New fire alarm regulations will take effect on January 1st, which is welcome news for Regina Fire.
The new regulations were passed as a bylaw earlier this year, which will ensure smoke detectors in rental properties have both a wired power source and a battery back up on levels with sleeping rooms on them.
Fire Marshal Randy Ryba said the new regulations are to keep renters safe. “The landlord associations and others within that industry have been consulted throughout and they were aware this was coming. They actually gave one extra year for them to comply as there are some large corporations out there with a lot of different suites and they do need time to do this.”
When asked why having two power sources is necessary, Ryba said 80 percent of residential fires happen in rental properties. “That’s why we incorporated smoke alarm requirements back in 2005, we just broadened it a little bit so we have more coverage and un-delayed coverage.Throughout the day if we have a power failure, the previous bylaw did not recognize the need for battery backup in a smoke alarm and as such in a power failure the people are unprotected.”
He said there are a number of penalties that can be enforced if landlords don’t comply. “We can issue tickets, $200-300 a ticket non-compliance. In the case of a landlord not complying with the regulations and they do have a fire and people are hurt, we would certainly consider taking them right to prosecution.”