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Published on August 11, 2019 with No Comments

Amendment requirements for out-of-service firefighters’ elevators

Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS), in conjunction with the City of Vaughan, is dedicated to efficient emergency response. Recent changes to the Ontario Fire Code address elevators in highrise buildings and focus on ensuring the safety of all citizens in the event of an emergency. Recent amendments address situations where an elevator designated for firefighter use is out of service. The new requirements state that highrise building owners must: notify the buildings supervisory staff when the firefighters’ elevator in a highrise is not operational; notify building occupants and contact the municipal fire department if the firefighters’ elevator is not operational for more than 24 hours and have fire safety procedures approved by the municipal fire department and included as an amendment to the approved fire safety plan. Above all they need to comply with new legislative amendments.

 VFRS is ready for effective firefighting and rescue operations, whether they are commercial, industrial or residential structures. The Service also works to enhance public safety through comprehensive public education, fire prevention and emergency response services.

“Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service maintains the highest standards in safety and is always ready to answer the call of duty. With 65 highrise buildings in Vaughan and many more projected for the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, our emerging downtown, recent amendments to the Ontario Fire Code will contribute to improved fire safety which will better enable our firefighters to respond accordingly to emergency situations in highrise buildings. Vaughan is blessed to have the outstanding dedication of Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi and her team of professional firefighters who remain committed to ensuring best practices in fire safety,” said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.

In 2018, VFRS visited highrise buildings throughout Vaughan to inspect the buildings for fire code violations and to educate residents about what to do when the alarm sounds. The following key information was communicated:

  • If the decision is to leave upon hearing the alarm, it must be done immediately through the stairwells.
  • If the decision is to stay, close all windows and doors and listen for announcements from responders on the Emergency Voice Communications system. If conditions change within the unit, call 9-1-1.
  • Most highrise incidents are resolved in short order. If the incident is prolonged, fire department personnel will be able to retrieve time-sensitive items for evacuated residents, including medications.

For more information about VFRS, visit vaughan.ca/fire.


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