The city of Red Deer is reminding the public that a secondary suite (commonly known as a basement suite or upper suite) needs to meet the legal requirements to be considered safe.

A fire almost a year ago that left two people with minor injuries and owners facing hefty fines, prompted Fire Marshal Wes Van Bavel, to once again remind the public to check all boxes when it comes to the safety of people living in a home.  

“The main reason is early detection and safe exiting of the building… in this case, one of the bedrooms didn’t even have a proper window in it.”

Van Bavel said there was a similar but much worse case in Calgary a few years back where three people were in a basement when it caught fire and unfortunately all died from injuries.  

He says that any house that has been approved by the City of Red Deer would have received a certificate or would be on file with the Inspections and Licensing department. Adding that if a renter approaches an owner to see the certificate and they can’t show it, questions should be asked.

“If they can’t produce that certificate they should start questioning whether it’s legal or not,” says Van Bavel adding, “the most important thing is are the smoke alarms here? Is there a proper way out?”

A few of the main things to look out for in your basement home or rental are:

  • Hardwired interconnected smoke alarms
  • Proper fire separations
  • Adequate bedroom windows

The maximum fine for an illegal secondary suite is $100,000 for each offence and could include imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months under the Safety Codes Act.

More Local News

Community bands together during Wetaskiwin blaze

Some are without a home and others without their local watering hole after a fiery devastation in Wetaskiwin today (March 19, 2019.) Around 6:30 A.M. fire crews were called to the Rose Country Inn…

Chunk of 48 ave to close for more than a week in Red Deer

From The City of Red Deer: Water and sewer service installations will cause a portion of 48 Avenue between 45 Street and 46 Street to close for more than a week starting Wednesday. 48 Avenue will…

‘It’s a sad, sad day,’ mature Wetaskiwin bar destroyed by fire

Wetaskiwin RCMP, along with members of the Wetaskiwin, Camrose, and Millet fire departments, are currently on scene (12:05 P.M. Tuesday, March 19,) of a major structure fire in Wetaskiwin. They have…

Alberta goes to the polls for the provincial election on April 16th

After weeks of speculation and one day after her throne speech in the legislature, Premier Rachel Notley announced April 16th as the date for the upcoming provincial election on Tuesday at an event…

S.O.S. stomped in snow helps save stranded man and dog near Cline River

From Rocky Mountain House RCMP: On March 13, 2019, an Edmonton man hiked in from Highway #11 near the Cline River to Pinto Lake on a camping trip. A remote Forestry camera captured an "SOS" signature…

Municipal census starting in Lacombe next month

From the City of Lacombe: The City of Lacombe is conducting a Municipal Census from April 2 to June 20, 2019. Residents are encouraged to complete the census questionnaire online, as they only have…

Throne speech touches on health care, education, and the economy

From the government of Alberta: The throne speech marks the start of the spring session for the Alberta legislature and highlights the government’s ongoing commitment to building a province that…

Dopamain gym coming to Lacombe thanks to grant funds

The City of Lacombe has announced their 2019 Recreation and Culture Grant recipients. Dopamain gym was one, receiving $1800 in funding to grow their program, which is a modified Boxercise program for…

Blackfalds: spring thaw may lead to frozen sewer services

From the Town of Blackfalds: Record breaking temperatures in February coupled with quick spring thaw has resulted in the depth of ground frost penetrating deeper than normal and in some instances…

Red Deer RCMP look for man who fled the scene at a break and enter

From the Red Deer RCMP: On March 14, 2019, at approximately 2:45 a.m., Red Deer RCMP responded to a call for a break and enter in progress at an apartment complex on 52 Avenue. On arrival, they found… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide