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Bar, nightclub, and special event fire safety

When you are out enjoying Calgary’s bars, nightclubs and special events, you should be able to enjoy yourself and feel safe. To help stay safe, you should know your exits and what to do in an emergency. Our Public Safety Task Force helps to keep you safe by making sure buildings and event sites follow all safety laws and regulations.

Know your exits

When you arrive at your destination, you should familiarize yourself with the exits. If there is an emergency, like a fire, knowing where the exits are will allow you to get out quickly and safely.

You should always check that:

  • The building or event site appears to be in well maintained and safe condition
  • The main entrance allows for easy evacuation
  • You can see at least two clearly marked and well lit exits
  • The exits to the building aren’t blocked
  • The building or site isn’t overcrowded
  • If there are candles, pyrotechnics, or other heat sources that you feel they are being used safely

If anything about a building or site makes you feel unsafe, leave immediately and call 311 to report your concerns from within Calgary. Outside of Calgary you can call 403-268-2486

Hearing a fire alarm

If you hear a fire alarm, try to remain calm and leave the building through the nearest exit. Once you are outside, stay outside and move away from the building. Staying away from the building will keep you safe and give emergency responders easily access the building or site.

Public Safety Task Force

The Public Safety Task Force works to ensure Calgary bars, nightclubs and special events comply with Fire Codes, Building Codes, City Bylaws, Gaming and Liquor laws, and other regulations that keep customers and staff safe. The task force is led by the Calgary Fire Department and includes the Calgary Police Service, Planning, Development and Assessment, and Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

The Public Safety Task Force:

  • Is involved in event planning approvals
  • Conducts preliminary and pre-event inspections of event buildings and sites
  • Ensures bar, nightclub and event owners and staff are aware of the codes, policies, regulations, laws and bylaws that they are required to follow.
  • Make regular visits to establishments and events to check that they are complying with the appropriate regulations.

Are there consequences if fire code isn't followed?

Failure to comply with the Alberta Fire Code or other requirements can result in fines up to $15,000 or six months in jail. Additional fines of up to $1,000 per day that the offense continues. If necessary, the business license of the offender can be revoked. Additional details can be found in the Safety Codes Act.

To help make sure you meet all safety standards, use our Bar and nig​htclub safety checklist on a daily basis. You should also read the information on a building owner’s responsibilities for fire safety equipment and the indoor special event requirement.​​​​