Updating its building code, Canada weighs home fire sprinkler requirement for new homes

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Jan 15, 2018

Could Canadian building codes include a requirement for home fire sprinklers?


Currently investigating this requirement is a task force formed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes that recently completed a report on sprinkler cost and benefits. The analysis will aid the commission as it updates Canada's National Building Code. According to CBC News, the national code "forms the basis for provincial building codes." 


Offering technical support on the task force was the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada. (Check out its previous research on fire behavior in homes.) In a nutshell, NRC has determined fire sprinklers help control the spread of fire in new homes, which are fiercer than ever. Philip Rizcallah, an NRC director, told the CBC that fire sprinklers are a component to safer homes. More exits and building with fire-resistant materials are others. "It's not safety at all costs," Rizcallah said. "It's safety at a reasonable cost, because you can make it so that it's unaffordable, and if nobody can actually afford a home then you've missed the boat."


Vince MacKenzie, a director with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, underscored sprinkler installation affordability to the CBC, adding "I think the concept that the fire department will come and save you all the time is a myth." 


The public will get the chance to weigh on any proposed building code changes before it's finalized. 


Learn how Canada's sprinkler advocates have highlighted this technology by visiting the British Columbia Fire Sprinkler Initiative page.