Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Raising the Alarm Over Fire Inspections

What would you do if you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a private vendor who failed to prove that they properly inspected the lifesaving systems within the building?

This is the question many people are asking after the recent announcement by the City of Toronto’s Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler that concluded that just one City building was found to be in compliance with the Fire Code.

Her investigation found that buildings from City Hall and Union Station and downtown daycares and care homes all suffered from a lack of compliance around fire safety standards. The shocking report paints an “alarming” picture of how a combination of bureaucratic indifference and deceitfulness on behalf of the private firm put employees, firefighters, and visitors at risk.

Toronto Mayor John Tory shared his “utter disappointment” with the findings, and called the lack of cooperation and accountability between the private firm and City staff “a disgrace.”

Dishonesty in the Private Sector

The report states that a company, headed by Mr. Rauf Ahmad (also known as Rauf Arain) called York Fire Protection was hired by the City of Toronto to handle life safety inspections for multiple city-owned buildings for a number of years.

The company, which according to the report also operates under several other names including Advanced Detection Technologies Corp., and Advanced Fire Control has done similar work for other private buildings throughout Toronto and the surrounding municipalities.

The Auditor General’s investigation, which covers the period of 2010-2017, accuses the contractor of invoicing for work and inspection reports that were never completed, claiming unwarranted compensation and putting the lives of the people working and living in the buildings at risk.

As a result of the City of Toronto Auditor General’s findings the Toronto Fire Services have laid a total of 58 Ontario Fire Code charges against Mr. Ahmad and the companies associated with his name.

Indifference in the Public Sector

Of course, none of this would have happened if there hadn’t been a significant amount of indifference within the public sector. The lack of accountability and follow-through, both on ensuring that the invoices being paid were for work that was completed as well as ensuring that the findings were accurate and up-to-code, 

“The good news from this report is that it’s a fixable problem. All of the actions I think the city should take are listed in the report as the recommendations,” said Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler in an email to The Toronto Star.

This increased focus on transparency and accountability is a boon for the citizens of Toronto, and is indicative in a larger cultural shift towards safety and responsibility in both the public and private sectors.

Find a Reputable Fire Safety Company in Winnipeg

Unfortunately there are companies throughout Canada and even right here in Manitoba who currently operating outside of the Manitoba Fire Code, which means sourcing the right company to handle your inspections and installations is more important than ever.

At Bison Fire Protection we bring out 17+ years of experience servicing businesses with superior fire protection services to every job we do. Our highly skilled technicians never cut corners and are always committed to your safety.

Contact our team of experts by calling 866-441-3473 today to learn more about our fire safety services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Saskatoon, and Regina.

Posted by Rob Read at 9:06 AM


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