New registry helps ensure basement suites are safe.

By Brittney Matejka
March 12, 2018 - 5:19pm Updated: March 12, 2018 - 7:19pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB. - The City of Medicine Hat has created an online Secondary Suite Registration for basement or secondary suites within homes to ensure all safety codes are met.

Don Warkentin has a legal suite in his basement. He has recently renovated the suite and made changes to meet current building codes. It is now listed on the city’s Secondary Suite Registration.

“It was an easy process,” he said. “The fire department came, did the inspections and said this is what you need to make it an approved suite.”

Carter Gramlich with Fire Prevention Services said in order for suites to be registered, they must meet all Alberta Safety Standards.

“In addition to working smoke alarms and proper egress windows,” he said. “Secondary suites need to have hard wired, interconnected smoke alarms.”

Gramlich said fire services is available to help homeowners identify where they need to make improvements to be able to register their suite with the city.

“When people call us, we work with them,” he said. “There are no fees from our department to help people get their suites into compliance.”

Warkentin said he feels safer knowing his suite is up to all safety codes and hopes his new tenant will feel the same. He believes being registered with the city has peaked potential tenants interests as he has received 29 calls in just four days.

“We had ads on Kijiji before when the suite was available,” he said. “This time around within several days we were overwhelmed.”

The online Secondary Suites Registry is available on the City of Medicine Hat’s website, along with information on how to apply.

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