Calgary pilot project to examine secondary suite safety

The city is implementing a new pilot project to judge the safety of secondary suites in Calgary.

City officials say the goal is to educate owners about what is needed

The city wants to make sure secondary suite landlords are abiding by Alberta Fire and Building Code Standards. (CBC)

The city is implementing a new pilot project to judge the safety of secondary suites in Calgary.

City and fire officials will inspect 50 secondary suites over the next few months to make sure they have the appropriate permits and abide by Alberta Fire and Building Code Standards.

City officials say the goal isn’t to shut down any suites – but to educate the owners about what is needed.  

"We want to increase the awareness of the community and homeowners as well as tenants with regards to what suite safety is all about…but again making sure that these suites that are currently existing are compliant with all regulations," said Kevin Griffiths, Manager of Building Regulations at the City of Calgary.

Griffiths says they'll be making sure landlords are complying with existing rules for things like zoning, permits and the fire code.

The fire department says one of the most common problems is windows in basement bedrooms not being large enough for a tenant to crawl out of, if they need to.  

The inspections will continue until next April with a report going to city council in June.