February 2020 Bulletin 250
Posted by Firepoint on 2020-02-12 13:21:30 EST
Approval and Implementation
Newly constructed buildings which are deemed under the fire code as requiring a fire safety plan are to have an approved version in place prior to the occupancy of the building. In some cases, fire officials may authorize that a draft version of the fire safety plan be implemented at the building while they review the submitted copy.
For builders seeking partial occupancy when certain areas of the building have been completed, the same process is followed, with additional submission once the construction has been completed. Regardless of the scenario, it is highly recommended that the area fire officials be contacted to confirm their submission policies to avoid non-compliance. Once occupancy has been granted, the approved fire safety plan is to be fully implemented to ensure the emergency procedures of a building are understood by the elected supervisory personnel. To mitigate the possibility of fires, refer to the education and prevention requirements listed in the approved fire safety plan.
It is critical for a building operator or management team to follow the strategy provided by the approved fire safety plan well in advance, in order to reduce the risks to the occupants. Although a building may not have had extensive re-construction over the years, verifying the designated safe egress routes, along with the barriers to fire and smoke, will help maintain the level of fire safety within the building. Barriers include items such as the fire doors, their latching devices, swinging and sliding hardware, and closing devices. The approved fire safety plan does describe the maintenance checks and inspections that are to be performed to ensure the integrity of fire barriers within a building.
Each approved fire safety plan lists the building occupant fire evacuation procedures when the fire alarm system sounds in the building. While there are common elements in all fire evacuations, the specific procedures are always customized for each building. This is because there is such a diverse range of buildings, types of occupancies and occupant loads. A chosen fire evacuation strategy also reflects the nature of the activities in the building, its classification, and the type of fire safety systems present. The fire evacuation procedures for occupants are clearly outlined within each city-approved fire safety plan. In addition, the plan describes how to raise the alarm, notify the local municipal fire service, and the best means to quickly evacuate the occupants from the premises. Following an evacuation, all occupants within a building must be accounted for at the outside safe haven areas. The means of achieving this is normally the responsibility of the elected supervisory personnel of the building. Pre-planned arrangements for supporting persons requiring assistance are also outlined in the plan.
As per the fire code, keeping the fire safety plan updated as deemed necessary, at increments of no greater than 12 months, is as much a requirement as is its implementation.
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