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3 Secondary Suite Fire Separation Mistakes

Updated: Mar 18

In this weeks post we'll discuss 3 fire separation mistakes that 95% of real estate investors make in Ontario. And the building inspectors will waste no time in failing these items.

After renovating 8 secondary units in the time span of 9 months and working closely with the building department inspectors (who by the way is the most valuable resource), I compiled the most misunderstood Secondary Suite Fire Separation requirements in Ontario.


Let Begin!


Fire Separation begins with framing; it is not a drywall sport only. Most real estate investors blow their budget on fire separation since they hire framing trades who don't understand fire separation. This is a mistake! Fire Separation must be planned and framing must be installed to accommodate the continuation of the fire rated drywall. Watch this video.

Fire Separation continuation is not specific to walls, but it also applies to ceilings. If ceilings are not framed in advance for type "x" drywall assembly, it will most definitely cost double for labour and materials and some sleepless nights. Here is what I am talking about.


Legal secondary suites that utilize a force air furnace system to supply both units with heating and cooling, requires the installation of a duct smoke detector. However, there is a right and wrong way to install this device. The latter will fail an inspection every time. In other words, ensure that the smoke dectection device is installed before any branch on the supply trunk or after any branch on the return trunk.






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