A significant wake-up call for landlords in Ontario as a Wasaga Beach property owner is facing a series of severe charges under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act. The incident unfolded in July at a multi-unit residential property on 12th St. South.
The alarming incident was sparked by a malfunctioning, plugged-in cellphone, which ignited a fire in one of the units. Prompt action from residents involved using a garden hose to battle the flames. Unfortunately, one individual suffered smoke inhalation and sustained first- and second-degree burns on their hands.
Thankfully, the fire’s impact was confined to a single unit, but the units above endured smoke damage. A subsequent inspection by firefighters unveiled an even more disturbing revelation: the entire building lacked operational smoke alarms. This unsettling discovery led to charges against the property owner for their failure to install or maintain these crucial life-saving devices.
The specific charge carries a $360 fine for each count if the owner chooses to pay the fine instead of going to court. However, if the case does proceed to court and results in a conviction, the consequences are far more substantial—a fine of $50,000 per charge, coupled with the potential for a year of incarceration.
To protect tenant safety, regular seasonal checks are vital. It’s essential for landlords to prioritize fire safety by ensuring smoke alarms are in working order. These checks help prevent catastrophic incidents, safeguard lives, and exemplify responsible landlording practices.
For privacy reasons, the municipality has withheld the identity of the property owner. It’s important to recognize that similar charges can be applied to tenants found tampering with or removing smoke alarms, emphasizing the collective responsibility for fire safety. Let’s make safety our top priority!”