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December 29, 2017

Fire Safety Planning for the New Year

As the new year gets underway, it is an absolute must to ensure that the contents of the fire safety plan (FSP) are up to date. Each FSP is required by code to be reviewed at intervals of no greater than twelve months. This undoubtedly may seem like a huge task as the FSP can easily run over sixty pages, and a building manager can be overwhelmed with the update process. This is even more of a challenge since one of the aims is to update only the applicable text as required. Being in possession of an electronic copy of the FSP is certainly of benefit, as it allows the building manager to make revisions and print pages on demand. Simple changes may include updating the building’s emergency contact information, identifying those individuals with special needs, as well as other minor revisions. Should the electronic version not be located, a hardcopy is normally found within the FSP box near the building main entrance. Once the FSP copy has been obtained, it may be verified when it was accepted and/or approved by the City. The date can be found on a letter from the City, or an approval stamp located on the front cover of the FSP.

Unfortunately, if an electronic version of the FSP is not available, re-typing portions of the document may be necessary for insertion into the FSP. In some cases, building operators issue the modified pages to the City as going on record. For more extensive alterations, such as fire alarm and sprinkler system retrofits, structural add-ons, or a building ownership change, the publisher of the original FSP may be contacted and a site assessment performed. Their comprehensive audit would also include verifying the placement of the fire and life safety equipment on the floor layout drawings, along with confirming the sequence of operation for magnetic door-locking devices, elevator homing functions, smoke control features and advance evacuation procedures. Once this level of FSP updates has been completed, a re-submission to the City is usually considered necessary.

It is to be noted that although a FSP may bear the stamp of acceptance and/or letter indicating that the requirements have been met, it is the building manager’s on-going responsibility to ensure implementation of the plan. Regardless of whether the building has a newly-approved FSP or one which is already in place, building managers are responsible for ensuring that all applicable requirements are followed at all times.

For more information, visit www.firepoint.ca