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Learn how EFRS is responding to the COVID-19 situation and view safety resources.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services’ top priority continues to be the health, safety and well-being of our firefighters and the citizens of Edmonton. As the situation regarding COVID-19 evolves, we continue to monitor ways to best protect our staff as they perform the important work of serving Edmontonians in their time of need. Currently, there are no plans to remove, or otherwise reduce any of our services to you, our citizens.

We are here for you, we are prepared, and we are ready to continue responding to your calls for help.  

Protecting Our First Responders

Our firefighters continue to practice enhanced safe work procedures involving the wearing of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including respiratory, eye and skin protection. Additionally, immediately following an emergency response event, thorough decontamination and self-hygiene protocols are followed to further support their safety.

Our Dispatch Operators are now working from two separate locations to allow for more social distancing and a reduction of potential exposures. There have been no reports of any disruptions in service while the team operates from these two locations.

We have also enhanced our questions for the intake of 911 calls. Our Dispatch Operators, in coordination with Alberta Health Services call evaluators, will ask questions to assess whether a situation has potential COVID-19 implications. This messaging is communicated to our crews to further prepare our first responders and ensure public safety.

Fire Prevention Office

The Fire Prevention Office is closed, but we are available by phone (780-496-3628) and email to provide the following services:

  • Business licence inspections/approvals, various permit types, development permit application reviews, construction site fire safety plan reviews, complaints, life safety systems shut offs

To discourage public gatherings, we will not issue fireworks permits until further notice.

Station Visits and Tours

All non-essential activities involving direct interaction with the public have been postponed in an effort to maintain containment of this virus. This includes station visits and tours.

For Citizens

Home Fire Safety

With more people working from home and school closures, the home is becoming a bustle of activity. It is important to keep home fire safety top of mind. We will be sharing some safety tips around cooking, smoking, home fire escape plans, and more on our social media accounts. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop.

If you’re looking for some fire safety activities to keep your children busy and informed, check out Sparky’s website.

Birthday Drive-By Celebrations

We appreciate your support and would love to drive by each and every party, but unfortunately we are unable to accommodate these requests. Our fire crews need to be available to respond to emergency calls in a moment’s notice. Thank you for your understanding and for your continued support!

Firefighters Shopping for Groceries

Safety of our firefighters and Edmontonians is our top priority. We would never knowingly put the community at risk.

We are a 24/7 emergency service provider. As such, there are no breaks for our staff to utilize in order to obtain food and other items. Therefore, our crews visit their local grocery store within their assigned district, during their shift, to pick up the necessary items to cook either lunch or supper. It should also be noted that our firefighters are responsible for the costs of all purchases. During this time, they are considered to be “in service,” which means they will respond to emergency calls that are dispatched to them.

Another important benefit is that district familiarization allows our firefighters to stay current with the state of the roadways and infrastructure in their primary response district. As Edmonton continues to grow and change, it is crucial that our fire crews have in-depth knowledge of the communities they serve and of changes that may be occurring due to roadway and infrastructure construction.

Our firefighters will transfer to different stations throughout their career and each time must become familiar with a new community. Being able to spend time in the community in non-emergency situations affords them the ability to do this.

For Businesses and Commercial Buildings

Fire Safety Requirements

Guidance on Reduced Capacity and Occupant Loads
  • Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Fire Code
  • Some entertainment and event services may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Fire Code

Finding Occupancy Load

  • Your building or suite within a building may have an occupant load number posted near the main entrance
  • If your building or suite within a building has been recently built or renovated, the building permit documentation will likely contain your occupant load number
  • A fire safety codes officer may also have completed an updated occupant load calculation for your business

If you can't find the Occupancy Load

Fire and Life Safety Checklist

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a fire and life safety checklist for reopening a building. It includes sections on water-based systems, fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, means of egress, and electrical.

Self-Inspection for Residential Property

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is launching an important life and property saving campaign, Self-Inspection for Residential Property. With the physical distancing guidelines in place, it makes it challenging for our staff and our clients to have inspections performed as they have been done prior to COVID-19.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services will provide the self-inspection report and a building owner’s responsibility document that identifies annual and routine building and life safety system maintenance requirements. 

Fire Safety Code officers will be contacting individual properties to initiate the self-inspection program on a building-by-building basis. Once received, the self-inspection document must be completed by the owner or their agent within a 21-day timeframe and returned to the officer who contacted you.

For further information, please contact the Fire Prevention Office at fireprevention@edmonton.ca or by calling 780-496-3628.

Building Owner's Responsibility Document

The building owner’s responsibility document, referenced above, identifies annual and routine building and life safety system maintenance requirements.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services asks building owners review and refer to it during the self-inspection process.

Life Safety Systems Update for Fire Protection Equipment Service Providers

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services would like to provide some guidance regarding the maintenance and repair of life safety systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First and foremost, please ensure your safety during this time and follow the protocols issued by our government and health authorities. We recommend that Residential C Occupancy inspections and device testing be performed by tenants (if possible) at this time. The Government of Alberta’s standata on Maintenance of Fire Protection Devices within Residential Suites of Multi-family Buildings outlines the approved process. 

Second, inspections to annual maintenance requirements, without impairments to the system, can be postponed until they can be performed safely and efficiently. If any system has impairments that affect the operation of that system, whether that be in the form of alarm, supervisory and trouble signals, these system impairments should be prioritized to ensure they are functioning as designed. Priority should be given to those systems that need to be repaired to ensure operability.

Life safety companies and Edmonton business owners should communicate and determine best courses of action to ensure the safety of both the public and workers at this time. Any questions should be forward to the Public Safety team at fireprevention@edmonton.ca

What You Need to Know Prior to Temporary Building Closures

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has received recent notifications of temporary closures of large commercial building occupancies.

In preparing to close buildings for an indeterminate period of time due to the City of Edmonton State of Local Emergency, or at the direction of the Province of Alberta, there are considerations to be aware of.

During temporary building closures, building operators must ensure that life safety and fire protection equipment is maintained in fully functional and operational condition throughout the duration of the closure period. 

  • Fire alarm, fire sprinkler, and automatic fire suppression systems must be maintained to provide building protection in the event of an emergency. 

  • Means of egress, and exit doors and assemblies must also remain clear, unobstructed, and fully functional during the closure period.

Additional Information:

Alberta Safety Codes Council - Unsecured or Vacant Buildings

National Fire Prevention Association responds to coronavirus

Safe Use and Storage of Hand Sanitizer (Flammable Liquids)

All individual containers should have a flammable designation with 4-inch flammable stickers on boxes of product and placards on vehicles carrying larger quantities. This information should also be provided by suppliers and transporters of the product. Product flash points should be listed on the Material Safety Data Sheets.

Products that contain 60% or greater alcohol concentration (ethanol), are considered a Class 1B flammable liquid. The National Fire Code - 2019 Alberta Edition defines a Class 1B flammable liquid as having a flash point below 22.8°C and a boiling point at or above 37.8°C. Refer to the individual product’s Material Safety Data Sheets for classes and storage arrangements near other dangerous goods.

Storage amounts are dependent on the class of occupancy. Storage is prohibited in or adjacent to exits, elevators or principal routes that provide access to exits. Do not store near ignition sources, smoking areas, or areas where combustibles are being stored that are not essential to operations.

Maintenance of Exits and Means of Egress

Do not block exits with furniture, signage or other items. All exits need to remain clear to ensure occupants’ safe evacuation in case of a fire. Clear exits also help emergency responders easily access a building in an emergency.  

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has been receiving complaints about blocked exits at various businesses (retail and food establishments) throughout the city. As outlined in the 2019 National Fire Code (Alberta Edition) Article 2.7.1.6 Maintenance of Means of Egress: Safety to Life, ALL EXITS MUST BE FREE OF OBSTRUCTION AND IN GOOD REPAIR.

We understand that these are challenging times, but please continue to practice safety at your workplace or business. 

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