FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Building Owner Fined and Placed on Probation for
Ontario Fire Code Offences
HAMILTON, ON – October 8, 2009 – On Tuesday October 6, 2009, a registered company, 150 Main West Holdings and its Director, Darko Vranich, pled guilty in Provincial Offences court to a number of violations of the Ontario Fire Code for a property located at 150 Main Street West in Hamilton.
This building is a six storey vacant office building formerly occupied as a Federal Government office building. The owner has changed the use to that of a warehouse storage facility. Change of use in building occupancies require building owners to obtain a building permit and comply with applicable legislation which can vary depending on the actual use of the building. In this case, changing the use from an office building to a warehouse storage facility increased the combustible loading in the building, creating a higher fire risk than what the original building was designed for.
An Inspector from Hamilton Emergency Services attended at this property and found there to be a large amount of combustible materials including mattresses and wooden furniture being stored in the basement and first floor level. In addition to this, the buildings standpipe and hose system as well as the sprinkler system had been shut down and were in-operative. Inspection orders were served and follow up re-inspections revealed the non-compliance and as a result charges were subsequently laid.
A conviction was registered against 150 Main West Holdings and the company was fined $2,500 per count for a total of $7,500. In addition, Darko Vranich was fined $1,000 per count for a total of $3,000 in fines. Mr. Vranich has also been placed on probation for a period of 6 months with the specific conditions to restore the standpipe and sprinkler systems and remove the combustibles, all to the satisfaction of the Chief Fire Prevention Officer. Failure to comply with the probation order will result in further charges.
This court appearance and subsequent conviction occurs during Fire Prevention Week, a week in which fire officials stress the importance of fire safety in our daily lives. Although this particular building is a vacant property and being used for storage purposes, compliance with these requirements is important for the safety of firefighters who may be called upon to respond. Standpipe and hose systems along with sprinklers are essential for firefighting purposes in all larger commercial buildings.
For more information, please contact
Chief Fire Prevention Officer
Fire Prevention Division
Hamilton Emergency Services – Fire
Phone: 905.546.2424 ext. 7761
The jobs, stupid!