News Release Archive

Nova Scotia's Fire Prevention Advisory Council is seeking public
input on a discussion paper on the need to update the Fire
Prevention Act.

The act, which hasn't undergone a complete review in 20 years, is
designed to prevent or reduce the incidence and spread of fire
which continues to cause loss of life, injuries, and property
loss. It includes fire and life safety reviews of building plans,
fire inspections, fire investigations, enforcement powers and
appeal processes.

The discussion paper explains the need for updating the act and
outlines the changes being considered by the advisory council. It
provides an opportunity for groups and individuals to offer

"Everybody fears fire and its threat to life and property, which
makes it imperative to have an up-to-date Fire Prevention Act,"
said Yarmouth Fire Chief Ken Kelly, chairman of the Fire
Prevention Advisory Council. "The review process has been
lengthy, but we feel it is essential to get all partners and the
public involved so everyone has a chance to comment on this
important topic."

Part of the review process included representatives from 15
stakeholder organizations working together with Fire Marshal
Office representatives to review the legislation. This included
municipal councillors, paid and volunteer fire chiefs, fire
inspectors and fire investigators, building inspectors, insurance
industry executives and adjusters, property owners, and
architecture and engineering professionals. Representatives of
other government departments and the Municipal Legislation Review
Committee were also involved.

The recommendations and comments will be included in the advisory
council's recommendations for changes to the act which will be
submitted to Labour Minister Manning MacDonald. The report to the
minister will be available by late summer, to provide a further
opportunity for input before a new draft act is finalized.

Highlights of the suggested changes include:

- clarification of the roles of fire marshal and municipality

- reduce the categories of building plans requiring review by the
  Fire Marshal's Office;

- reduce the frequency of required municipal fire inspections and
  add some high risk building categories;

- eliminate municipality's responsibility for inspections of
  schools and have the Fire Marshal's Office and school boards
  continue that responsibility;

- time frames for reporting fires would be tightened and the
  powers of fire investigators and fire inspectors strengthened;

- new powers be added to the act including authority to regulate
  fire alarms and extinguishers;

- power to establish a separate board for standards,
  certification and accreditation for firefighter training;

- power to provide support for training programs for all
  personnel who deal with fire and for critical incident stress
  programs for firefighters;

- new board and committee structures for standards, and training
  for fire inspectors and investigators, and for appeals;

- an interpretation and equivalencies committee for fire and life
  safety issues may be set up;

- adoption of the National Fire Code and related standards.

Copies of The Fire Prevention Act Review: Discussion Paper can be
obtained by contacting the Fire Prevention Act Review Project,
Fire Prevention Advisory Council, Dept. of Labour, P.O. Box 679,
Halifax, B3J 2T8; telephone: 902-424-5721 or toll-free
1-800-559-3473; fax: 902-424-3239.

Submissions are requested by the end of April, and can be sent to
the above address.


Contact: Robert Cormier, Fire Marshal  902-424-4553

         Jill Shlossberg, Project Facilitator  902-424-8561

trp                   Mar. 27, 1997 - 10:25 a.m.