Potter’s Hands fined $19,500 for safety code violations

RED DEER – Red Deer Emergency Services (RDES) laid six charges resulting in $19,500 in fines on June 30.

The owner pled guilty to the charges in Red Deer Provincial Court on June 30, 2021, which resulted in $19,500. 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.”

RDES conducted fire inspections at two residential properties, which resulted in Safety Codes Act charges to the owner of both properties, Potter’s Hands Development.

“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, located at 4935 51 Street, and resulted in 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, located at 5031 50 Street. This inspection resulted in two additional charges of failure to maintain door release hardware on an exit door, and improper storage of combustible materials.

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.