FIRE CHIEF’S GUIDE FOR DEVELOPMENT DESIGN APPROVAL

Introduction This handbook is a guide for use by Canadian fire chiefs when reviewing housing developments within their communities; it compiles information about standards and opportunities through which fire chiefs can affect development approvals within their community. The content is based on experience, consolidates background information, and explains how the two fit together into a comprehensive program that shapes fire safe communities at the development stage. This purpose of this guide is to share this knowledge with fire chiefs and their departments such that they can have a greater understanding of their role in shaping fire safety policies in their communities. Some elements in this guide have been extracted from a number of sources including Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) documents. More detailed materials can be found in these cited sources. All mentioned codes and standards are only minimum standards or minimum best practices. Nothing precludes a community from setting higher requirements. Canada has a loose patchwork of provincial and territorial regulations, codes, standards, and bylaws that creates a system of public fire protection. While some provinces have attempted to guide departments in the application of some elements, there is a lack of comprehensive guidance. This guide attempts to help fire chiefs and those in smaller communities understand their important roles in participating in the design review and approval of subdivision development in the communities they serve. (Pg. 29) Conclusion The fire chief is ideally situated to work with municipal officials, developers, and builders to identify and address the required design of new developments. The first line of fire defense to protect our communities is through their proper design. This handbook has attempted to identify situations in which fire chiefs have an opportunity, and in some cases an obligation, to advise on the planning and design of subdivisions and developments that reflects the local fire service’s capabilities. All standards and references identified in this document are minimum requirements. Nothing precludes a community from setting higher requirements based on local needs.