Government of New Brunswick

About the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM)

  • Where is the Office of the Fire Marshal located?
  • What are our office hours?
  • What is the difference between the "local" fire departments and the Office of the Fire Marshal?

About Fire Departments

  • Where do I need to live to join a Fire Department?
  • Should I call 911 to reach my local fire department?
  • Who is responsible for hiring staff in fire departments?
  • How many fire departments and fire fighters are there in New Brunswick?

Regulations, Building Codes, Plans Review and Inspections

  • How do I obtain the 1995 National Fire Code or the National Building Code?
  • Who looks after wood stove inspections?Who conducts apartment or building inspections?
  • What is a door closer and why do I need one on my apartment door?
  • Are Propane BBQs allowed on apartment balconies?
  • What permission is needed for campfires or burning wood debris in New Brunswick?
  • The smoke from my neighbor's chimney is blowing into my yard/house. Who do I call about this?
  • When do I submit a plan for review to the Office of the Fire Marshal and what does the plan require?

Smoke Alarms

  • Where can I buy a smoke alarm and which kind does the Office of the Fire Marshal recommend?
  • How do I maintain my smoke alarm?

About the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM)

Where is the Office of the Fire Marshal located? What are our office hours?

Our head office is located at 364 Argyle Street, Fredericton, NB, E3B 1T9. There are also 4 regional offices that represent the delivery of the OFM's functions and each office is responsible to provide fire prevention education, fire investigations, fire departments advisory and assistance. 

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:15am to 4:30pm.  

What is the difference between the “local” fire departments and the Office of the Fire Marshal?

The OFM is part of the Police, Fire and Emergency Service Branch, Department of Public Safety. Our primary function is to carry out the provisions of the Fire Prevention Act. It is responsible to deliver Provincial fire prevention and protection programs that are dedicated to the reduction of fire related losses in lives, injury and property. Also, the OFM provides leadership within government and supports the fire service across the province to meet the needs of the community.

Fire Departments are established by municipalities under the Municipality Act article 109.(1). The Fire Departments are trained to handle emergency situations such as structural fire fighting, medical assistance, traffic accidents, response to hazardous materials and public education on fire prevention.

About Fire Departments

Where do I need to live to join a Fire Department?

In order to be a firefighter in a village or municipality, a person must be a resident of the area served by the Fire Department.

In order to be eligible to be a firefighter in a Local Service District (LSD) Fire Department, a person must be a resident of the area serviced by the LSD Fire Department, unless in extenuating circumstances the Local Service Advisor (LSA) has waived this requirement.

Should I call 911 to reach my local fire department?

Never call 911 unless you are dealing with an emergency situation. This can prevent life-threatening consequences for somebody else in an emergency situation. For non-emergency purposes visite the NBAFC Website for contact information to reach your local fire department or look up the number in the white pages of the phone book.

Who is responsible for hiring staff in fire departments?

Hiring is the responsibility of the individual fire departments. There are 4 basic types of Fire Departments in New Brunswick, paid, composite, volunteer and industrial. 

How many fire departments and fire fighters are there in New Brunswick?

There are approximately 4600 fire fighters in New Brunswick, there are 2 full time Fire Departments, 16 composites, 154 volunteer and 49 industrial for a total of 221 Fire Departments in the province.

Regulations, Building Codes, Plans Review and Inspections

How do I obtain the 1995 National Fire Code or the National Building Code?

The National Fire Code and the National Building Code can be ordered by contacting the National Research Council of Canada, Publication Sales department:

Phone: 613-993-2463 or 1-800-672-7990
Fax: 1-613-952-7673
Email: Irc.Client-Services@nrc.ca

Mail:

Publication Sales, M-20
Institute for Research in Construction
National Research Council Canada
Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0R6

Who looks after wood stove inspections?

It is recommended that a certified Wood Energy Technology Transfer (W.E.T.T.) inspector inspect wood stoves.

W.E.T.T. Inc. (Inc. 1-888-358-9388 toll free) www.wettinc.ca

Who conducts apartment or building inspections?

The inspections of apartments or buildings falls under your local Fire Department if you live in Bathurst, Campbellton, Dieppe, Edmundston, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, Oromocto, Riverview and Saint John. If you live any other area it is the Technical Inspection Services Branch Regional Fire Inspector’s responsibility to carry-out these inspections.

What is a door closer and why do I need one on my apartment door?

Door closing hardware is attached to a door and allows the door to automatically close and latch after it has been opened. Other terms for this hardware include self-closing hardware, self-closer, self-closing device, closer, and door closer. If there is a fire in an apartment, the door closer will automatically shut the door after the occupant leaves. This will limit the spread of smoke and fire into the corridor and other parts of the building.

The National Fire Code and the National Building Code requires self-closing devices on residential suite doors in apartment buildings that are more than two stories in building height.

Are Propane BBQs allowed on apartment balconies?

Propane cylinders shall not be used or stored on balconies because this creates a fire or explosion hazard. The Propane Storage and Handling Code CAN/CSA-B149.2-00, Section 5.7.1, states, "Each cylinder shall be set upon a firm level weatherproof base located on consolidated ground at grade level and shall be equipped with flexible connectors to offset any movement affecting the piping or tubing". This section clearly prohibits the use or storage of tanks above grade level.

What permission is needed for campfires or burning wood debris in New Brunswick?

It depends on the type of fire and where you plan to burn. For small amounts of brush and debris (Category 1) fires, you must call toll-free 1-866-458-8080 or 444-5445 (in Fredericton area) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information will be updated daily during fire season. You must have the landowner’s permission before igniting a fire on private land.

The smoke from my neighbor’s chimney is blowing into my yard/house. Who do I call about this?

This is not a Fire Code issue. However, it may be an issue with the Department of Environment.

When do I submit a plan for review to the Office of the Fire Marshal and what does the plan require?

The New Brunswick Fire Prevention Act, s. 18 requires persons to file plans and specifications for the construction, conversion, or structural alterations of buildings or part thereof used for assembly or sleeping accommodation with the Office of the Fire Marshal prior to commencement of work.

The New Brunswick Fire Prevention Act, s. 19 requires persons to file plans and specifications for the construction, establishment, modification or enlargement of buildings/premises for the storage of more than 3 000 L of flammable fuels and more than 10 000 L of combustible fuels with the Office of the Fire Marshal prior to commencement of work.

Once the plans and specifications have been reviewed and the Office of the Fire Marshal has directed changes, no other changes shall be made to the plans or specifications without prior consent of the Office of the Fire Marshal. A letter may be given or sent listing directed changes to the builder, architect, owner, etc. A copy is given or sent to the Regional Fire Inspector and local Fire Department.

Smoke Alarms

Where can I buy a smoke alarm and which kind does the Office of the Fire Marshal recommend?

The Fire Marshal’s Office does not recommend a particular brand of smoke alarm. However, we do recommend that electrical smoke alarms (hard wired) and battery operated smoke alarms be U.L.C. listed. Products that have been evaluated by Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (U.L.C.), and found to meet their requirements. Most departments or hardware stores carry a variety of smoke alarms. For more information on smoke alarms please click here to read the information provided.

How do I maintain my smoke alarm?

Test your smoke alarms every month. Do this by pressing and holding the test button for a few seconds. The alarm should sound immediately. Replace models that do not have test buttons or that are more than 10 years old.

Change the battery in your smoke alarm at least once a year, more often if necessary. A good reminder is – Change your clock – Change your battery!

Never remove the battery from a smoke alarm for another use!

Beeping smoke alarms may need cleaning. Clean your smoke alarms twice a year by removing the cover and carefully wiping it with a damp cloth. Gently vacuum the sensor unit inside. Replace the cover and test the smoke alarm to make sure it is working properly. If it doesn’t stop beeping, replace the unit.