There are many critical particulars to identify within an existing fire safety plan, such as the presence of fire hazards in the building, the availability of human oversight in the event of an emergency fire evacuation, and the operability of the fire alarm/sprinkler systems. Performing an internal audit will permit building operators and managers to document all the pertinent information relating to fire safety concerns, and prioritize their urgency.
Measures in a fire safety plan will include the emergency procedures in the event of a fire, namely sounding the fire alarm system, notifying the fire department, following the steps required at each stage of the evacuation, etc. Additional key elements in the fire safety plan address the evacuation of occupants, including special provisions for persons requiring assistance, and the appointment and organization of the designated supervisory staff to carry out fire safety duties. Training of the supervisory personnel is instrumental for them to provide further instructions as needed to the building occupants during a fire evacuation, whether it be building employees, tenants, or anyone who may enter and occupy the building facility.
By design, an approved fire safety plan accounts for the unique characteristics and classifications of each building, the age of the building, its occupant load
s, means of egress, evacuation schematics, emergency contacts, persons requiring assistance etc. It is a requirement that fire safety planning measures have been fully implemented as it is one of the most important manuals for a building. It contains evacuation procedures to ensure building occupants quickly and safely leave the building should a fire emergency occur. It is to be readily available at all times, with copies kept in the approved fire plan box at the premises entrance and additional copies kept at a secure location in the building.
City officials may require that an accepted fire safety plan or parts thereof, if its content is outdated, be upgraded to comply with the current standards and re-submitted for review. As described in the fire code, the building fire safety plan shall be reviewed as often as necessary, but at intervals not greater than twelve months, to ensure that it takes account of changes in the use and other characteristics of the building. The fire code stipulates that each building owner is ultimately responsible for carrying out the provisions for fire safety, including any person, firm or corporation controlling the property under consideration. Consequently, the owner may be one or a combination of parties, including building management, maintenance staff and tenant groups.
This article was contributed by Firepoint Inc, serving the GTA since 1997, developing fire department approved fire safety plans for newly constructed and existing buildings. The contents in this bulletin are the views and expressed opinions of the authors and offer no guarantee of completeness or accuracy of any information published herein. Neither Firepoint Inc nor its authors shall be responsible for any errors, omissions, or claims for damages or losses, including exemplary damages, arising out of use, inability to use, or with regard to the accuracy or sufficiency of this publications contents. See firepoint.ca or call 905-874-9400.