'The violations will not take place again,' fire safety company promised 4 years before new charges

A southern Alberta fire safety company now facing dozens of charges admitted to similar violations more than four years ago, according to a 2015 letter obtained by CBC News. 

Premium Fire Protection Ltd. and several of its employees as well as clients were charged in July with dozens of Fire Safety Code violations. In total, 65 charges were laid against 18 people and companies. 

But it's not the first time the company has been in trouble for breaking safety laws.

On Oct. 27, 2015, Premium's general manager at the time who is now the company's president wrote a letter to the Chief Fire Administrator.

'The violations will not take place again'

In the letter, Kurt Bertrand admitted that between March 1, 2012, and Feb. 28, 2013, the company had performed inspections and maintenance on fire extinguishers in Calgary, Cochrane, Red Deer and Edmonton without valid certification, which was in violation of fire code regulations.

"I am sorry that the violations occurred," wrote Bertrand. "I have learned from this mistake and will ensure that the violations will not take place again."

As "contrition" for the violations, Premium made a $6,000 donation to the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society at the time.

In a written statement provided to CBC News on Wednesday, Bertrand said the company remains committed to safety.

"Premium Fire Protection believes the 2012 case is unrelated to this matter, and we are always striving to be fully compliant with regulations, even when they evolve such as this," wrote Bertrand.

The Calgary Fire Department announced the charges against the Okotoks-based company in July.

The fire department alleges the company allowed unqualified and uncertified workers to install alarms, extinguishers and other equipment in large grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants in the province.

In November, two former employees of Premium pleaded guilty to several Fire Safety Code violations for doing work they were not qualified to perform.

Both men told Calgary Fire Department investigators that there were "repercussions for refusing to do work they were assigned to," according to court documents.

The case is back in court next month.

Under the provincial fire code, companies and people can be fined up to $100,000 or face six months in jail for a first offence and up to $500,000 for subsequent offences, according to city prosecutor Paul Frank.