Fire alarms must be in working condition under the Alberta fire safety code. (Black Press file photo)

Fire alarms must be in working condition under the Alberta fire safety code. (Black Press file photo)

Red Deer apartment owner fined $19,500 for fire code violations at two buildings

Owner of Potter’s Hands Developments pled guilty in court

The owner of two affordable housing complexes in Red Deer has been fined $19,500 for multiple fire code violations.

The owner of Potter’s Hands Developments Ltd. pled guilty in Red Deer provincial court on June 30 after Red Deer Emergency Services found numerous safety code violations at two residential properties.

“We have been working closely with the property owner for some time, but unfortunately reached a point where charges were necessary to outline the gravity of the situation,” said Fire Marshal Tim Kivell. “Our priority is ensuring the safety of residents living in these facilities.”

The first inspection took place on Sept. 10, 2020 at Stan Schalk Apartments, 4935 51 St. It resulted in four charges: two charges of failing to inspect, test and maintain smoke alarms in the dwelling units, one charge for a partially blocked exit, and one charge for failing to maintain fire separations.

The second inspection took place on Nov. 3, 2020 at the Buffalo Apartments, 5031 50 St. This inspection resulted in two additional charges: one charge for failure to maintain door release hardware on an exit door, and one charge for improper storage of combustible materials.

The owner answered to these charges in Red Deer Provincial Court last week. The maximum fine under the Safety Codes Act is $100,000 for each offence and/or imprisonment for term not exceeding six months.

“Working smoke alarms and fire exits are absolutely essential as they can make the difference between life and death in an emergency. These are required in all residences,” said Kivell. “We will continue working with Potter’s Hands to ensure their facilities meet code requirements for the safety of their tenants.”

The City of Red Deer is urging property owners to heed fire regulations.

Property owners are responsible to ensure their buildings meet the minimum requirements under the Safety Codes Act and the National Fire Code of Canada 2019 (Alberta Edition), including ensuring smoke alarms within the dwelling unit are tested and cleaned prior to occupancy, and providing tenants with information about smoke alarm testing and maintenance.

Rental property owners are also required to keep records of smoke alarm inspection, testing and maintenance for examination by authorities.

Landlords and renters can request information regarding Smoke Alarm Installation, Inspection, testing and Maintenance by emailing prevention@reddeer.ca.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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