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bulletin 281
November 7, 2022

Bulletin 281: Fire Alarm System Audible and Visual Devices

In times of building fire emergencies, it is essential that the building management have the most up to date information contained in their fire safety plan. Emergency fire evacuations certainly can be very stressful, and in some cases may lead to panic as a result of the evacuees becoming overwhelmed. Key components of the fire safety plan are the evacuation procedures, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the building supervisory personnel to coordinate a timely evacuation of the occupants and avoid confusion or delays. Equally critical is identifying the floor wardens who are assigned to a specific areas or floors of the building to assist the building occupants.

While some buildings are equipped with a fire alerting system which engages in the event of a sprinkler flow, manual pull station, smoke or heat sensor activation, it is critical for the building supervisory team to have an understanding of the sounding sequence of the fire alarm audibles. They are to be familiar with the building fire alarm system, whether programmed to act as a single-stage, modified 2-stage or a regular 2-stage system. The approved fire safety plan clearly describes the fire alarm system installed in the building, its sequence of operation, and the features of the audible and visual devices. The functioning of fire alarm audible signals and visual outputs will become apparent when the fire drills are conducted.

The aim in conducting fire drills is to evaluate the effectiveness of the occupant evacuation in response to the fire alarm system audible and visual devices. Conducting a post-drill review is of benefit and will appraise if all evacuation procedures are precisely executed. The fire drill outcomes are to be documented and, where concerns are identified, corrective measures are to be implemented. Each approved fire safety plan contains samples of the fire drill signage to be posted, a drill preparation checklist, and an activity summary of the overall results. The fire drill records must be kept on site for at least twelve months, ready for review upon request by the local Fire Services.


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. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, the bulletin publishers and authors do not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is exact, precise or current to any regulated codes and shall not be liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the bulletin information. Bulletin reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written consent of Firepoint Inc. Copyright 2022 -All Rights Reserved. See www.firepoint.ca or call 905-874-9400.


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