The City of Toronto says charges have been laid against two fire inspection service companies Thursday morning.
In a statement, the city said Toronto Fire Services has charged Advanced Detection Technologies Corporation and York Fire Protection, as well as several individuals involved with the companies, for alleged violations of the Ontario fire code.
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop told Global News the allegations are “relating to the inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, and alterations of fire safety systems in buildings.” Three buildings were allegedly affected.
“[It] certainly has been the most labour intensive, human resource intensive and complex investigation and inspection we have seen in years,” he said.
Jessop said the allegations were brought to his attention a year ago and he took them directly to the chief who then allocated what he needed to investigate.
“Really, it’s disturbing. These companies and these individuals have allegedly been hired by owners to commend and do tests and inspection, and maintain fire safety systems in buildings that not only do the occupants use but so do the responding firefighters in terms of a fire,” he said.
Jessop said that none of the three buildings affected had any fires. They have since been thoroughly inspected by his own staff and have been deemed safe.
“The Ontario Fire Code requires fire and life safety systems such as fire alarm systems, sprinklers, emergency generators, elevators and emergency lighting be inspected, tested, repaired, replaced and altered in accordance with specific standards to ensure the health and safety of the public and responding firefighters,” the City of Toronto release said.
Penalties for violations of the Ontario fire code can be up to $100,000 for corporations. Individuals could end up with a year in jail or a $50,000 fine.
The city said Toronto Fire Services is continuing to investigate whether other properties were affected.