In late 2017, policymakers proposed changes to the BC Fire Code with the goals of decreasing delays for those with vision or mobility issues in the event of a fire and clarifying when upgrades to fire safety equippment and systems are required.
One of the amendments proposed would remove the requirement for buildings to post signage with instructions not to use the elevator in case of a fire. The rationale for this change is that in an emergency, this signage could cause unnecessary, life-threatening delays for those with physical or sensory limitations. In such cases, using the elevator could be the safest, fastest way for them to leave the building. If accepted, the change would bring the BC Fire Code in line with the National Fire Code of Canada, which does not have this signage requirement.
Other proposed amendments include revised language on when upgrades to emergency lighting, standpipe and sprinkler systems, as well as smoke and fire alarms are required. The new language would clarify that upgrades to comply with the current code are only required when a building undergoes major renovations or construction, as long as the equipment and systems in place were in compliance with the code in effect at the time of installation.
The proposal is posted and you can provide your input on this Government of BC webpage.