Fire Safety Orders & Appeals

This bulletin provides information to owners regarding orders and appeals under the Fire Services Act and B.C. Fire Code.

What are fire orders?

A fire order identifies fire and life safety items of a property. Orders may be issued pursuant to Section 22, 30 or 33 of the Fire Services Act, or pursuant to the B.C. Fire Code depending on the types of fire and life safety items. The applicable sections of the Fire Services Act or the B.C Fire Code are included with the fire order. Upon receipt the owner must comply with the order within the time frame specified. 

Fire Order Appeals

An owner must comply with the order, or, if felt justified, to appeal the order. It is important for the owner to read the information carefully so that the owner understands the responsibilities and the limitations on the appeal period.

A reasonable time limit is usually given to complete the work. If the appellant is requesting an extension for more time, it is more effective to approach the Local Assistant who issued the order to re-assess the timeline rather than appealing to the Fire Commissioner. The Local Assistant may seek technical support from the Office of the Fire Commissioner in determining a reasonable time frame.

The appeal process provides the appellant with an opportunity for the order to be reviewed by the Fire Commissioner or his delegate. It is not the intent of the appeal to delay the compliance and therefore prolong the fire risk exposure, nor is the intent of the appeal to request a new or separate inspection.

How to Appeal

The appellant may appeal by letter. The letter must be addressed to the Fire Commissioner and sent directly to the Office of the Fire Commissioner. The appellant must state in the letter the reasons for the appeal and the letter must bear their signature.

A Fire Service Advisor from the Office of the Fire Commissioner may be assigned to investigate the appeal. The role of the Fire Services Advisor is to review the non-compliance identified in the order and report the findings to the Fire Commissioner. They cannot offer, or accept, design solutions. The acceptance of the corrections to the non-compliance rests with the Local Assistant who issues the order.

The owner will receive a Notice to Owner with the Fire Commissioner’s decision. The Fire Commissioner may affirm, modify or revoke the order. The Fire Commissioner (or their delegate) may contact the appellant or the Local Assistant that issued the order to seek additional information prior to finalizing the decision.

For more information, contact the Office of the Fire Commissioner.