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Municipal Affairs

Building Plans Review Requirement

Who Needs This Review?
Prior to the start of construction, an owner of a building or facility containing one of the following classes of occupancies must provide building plans for the construction or alteration of the building or facility to the Fire Marshal:

(a) an assembly occupancy (Group A) that
(i) is more than 3 stories high including the stories below grade, or
(ii) has an area greater than 600 m2, or
(iii) is in a non-residential building that is used for a school, college or university and that has an occupant load of more than 40 persons;
(b) a care or detention occupancy (Group B);

(c) a residential occupancy (Group C) that is licensed or regulated under the Homes for Special Care Act; and

(e) a high hazard industrial occupancy (Group F, Division 1) that is more than 2 stories high or has an area greater than 600 m2.
[Part 2 - General Fire Safety Provisions, Fire Safety Regulations, made under Section 51 of the Fire Safety Act]

Note:  This approval is to ensure compliance with the fire safety requirements of the Nova Scotia Building Code, Fire Code and Fire Safety Regulations.

It is the responsibility of the owner, not the local Building Officials (Inspectors), to determine whether or not this Approval is needed.
Issuing Department / Agency:
Municipal Affairs
Where can you get this Approval and / or further information?
Building - Fire Safety
Office of the Fire Marshal
Municipal Affairs

Tel: 902-424-5721
Fax: 902-424-3239
Toll free: 1-800-559-3473
Office Location:
1505 Barrington St.
8th Floor
Halifax, NS B3J 3K5

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 231
Halifax Central
Halifax, NS B3J 2M4
Application Forms & Process:
Before the start of construction, the applicant must submit to Municipal Affairs:
1. a copy of all plans, drawn to scale;
2. any related documents; and
3. a covering letter explaining the proposed project.

This is required for new buildings and for renovations to existing buildings.

Once all the required documents have been submitted, and the plans have been reviewed, by the Fire Marshal, a letter will be mailed to the applicant.
Waiting Period:
45 business days
Provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received
Expiry & Renewal:
This does not expire.
Free (for the occupancies listed above)
Related Requirements:
Municipalities require a building permit before constructing or renovating buildings. For more information, contact one of the building inspectors in your local municipality.  For a list of Municipal Building Inspectors, Click here.
Additional Information:
Legislative Authority:
Fire Safety Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 2002, Chapter 6, and Fire Safety Regulations, (Part 2, General Fire Safety Provinsions) and Fire Safety Provisions.

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