In March 2012, the Town of Creston Council adopted a the Fire Services Bylaw No. 1774, 2011, repealing the previous Fire Services Bylaw No. 1674 and the Fire Alarm System Bylaw No. 1396. Much of the content of the previous bylaws remained within the new bylaw, with a larger expansion of fire prevention measures in alignment with the BC Fire Code and to ensure that the current fire service and community fire safety needs are met.
This Bylaw adopts the BC Fire Code creating it to have the same force and effect as a municipal bylaw, providing more consistent application of the provincial code in line with fire and life safety issues within our community.
This Bylaw also sets out specific regulations and requirements concerning conduct of residents, authority of the fire department, open burning regulation, fire prevention regulations, and false alarm responses. A new regulatory requirement is the certification of fire protection technicians who inspect fire protection equipment to have certification through ASTTBC to protect the commercial businesses who rely on the professional conduct of these companies.
Click here to view Fire Services Bylaw No. 1774, 2011
The following is a brief summary of the Bylaw, and does not cover the entire Bylaw or contents:
- The fire department has authority to enter premises where a fire or other threat of property or life is imminent, to investigate fire, to investigate the source of an activated fire alarm and the inspection of property where life safety hazards believed to exist.
- The fire department at reasonable times may enter public and commercial buildings for the purposes of conducting a fire and life safety inspection.
Conduct of the Public / Residents
- No person shall impede, obstruct or hinder the fire department and its personnel in the execution of their duties.
- No person shall obstruct the view, impede access or hinder the operation of fire hydrants or fire department connections on buildings. This includes the growing of flowers and shrubs around fire hydrants.
- No person shall obstruct or hinder the operation of an exit of any public building.
- No person shall interfere with the access to an emergency incident or access to water supplies for firefighting purposes.
- Requires all existing and new buildings, whether residential, commercial or industrial, to plainly display the street address number on the front of the building.
- All addresses displayed on the building must be plainly visible and legible, day or night from the street, road, fire lane, or access route.
- Provides requirements for visible distance to be a minimum of 15 meters (50 feet), numbers shall be a minimum of 10 cm (4 inches) in height and a contrasting colour to the background where they are fixed.
Open Burning Regulations
- No person shall start or maintain an open air fire or allow open air burning on owned, leased or public property within the municipality.
- Open burning may take place during the months of April and October only with a valid permit obtained from the Town of Creston or Fire Department.
- Allows for cooking fires within contained BBQs and fire pits having a surface area not greater than 0.5 square meters (2.5 sq. feet) using natural gas, propane, charcoal or clean dry seasoned firewood. All cooking fires must have a screen covering the fire area.
- Open Burning Permits will be issued within one of five (5) categories; residential piles, field clearing of freestanding grass, large piles, commercial waste and land clearing.
- The Bylaw outlines different requirements for each permits and minimum requirements for all fires. These requirements are similar as all provincial regulations and acts with regards to open burning.
- Any permits issued may be revoked for non-compliance or due to environmental conditions.
Inspection and Testing of Fire Protection Equipment
- All owners and occupiers of hotels and public buildings shall ensure the inspection and testing of fire protection equipment by fire protection technicians in accordance with the Fire Services Act and all regulations made under it.
- Fire Protection Technicians are required to be certified by Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) to inspect and test fire protection equipment or systems.
- Fire protection equipment are defined as fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, commercial fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, standpipe systems, and emergency lighting and power systems.
- Fire protection technicians shall label all inspected equipment in the manner provided within the schedules of the Fire Services Bylaw No. 1774, 2011
- Owners and Occupiers of public buildings shall notify the fire department immediately if any or all of a fire alarm system, sprinkler system or fire protection equipment becomes inoperable.
Fire Prevention and Hazard Control
- Requires all landlords to ensure the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms in all rented residential suites.
- Requires the approval for the installation and removal of all underground fuel storage tanks.
- No person may dispose of any explosive, flammable substance, hazardous substance or liquid of petro-chemical nature in an unsafe manner within the municipality.
- Regulates garbage and refuse containers larger than 1.5 meters in any dimension on the construction and location near or against combustible buildings.
- Regulates combustible waste materials or garbage located in any street, lane, alley, or sidewalk within specified distances of buildings.
- All vacant buildings must keep all openings securely closed and fastened against unauthorized entry, and also requires owners of fire damaged buildings to either be secured or guarded against unauthorized entry.
- Requires the reporting to 911 any explosion, discharge, emission, escape or spill of a hazardous material, as defined by Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, under abnormal or unusual circumstances.
- Limits the accumulation of combustible materials in and around buildings or within parking garages that would constitute a fire hazard.
- Requires that all fire lanes and accesses remain clear and unobstructed.
- Requires all exits and exit facilities within public buildings to remain operational and unobstructed.
- Requires the installation and maintenance of emergency light systems where required by the BC Fire Code in all public and commercial buildings.
- Specifies occupancy types that require Emergency Plans and other requirements associated with emergency planning.
- Requires all commercial cooking hoods and suppression systems to be installed and maintained in accordance with BC Building and Fire Codes.
- Requires the inspection, maintenance and record retention on private fire hydrants, standpipe systems and sprinkler systems.
- Requires the selection, installation, and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers as defined in the BC Fire Code (NFPA 10).
- Requires the maintenance of fire separations, fire walls, and closures (doors).
- Requires the posting of Occupant Load signage as required by BC Fire Code.
- Requires public buildings and hotels to provide a fire watch whenever fire protection systems are inoperable.
- Requires all fire alarm systems to be installed to meet the requirements of the BC Fire Code, including any system voluntarily installed.
- Requires all buildings that have fire alarms to have accurate contact information with either the monitoring company or clearly posted at the building if it is not monitored.
- Buildings with either a security or fire alarm is allowed one false alarm per 12 month period of time, all other false alarms with time frame is subject to penalties.
Fees for Service
- Outlines the services that the fire department may charge for outside of the standard responses provided to the general public.
- Provides for cost recovery of costs incurred by either the fire department or Town of Creston correcting a bylaw violation, such as securing a vacant building or the removal of combustibles that are creating a fire hazard.
- Outlines the enforcement of violations within the bylaw.
The above overview and summary is provided for quick convenience and should not be taken as the actual requirement of the Fire Services Bylaw No. 1774, 2011. If you feel any of these items may apply to you, please download and review the Bylaw from within this website.
Questions and concerns regarding the Bylaw, please contact the fire department.