Tenant safety blitz starts October 19

Guelph, Ontario, October 14, 2015 – The City of Guelph, in partnership with the Guelph Fire Department and University of Guelph Off-Campus Living office, is carrying out a tenant safety blitz from October 19 to 23, 2015.

“Tenants often don’t know if their rental unit is legal and meets minimum safety standards,” explains Bill Bond, a Building Services inspector at the City. “During our tenant safety blitz we’ll inspect as many rental units in Guelph as possible to inform tenants of any safety concerns related to the Ontario building and fire code regulations.”

Tenants living in Guelph are encouraged to arrange a free safety inspection of their rental unit by emailing tenantsafety@guelph.ca or calling 519-837-5615 extension 1. Inspections will be scheduled for October 19 to 23, from 9 to11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. Any inspections that cannot be accommodated during these times will be scheduled later in October and November.

Safe rental units have:

  • working smoke alarms on every level and outside every sleeping area (houses built after 2013 must also have a smoke alarm in every bedroom)
  • working carbon monoxide alarms (if applicable)
  • two safe ways to exit the building in case of fire
  • a big enough window or door to get directly outside of if there is a bedroom in the basement

“It is important for people to hear the beep where they sleep; renters should check that their landlord has installed working smoke alarms on every level of the unit, including outside of each sleeping area ,” says Matt Valeriote, assistant chief fire prevention officer with the Guelph Fire Department. “A working smoke alarm increases a person’s chance of surviving a fire.”

He adds, “While it is the landlord’s responsibility to install and maintain alarms, renters can do their part by testing the alarms monthly and notifying the landlord immediately if the alarm is not working.”

In addition to smoke alarms, rental units require a carbon monoxide alarm to be installed outside of sleeping areas if the unit contains a fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

“Approximately 13,500 University of Guelph students live off campus, and we encourage those students to sign up for a free rental unit inspection—it only takes 15 minutes,” says Kathryn Hofer, manager of Off-Campus Living at the University of Guelph.

Free tenant safety inspections are available all year.

Information about tenant safety and Guelph’s rules and bylaws regulating shared rental housing are available at guelph.ca/tenants.

For more information

Bill Bond, Inspector
Building Services, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2382

Matt Valeriote
Assistant Chief Fire Prevention Officer
Guelph Fire Department
519-822-1260 extension 2136