New bill would see sprinkler systems installed into new homes

Smoke alarms may not be enough anymore in a situation like a fire. Smoke alarms accompanied by residential sprinklers and an escape plan will greatly enhance protection, say proponents of a new bill before the Ontario legislature.

Bill 2 is an act to change the Building Code Act, 1992, regarding making residential fire sprinklers mandatory in new home construction.

This bill is called the Home Fire Sprinkler Act, 2005. The Toronto Fire Services recommends at the moment for people to begin installing them in new homes or in newly renovated homes.

The Toronto Fire Services advocates Bill 2 and encourages residents to contact their local Member of Provincial Parliament in support of the residential fire sprinkler legislation.

“Anyone considering major renovations or a new home should consider having residential sprinklers installed to avoid future tragedies,” said Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart.  “Residential sprinklers together with smoke alarms, will greatly enhance fire protection.”

Toronto fire crews responded to the report of a fire at 368 Spadina Avenue on April 17 at 3:12 a.m. 

The call reached a third-alarm level and involved 30 fire units and 100 firefighters. When the first crews arrived they observed fire and heavy smoke from the roof. 

There were occupants hanging from the second storey ledge and front windows. Crews worked quickly to put up ladders and rescued the people without injury.

A building inspector had to be called due to all the fire damage to some of the walls. Fire crews minimized water damage to the contents of the stores below by quickly covering them with tarps.

Situations like this could have less impact if sprinklers were installed, especially when there are elderly people who don’t move as quickly as others. Sprinklers would give time for people to fully escape with time to spare.