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May 2017 Bulletin 218

Posted by Firepoint on 2017-05-11 14:39:18 EDT

Fire System Interruption

The term fire watch as outlined in the approved fire safety plan (FSP) relates to the role of a pre-designated person(s) having the sole responsibility to be on the lookout for fires in their assigned area(s). The FSP does contain guidelines in the event that the automatic fire systems are off-line for any reason whatsoever, and a description of the fire watch procedures to be implemented immediately.

In other words, whenever critical fire and life safety equipment in a building is temporarily out of service, building operators are to commence fire watch procedures. During a fire watch, the elected building representative, or in some cases the contracted security firm actively looks for evidence of smoke or fire as they walk the entire building area. If smoke or fire is seen, they must declare a building emergency and contact the fire department immediately. Log sheets are contained in the FSP for documenting contact with the City fire services at the start and end of the each fire watch interval or shift change. Until such time as the particular fire protection system is back on line, the fire watch personnel are to maintain written logs, indicating the date, time and alarm status. Prior to instituting a fire watch, notices are posted in common areas throughout the building indicating the fire protection systems which are off line or bypassed. The notices are to remain posted until such time as the necessary corrective measures have taken place. The persons performing this type of fire watch are not to be permitted to perform any other duties.

For use during a fire system interruption, a detailed section within the approved FSP provides instructional material for the elected building fire warden and supervisory personnel on the evacuation procedures for occupants, visitors and anyone who may need assistance to escape in the event of a building emergency. Occupants with special needs can have difficulty evacuating the building, a fact that becomes all the more critical during an emergency. Special needs occupants must be able to leave the premises safely if there is a fire. They are to be identified as part of the special fire safety arrangements and evacuation procedures in the FSP. It is therefore a requirement to maintain a current list of persons requiring assistance in the building at all times. The overall FSP is to 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 equipment, and emergency contact / phone information.

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