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National Building & Fire Codes
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The process of changing the building code in Canada is rigorous, evidence-informed and based on high standards. While commendable, that often means that organizations with more timely access to research and data have the ability to propose and substantiate changes to be building code more effectively than those who don’t. 


Fire departments tend not to have the mandate, the capacity, or the resources required to affect any changes to the Building Code. Therefore, the CAFC has three actions:

  1. We have asked the Federal Government to commit $50 million a year to allow Canadian Fire Departments the capacity to inform building code applications and evolve the National Fire Information Database.
  2.  We have a Building Codes Committee that is struck to proactively address the technical issues that we see coming in proposed changes to the building code and to assess capacity to make building code changes from the committee itself.
    • You can view all the CAFC’s feedback to the Public Review of the Proposed Changes to the Building and Fire Codes here.
  3. We have also requested that the Federal Government better engage the Fire Service on the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes.
  4. CAFC is looking to better partner with the research community.

Our results:

  1. We have an active Building Codes Committee that has made submissions to the Building Codes. The CAFC does not support any proposed changes to the incorporation of Encapsulate Mass Timber Construction (EMTC) into the main body of the National Building Code.  Learn more about the CAFC’s position.
  2. The CAFC President Ken Block and the Co-Chair of the Building Codes Committee have both been appointed to the Building Codes Commission.
  3. We have created a Fire Research Roster, to help us identify researchers who may be doing research in areas related to the building code and in other areas. You can check out Fire Research Roster here. 

Next steps

  • The CAFC is currently conducting a membership wide survey of current member needs and proposals to change the building and fire codes. The results will be presented at Fire Rescue Canada.
  • We continue to advocate for making residential sprinkler systems mandatory on all new builds.  Research shows that sprinklers save lives. Learn more about the CAFC’s position on residential fire sprinklers.  See our position on Sprinklers.
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