The Regina Fire Department is looking to cover costs by proposing new fees and regulations.
The changes to the Regina Fire Bylaw would bring in brand new fees for permits, false alarms, facility inspections and fire technician licences.
Proposed changes to the Regina Fire Bylaw will be considered at the Community and Protective Services Committee meeting on September 13.
People who sell fireworks would have to pay $106 for a permit, which covers up to three locations. Another $31 would be charged for each additional location.
Open air fires, which does not include backyard fire pits, would cost $62.
Under the proposal, a $95 fee would apply for each provincially and federally mandated inspection. This would apply to places like daycares and care homes.
Fire technicians would be required to be licensed, costing $62 per technician for up to five licences.
This was proposed for people who maintain, service or test:
- Portable fire extinguishers
- Commercial cooking equipment
- Sprinkler and standpipe systems
- Fire alarm systems
- Addressable fire alarm systems
“We want to ensure the people who are working on these systems are qualified and that they’re meeting the requirements of the national fire code,” said Jackson.
He clarified that these licences do not apply to electrical contractors doing installations on new fire alarm installations.
Fees are being proposed to cover the costly response to false alarms in Regina.
Firefighters responded to 1,063 false alarms in 2017. Chief Jackson said that wastes resources and costs roughly $350,000 per year.
False alarms are mostly caused by a faulty device when it’s not triggered by smoke, heat or fire and no one is in danger. When firefighters show up because of smoke from cooking or burnt toast, it’s not a false alarm.
The first false alarm comes with a warning letter and no fee. The second is a $300 fee. Every other warning after that is $600. This resets every calendar year.
Smoke alarms in residential rentals
In the last decade, 10 out of the 15 fire fatalities in Regina happened in residential rentals.
The current bylaw only requires a hardwired smoke alarm on the level in a house or rental unit where there are bedrooms.
The proposal includes replacing those with hardwired alarms that also have a battery backup in case the power goes out.
“We do know that, sometimes, is when people bring out candles and other things that can cause fires,” said Jackson.
The new regulation would also require a smoke alarm on all floors without bedrooms. They would also need to be inspected after tenants leave and before a new tenant moves in.