Typical low-rise apartment buildings are prevalent in the older portions of the City. These buildings commonly have at least three (3) apartments, with some apartments sharing a common exit or are located above another apartment and sharing a common exit.
The Ontario Fire Code section 9.5 also applies to buildings containing one or two dwelling units in combination with rooming/lodging/boarding accommodations for up to four (4) people (combination arrangement).
The Ontario Fire Code section 9.5 also applies to other unique residential arrangements, but not addressed here.
Conditions and factors that increase risk of fire and injury in this type of housing:
- Renovation typically done without required City review and approval (no building permit).
- Inadequate exits for Basement, 2nd, and 3rd Floors. At least two (2) exits are required for these floor levels, and they are typically not provided. Note: open stairs, or enclosed stairs without a door discharging directly outdoors are not exits.
- Lack of interconnected smoke alarm or fire alarm system throughout building (due to no building permit).
- Interior finishes not Code compliant, increasing speed of flame spread.
- Lack of proper electrical upgrades to accommodate increased electrical loads, and/or electrical upgrades not ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) inspected and approved (typically for combination arrangements).