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Iqaluit jail inspection finds dozens of fire code problems

A fire inspection last year at the Baffin Correctional Center in Iqaluit found 42 National Fire Code of Canada 'deficiencies'.

Fire Marshal finds blocked exits, malfunctioning fire extinguishers, among other hazards

The Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit has been cited for more than 40 fire code 'deficiencies', including blocked fire exits and malfunctioning fire extinguishers. (Vincent Desrosiers/CBC)

A fire inspection last spring at the Baffin Correctional Center in Iqaluit found 42 National Fire Code of Canada 'deficiencies’.

The inspection took place in April, 2012, according to documents CBC obtained through Access to Information.

The documents also show it was the first fire prevention inspection since 2010.

Nunavut’s Assistant Fire Marshal, Frederick Morrison, visited the Baffin Correctional Centre in April. His report detailed dozens of fire hazards at the jail at that time.

Morrison found exit doors blocked by chairs, shelves, a garbage container and other materials. One fire extinguisher hadn't been inspected in years and another wasn't properly installed. There were corroded and painted sprinkler heads, and some exit signs weren't operating properly. An exit ramp was partly obstructed by combustibles and other materials.

In March 2012, just before the inspection, a clothes dryer caught fire at the jail. Details from an incident report show the first two fire extinguishers that staff tried didn't work. The cause of the fire was a buildup of dryer lint.

Nearly a month later when Morrison came to do his general inspection, he found there was still excess lint on the floor, walls and behind the dryers.

Nunavut's Department of Justice is soon expected to provide information on its follow-up to the assistant fire Marshal’s inspection.

All the necessary changes were supposed to have been completed by Aug. 1, 2012.

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