Regina's fire bylaw to be updated to include ticketing for smoke alarm violations

Regina's community and protective services committee is looking to add something to the fire bylaw that was mistakenly left out when it was updated.

The ability to issue notices of violation to offenders for smoke alarm offences was not carried over to the new bylaw when it was approved in September 2018. The fire marshal said this was due to a clerical error. 

A notice of violation gives the offender an opportunity to make a voluntary payment in order to avoid prosecution.

The committee report highlights the importance of ticketing for fire and protective services in the city. There were 11 fire-related deaths between 2011 and 2018. Five of those deaths were in places with no smoke alarms. Only two of the 11 deaths in that time period occurred with smoke alarms that were proven to have activated during the emergency.

Fire marshal Randy Ryba said not being able to ticket has affected the fire departments. 

"Certainly [ticketing] is our first step unless it's extremely urgent," he said.

Ryba said they prefer tickets to prosecution because the latter's documentation is time-consuming.

Daniella Ponticelli/CBC

He said adding this back into the bylaw helps with quicker compliance from landlords, penalizing those "that don't take it seriously." 

The committee meeting was to take place Thursday afternoon.