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March 2017 Bulletin 216

Posted by Firepoint on 2017-03-13 10:34:25 EDT

Readiness for Building Emergencies

A buildings fire safety plan (FSP) must clearly and precisely lay out the essential responsibilities of all personnel concerned, and specify the chain of command. To avoid confusion during an actual fire emergency, it is essential that all personnel in the organization know the precise role that they are expected to play.

A well-thought-out fire emergency plan must be prepared and circulated for this purpose. To implement an FSP, one must consider all of the interrelated factors that may impede a suitable or sufficient emergency response to a building fire. This is part of the pre-planning for fire prevention, along with other activities that need to occur well before the fire emergency actually starts, or during the first few minutes afterwards. Incidents requiring rapid evacuation of buildings can be complex and potentially dangerous, requiring knowledge, training and procedures that can be readily adapted to a variety of situations.

As described in the approved FSP, fire evacuation procedures are the responsibility of building management to set in motion, ensuring readiness to deal with an emergency when it arises. The FSPs comprehensive content aims to reduce the level of risk to lives and outlines control measures to minimize incidents that could lead to a fire emergency. Frequent training of the elected floor wardens and supervisory personnel will ensure they understand the FSPs occupant evacuation procedures. Training in set procedures and establishing clear escape routes does minimize the risk to the occupants. Bringing awareness is a key strategy and allows for the identification of potentially hazardous situations in a building. This approach also helps in assessing the risks to the occupants, and leads to the implementation of control measures to reduce the chance that harm may occur during an evacuation. For building occupancies with frequent visitors not familiar with a building facility, it is necessary to ensure they are made aware of the emergency evacuation procedures.

It is a requirement that each FSP be reviewed at intervals of no greater than 12 months to ensure its contents continue to accurately reflect the current building layout, the placement of the fire and life safety eqiupment, the current list of persons requiring assistance and emergency contact / phone information. Considerable changes such as structural modifications, floor area renovations, fire system retrofits, and building ownership transfers will warrant a re-submission to the City. Aging FSPs are normally subject to full upgrading and re-certification by conducting a site assessment followed with a submission to the City.

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