Fire apparatus are important and expensive purchases for any fire department. Transportation and operational safety may be adversely affected without appropriate design, construction and purchasing standards.


If appropriate design and construction techniques aren’t followed, there is a potential of injury to the firefighters operating the apparatus.

Some examples of potential hazards include:

  • refurbished fire apparatus may not meet appropriate safety standards
  • water tanks without baffles allow water movement which affects the handling of the tanker during braking or cornering
  • cabs that aren’t designed for the fire service may not have safety features such as proper seating for firefighters, a mechanical means of latching equipment or airbag or crash enhancements
  • repurposed apparatus frames may not be engineered to safely withstand imposed stresses

Actions for employers

Employers should:

Importing apparatus into Canada

Read section 12 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations for information about standards for vehicles imported into Canada. Failing to comply may put firefighters at risk in a collision.

Applicable regulations and acts


Applicable standards

For standards on the design, performance, and acceptance criteria for aircraft rescue and fire-fighting (ARFF) vehicles, read NFPA 414 Standard for aircraft rescue and fire-fighting vehicles

For standards on new automotive fire apparatus and trailers, read NFPA 1901 Standard for automotive fire apparatus or CAN/ULC S515 Standard for automobile fire fighting apparatus

For standards on new automotive fire apparatus designed primarily to support wildland fire suppression operations, read NFPA 1906 Standard for wildland fire apparatus


Read firefighter guidance note 1-2 Apparatus inspections and maintenance program.