Fire safety plans

To help protect occupants, firefighters, and the general public, and reduce potential damage caused by fires, a fire safety plan is required for most multi-family, commercial, and industrial buildings in the District, including those under construction.

A fire safety plan contains vital information about each building on a property, such as potential hazards, evacuation procedures, sprinkler system details, equipment shut-down procedures, and so on. It must be prepared by an approved fire safety planner, reviewed and passed by a DNVFRS public safety officer, and kept at an accessible location at your building.

If you are a building owner, agent, or manager, ensure you're familiar with all fire safety plan requirements.

On this page


Buildings that require a fire safety plan

The British Columbia Fire Code requires properties to have a plan based on building use or occupancy type.

In general, a fire safety plan is required for any building:

  • used for care, treatment, or detention
  • with a fire alarm system (as required by the BC Building Code)
  • where flammable or combustible liquids are handled or stored
  • where hazardous processes or operations take place
  • where construction or demolition is taking place

Get a complete list of buildings that require fire safety plans in Section 2.8 of the BC Fire Code.

If you are planning a new building, you must start by creating a construction fire safety plan (as described below), then complete a full fire safety plan by the time your building is ready for occupancy.

[ back to top ]


Information you must include in your plan

Your plan must be created by an approved fire safety planner and include all necessary drawings, checklists, reports, forms, and other information, as listed here.

The main plan

The main plan is divided into a number of sections, which includes (but is not limited to):

  • site and floor plan drawings
  • fire planning objectives
  • instructions to occupants
  • fire equipment inspection, testing, and maintenance

Complete fire safety plan requirements 

Site and floor plan drawing requirements

Pre-incident plan

Along with the main plan, you must also submit a pre-incident plan, which gives first responders an overview of important building features and hazards, including layout, construction and occupancy. First responders use this information to create an incident action plan, which streamlines decision making if they need to respond to an emergency. 

The pre-incident plan includes: 

  • site and floor plan drawings
  • a vital information form, which contains information from the fire safety plan that is specific to firefighters

Complete pre-incident plan requirements

Vital information form

Appointed fire director form

Your fire safety plan also includes information about the people at your building who have been trained in fire safety procedures, such as evacuation, emergency equipment shutdown, location of fire alarm panel, and so on, and who would take a leading role in the event of a fire.

Appointed fire director form

Construction fire safety plan

A construction fire safety plan is required for all new buildings, as well as buildings being renovated or demolished. It contains emergency procedures, general workplace safety rules, and fire prevention guidelines for buildings that are being constructed, renovated, or demolished. 

If your building is still being planned or is in the early stages of construction, you need to submit your construction fire safety plan before construction begins, but the building fire safety plan will not be required until your building is ready for occupancy.

Complete construction fire safety plan requirements

While all buildings being demolished or under construction (new or renovations) require a construction fire safety plan, the fire department must review the plans for these types of occupancies:

  • multi-family homes larger than a triplex
  • Part 3 single family homes
  • new commercial buildings
  • new multi-family buildings
  • base building work on multi-family residential or commercial buildings
  • new Group F or demolition Group F (Industrial Occupancy)

Get a complete list of buildings that require fire safety plans in Section 2.8  of the BC Fire Code.

[ back to top ]


Submitting your fire safety plan

Once a fire safety planner has completed your plan, you must submit all of the required documents by email (as PDFs) to firesafetyplans@dnv.org.

A DNVFRS public safety officer will review your submission, and do one of three things: 

  1. Accept your plan and send you an acceptance letter (once you pay the required fees)
  2. Return your plan noting any 'minor deficiencies' (eg. incorrect civic address)
  3. Return your plan noting any 'major omissions' (eg. missing a fundamental component)

If your plan is returned, you must address any deficiencies or omissions, and then resubmit it.

[ back to top ]


Making your approved plan available

Once your plan is approved and you have received your acceptance letter, you must:

  • include the letter in the plan binder
  • display the plan in a secure 'operations box' in an approved location, and keyed to the DNVFRS lock box
  • make additional copies available 

[ back to top ]


Fees for plan reviews

We charge $189 plus GST for the first two hours of a plan review. Additional hours are charged at $95 plus GST per hour. These fees include a standard initial review and one review following resubmission.

If you resubmit your plan and it is still not accepted, you will be charged an additional fee.

Fees for larger projects

For large or complex industrial projects or developments, we charge a flat hourly rate, as outlined in Schedule D of the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

If an hourly review rate is applicable to your project, a public safety officer will contact you.

Submitting your fees

Separate payments are required for fire safety and pre-incident fire plans.You are required to submit payment at the same time that you submit your plan for review. Please indicate the address of your project with your payment, and mail it to:

Fire and Rescue Services Administration 
1110 Lynn Valley Rd
North Vancouver, BC

[ back to top ]

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your input.