Fire safety should be taken very seriously by your condominium corporation. With the rash of recent residential building fires throughout Alberta, it has left many wondering how safe they really are. Your condominium Board will work closely with a property management company to ensure that not only your investment in the corporation is protected, but that your personal safety is never in danger.

Condominium buildings require by law, an evacuation plan along with multiple types of fire-fighting equipment. An evacuation plan will offer at least two emergency routes from each of the owners suite, and each occupant of the building should be aware of the plan. The following is key fire-fighting equipment that should be present in every building: fire separation doors, fire alarms, subsidiary fire alarm power, emergency exit doors, emergency lights, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and fire alarm pull stations. Other equipment such as fire panels, hoses with water access may be found in larger buildings.

For townhouse style condominium corporations, there is less fire prevention requirements for the Board to tend to, compared with a condominium building. Within such complexes there may be private fire hydrants which need to be inspected by a qualified company on a regular basis, however if there are only public hydrants for the complex, Epcor will monitor and inspect them.

Your property management company should have already developed an emergency plan for your residents in case of a fire or evacuation of the property (in case of a gas leak, water leak, etc.) This plan should include a meeting point, along with people in charge of communicating with emergency first-responders (fire department, police, red cross, etc.). Of utmost importance, this plan should include a venue where owners may converge, in case of severe weather, when it is unreasonable to expect people to be outside for an extended period of time. This plan should be distributed to all residents.

Your property management company should advise your Board of the necessary requirements for testing of all fire-fighting and prevention equipment on a regular basis by qualified personnel. For residents of Edmonton who wish to inquire for themselves, they may contact the City of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.

A special thanks to Keith Fenton from the City of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services for supplying us with information on this matter.