Cracking the code

Cracking the code

June 25, 2019

25 June, 2019

A small business owner sought our help after he was ordered to install fire detectors and alarms on his property, noting that he could not access the technical standard of the Ontario Fire Code that was cited in the order.

A small business owner sought our help after he was ordered to install fire detectors and alarms on his property, noting that he could not access the technical standard of the Ontario Fire Code that was cited in the order. He was told that because the information was copyrighted, the only way to obtain a copy was to purchase it from the company that developed it, or go through the Fire Sciences Library in Toronto. His local library was unable to help him access the information, and he complained it was unreasonable that he could not get free access to it. Ombudsman staff raised this case with the Office of the Fire Marshal, which updated its website to let the public know to contact the Fire Sciences Library and Resource Centre to arrange access to the standards and codes cited in the Ontario Fire Code and Ontario Building Code. We also spoke with the Fire Sciences Library, which implemented a new process for this type of request, and helped him get the information he needed.

Read about how we helped other people in our Selected cases.