's health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body's ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.

A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time

What do i do if my carbon monoxide alarm activates?

Immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call 911 from the fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.

Why call 911?

OFS personnel will respond with CO detectors and determine if there is a CO source. If CO is detected the gas company may also be contacted to conduct an inspection of appliances. Once the source is identified and solution determined you can be safely permitted back into your residence.

Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?

CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms (without the fever), food poisoning and other illnesses. See Symptoms of CO Poisoning.

Studies have shown that chronic exposure to even low levels of carbon monoxide can have serious health consequences for children, pregnant women, and the elderly, who may be more susceptible to CO poisoning at much lower levels then healthy adults. Carbon Monoxide exposure, whether a small amount over an extended period of time or a large amount over a brief period of time, can have a serious impact on your health.

Conditions that can create a CO hazard include:

  • Fuel-burning appliances, venting systems and chimneys that have not been serviced and maintained regularly by a qualified service technician.
  • A chimney blocked by a squirrel or bird’s nest, snow, ice or other debris.
  • Improper venting of a furnace or cracked furnace heat exchanger.
  • Exhaust fumes seeping into your home from a vehicle running in an attached garage.
  • Improper use of portable heaters.
  • Using fuel-burning appliances designed for outdoor use (barbecues, lanterns, chainsaws, lawnmowers, snow blowers) in an enclosed area such as a garage or workshop.
  • Combustion gases spilling into a home if too much air is being consumed by a fireplace or exhausted by kitchen/bathroom fans in a tightly sealed house.

Carbon monoxide safety tips

  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fuelled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, fireplace and any other fuel burning appliance are clear of snow/ice build-up.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Annual inspection and cleaning of  furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces and all other fuel-burning equipment such as gas dryers and stoves
  • Never operate a gasoline-powered engine indoors or in closed space -  Only use outside
  • Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.
  • Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home.
  • Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent unless it is specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in an enclosed area.
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.

Where to install a carbon monoxide alarm?

Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory and take the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions that are enclosed with each detector. 

Carbon monoxide mixes easily with air throughout the home.  Therefore, the suggested location for installation is in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. The units should not be blocked by furniture or window coverings and will work well in either a high or low location; however, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

Your carbon monoxide alarm should be tested regularly to make sure it is operating properly. Keep the unit clean and free of dust dirt and other debris which could affect the sensor’s proper functioning.  The owner’s manual should tell you how to test your alarm.

You should keep common household chemicals and cleaners away from your CO alarms. Low exposure over an extended period of time could damage the sensing device and cause it to malfunction.

Where not to install a carbon monoxide alarm

Do not install a carbon monoxide alarm in a place where the temperature is expected to fall below 4.4 degrees Celsius, such as an unheated garage or storage shed. They should not be placed within five feet of any open flame appliance such as cook tops, fireplaces or furnaces. They should also be kept clear of any direct exhaust from gas engines, vents, flues or chimneys as these will damage the alarm.

Where to buy a carbon monoxide alarm

CO alarms can be purchased at most hardware stores in Canada. Look for a ULC or CSA listed product. Approved devices include battery operated units, electric units that can be plugged into a duplex receptacle, and hard-wired units.

Additional resources

Ontario Fire Marshal

National Fire Protection Association’s Website