Types of Appeals and Applications
There are three types of appeals and applications to the Fire Safety Commission (FSC or the Commission):
- Appeal from a decision and order of the Fire Marshal;
- Application by an inspector for authorization to complete work required under an order; and
- Appeal of an order to pay costs issued by the Fire Marshal, a Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Marshal.
Appeal of inspection orders and Fire Marshal review orders
A fire department inspector who has carried out an inspection of land or premises has broad authority under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) to order the owner or occupant to take any measure necessary to ensure fire safety.
The types of things that can be ordered by an inspector are listed under section 21(1) of the FPPA. They include the ability of an inspector to order the property owner or occupant:
- to remove buildings or structures from the property
- to make structural and other repairs or alterations
- to remove combustible or explosive material or any thing that may constitute a fire hazard
- to install and use specified equipment or devices necessary to contain hazardous material on the property and, in the event of a fire, to remove or transport the material
- to discontinue manufacturing, production or fabrication of any material, device or thing that creates or poses an undue risk of fire or explosion
- to do anything respecting fire safety including anything relating to the containment of a possible fire, means of egress, fire alarms and detection, fire suppression and the preparation of a fire safety plan
- to remedy any contravention of the Ontario Fire Code.
A property owner or occupant who disagrees with an inspection order must, within 15 days of having been served with the inspection order, request a review by the Fire Marshal before appealing to the FSC. In most cases the Fire Marshal reviews the inspection order and issues a decision and order. The person can then appeal the Fire Marshal’s decision and order to the FSC.
In some cases the Fire Marshal refuses to consider the request and refers the matter directly to the FSC.
Application for authorization to do work
An inspector can apply to the Commission for an order authorizing them to do the work required under an order.
The Commission can authorize the inspector to do the work or have it done if, (1) failure to do the work would seriously endanger the health or safety of any person or the quality of the natural environment, and (2) the person required to do the work refuses to comply or is not complying with the order, is not likely to comply promptly, is not likely to carry out the order competently, or requests the assistance of the inspector in complying with the order.
Appeal of order to pay costs
The Fire Marshal, an assistant to the Fire Marshal or a Fire Chief can issue an order to pay the costs incurred by the province or a municipality for completing the work authorized by the FSC.
They can also issue an order to pay costs for measures taken where they had reasonable grounds to believe that a risk of fire posed an immediate threat to life and took steps to remove or reduce the threat.
A person who receives an order to pay costs can appeal to the FSC.
At a hearing, the FSC must only consider whether any of the costs specified in the order are:
- unreasonable, or
- do not relate to a thing:
- that the person was required to do by an order, or
- that the Fire Marshal was authorized to do in circumstances where there was an immediate threat to life.
Filing an Appeal or Application
To appeal or apply to the FSC, you must complete the appropriate forms or provide the necessary details in writing. You should provide reasons for your appeal or request and the result or action you are seeking.
To avoid delays in processing your appeal, you should provide:
- your full name, address, email address and telephone number; and
- if you have chosen to have counsel or an agent to represent you, their full name, address, email address, telephone and fax numbers.
Appeals and applications can be sent to the FSC by mail, fax, e-mail or delivered in person.
If you are appealing a Fire Marshal decision and order, or an order to pay costs to the FSC, you must do so within 15 days of receiving the order.
The FSC can extend the time for appealing in certain circumstances, but you must ask for an extension of the time for requesting an appeal within 30 days of receiving the order. The FSC cannot extend the 15-day time limit for appeals from an order to pay costs.
There are no timelines for an application authorizing work.
There is no fee to file an appeal or application with the FSC.
Once you have submitted your appeal or application, a Case Management Officer will review the documents to ensure they are complete. A Case Management Officer may contact you if additional information is needed.
Withdrawing an Appeal or Application
If you decide to withdraw your appeal or application before the hearing, you will need to provide written notice to the FSC and copy the other parties to the appeal before the scheduled hearing date(s).
If you are at a case conference or hearing, and wish to withdraw your appeal, you can inform the adjudicator of your decision to withdraw your appeal at that time.
Accessibility and Accommodation
We are committed to continuously improving accessibility of the services we provide.
If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate in an FSC proceeding, or if you require assistance to access other services, please contact us.