Are outdoor fireplaces or burning rubbish in my backyard allowed in the City of Windsor?

The Fire Code is written to protect the public from unsafe fire practices. The code reads: Open air burning shall not be permitted unless approved, or unless such burning consists of a small, confined fire, supervised at all times, and used to cook food on a grill or a barbecue. Burning rubbish or using an outdoor fireplace for a purpose other than cooking food, in the manner described in the code, are violations of the Fire Code.

Are propane or electric barbecues allowed on apartment balconies?

There is no provision in the Fire Code to prohibit propane or electric barbecues on balconies. The Propane Handling Act does not permit propane tanks larger than five pounds inside a building. Many buildings have a “no barbecue” rule in their leases and this would be administered under the Landlord-Tenant Act. The Fire Department is proposing a by-law prohibiting propane barbecues on balconies.

Can I have a fire in my backyard?

No. Open air burning is not allowed in the City of Windsor. To report an incident of open air burning, please call 519-255-6478 or 519-258-4444.

Can I install a wood stove in my home?

Be sure to follow the manufacturers’ directions and the local building codes for proper installation, use, and maintenance of your wood-burning stove. A building permit is required to install a wood stove in your home. You can obtain local building code/permit information by calling 519-255-6267.

Always start your fire using paper and small pieces of kindling. Never use accelerants to start a fire. Things can get out of hand in a hurry!

Burn only well-seasoned wood. Green or unseasoned wood burns cooler than well-seasoned wood, and can cause creosote to build up at a much faster rate.

Be sure to clean the ashes out of your wood-burning stove on a regular basis. Store the ashes in a covered metal container. Hot coals and discarded ashes can easily ignite grass, leaves, and trees if left uncovered. Keep the ash container at a safe distance away from the house and any other nearby buildings.

Can the fire or water department come fill my pool?

No. You should contact Enwin Water Division to obtain information about the hydrants in your area and charges involved to fill it yourself.

Does section 2.13 apply equally to dwelling units that are owner occupied and rental units?

Yes. Each dwelling unit is regulated regardless of the ownership arrangement.

How can I contact the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association?

Windsor Professional Firefighters Association telephone number is 519-258-7291. The Benefit Fund is also a part of the Association.

What brand of carbon monoxide detector is best?

We cannot recommend a specific brand of CO detector. If the detector is ULC- approved, then it meets minimum standards and will do the job for which it is designed. More expensive models have digital readouts. What we do recommend is that you select a battery-operated model.

Where should a carbon monoxide detector be located in the home?

Proper placement of a CO detector is important. In general, the human body is most vulnerable to the effects of CO during sleeping hours, so a detector should be located in or as near as possible to the sleeping area of the home.

If only one detector is being installed, it should be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep.

Where sleeping areas are located in separate parts of the home, a detector should be provided for each area.

Additional CO detectors should be placed on each level of a residence and in other rooms where combustion devices are located (such as in a room that contains a solid fuel-fired appliance, gas clothes dryer or natural gas furnace), or adjacent to potential sources of CO (such as in a teenager’s room or granny suite located adjacent to an attached garage).

Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. Recognizing this, a CO detector should be located at knee-height (which is about the same as prone sleeping height). Due to the possibility of tampering or damage by pets, children, vacuum cleaners and the like, it may be located up to chest height. To work properly, a detector should not be blocked by furniture, draperies or other obstructions to normal air flow.

If a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector is used, it should be located on the ceiling, to ensure that it will detect smoke effectively.

Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for additional information regarding proper use and maintenance.

Who can I call to get some food for my family, clothing shelter?

If you suspect abuse is involved, refer them to the Hiatus House at 519-252-7781. If they have had a fire or other emergency, refer them to the Red Cross 519-944-8144. In other circumstances, refer them to the Salvation Army at 519-252-2601 during the day or to their after-hours service at 519-253-7473.

What dwelling units are regulated by Section 2.13 of the Fire Code?

Section 2.13 applies to all detached houses, semi-detached houses and row houses where each house is occupied as a dwelling unit (see definition below). A seasonal home, such as a cabin or cottage, is also considered a dwelling unit for the purpose of this Section. Section 2.13 also captures any other dwelling unit that is not otherwise regulated by Part 9, Retrofit, provisions of the Fire Code. Where for example, a building contains a mixed use of occupancies and also contains one or two dwelling units, Section 2.13 would require the dwelling unit(s) to be provided with smoke alarms.

Part 9 regulates houses containing secondary apartment units and most multi-storey, multi-unit residential buildings. Smoke alarm requirements for these buildings are already contained in Part 9 of the Fire Code and Section 2.13 does not apply to these units.

A dwelling unit is defined by the Fire Code as meaning “a suite operated as a housekeeping unit, used or intended to be used as a domicile by one or more persons and usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities”.

What is retrofit?

Retrofit legislation as described in Part 9 of the Fire Code addresses the upgrade of existing buildings. Under Part 9 of the Fire Code, alteration may require some construction, renovations or additions. A building permit may be required for some of this work. Contact the City of Windsor Building Department at 519-255-6267. The buildings concerned include:

  • assembly occupancies,
  • rooming houses,
  • health-care facilities, and
  • multi-unit residential buildings.

Residential buildings with two dwelling units must also meet the retrofit safety regulations. They must have:

  • an electrical inspection by and subsequent approval from the Electrical Safety Authority,
  • smoke alarms
  • carbon monoxide alarms
  • fire separations and
  • adequate exits.

Where can I find a copy of the Ontario Fire Code?

Copies of the Ontario Fire Code can be purchased from Publications Ontario 1-800-668-9938. Click here for the website.