Over this past year, many of our readers have requested an outline of the key sections within a typical fire safety plan, and where they can find the applicable fire code references. In addition, readers asked how often their building fire safety plan is to be reviewed according to law, and in what circumstances the plan must be re-submitted to the fire department for approval. We hope that the following excerpts and interpretations of the articles in the Ontario Fire Code will assist:
1. Ontario Fire Code Reference 188.8.131.52. (1)(a)
A fire safety plan shall include the emergency procedures to be used in case of fire including: sounding the alarm, notifying the fire department, instructing occupants on procedures to be followed when the fire alarm sounds, evacuating occupants (including special provisions for persons requiring assistance), the procedures for use of elevators, and confining, controlling and extinguishing the fire.
2. Ontario Fire Code Reference 184.108.40.206. (1)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)(g)(h)
A fire safety plan shall include: the appointment and organization of designated supervisory staff to carry out fire safety duties, the training of supervisory staff and instruction of other occupants in their responsibilities for fire safety, documents (including diagrams) showing the type, location and operation of the building fire emergency systems, the holding of fire drills, the control of the fire hazards in the building, the maintenance of building facilities provided for the safety of the occupants, and the provision of the alternative measures for the safety of occupants during any shutdown of fire protection equipment and systems or part thereof.
3. Ontario Fire Code Reference 220.127.116.11. (1)
The procedure for conducting fire drills shall be included in the fire safety plan, taking into consideration: the building occupancy and its fire hazards, the safety features provided in the building, the desirable degree of participation of occupants other than supervisory staff, the number and degree of experience of participating supervisory staff, and the testing and operation of the emergency systems installed in buildings within the scope of Subsection 3.2.6. of Division B of the Building Code. Records of a fire drill shall be kept for 12 months after the fire drill. Refer to the Ontario Fire Marshal technical guideline, OFM-TG-01-2004 “Fire Drills”. This guideline can be downloaded from the following site: http://www.ofm.gov.on.ca
4. Ontario Fire Code Reference 18.104.22.168. (1)(g)
This article of the Ontario Fire Code indicates that a fire safety plan shall include a description of maintenance procedures for a building’s fire safety systems. The details in the plan regarding inspection schedules must be complete and meet the requirements of the articles in Part 6 of the Ontario Fire Code. For example, Article 22.214.171.124. states: “Water supply pressure and system air or water pressure shall be checked weekly by using gauges to ensure that the system is maintained at the required operating pressure”. The maintenance requirements must be site specific for the building facilities and the level of fire protection provided to occupants. Note that the maintenance list should provide sufficient detail so that the person who is responsible for coordinating the maintenance understands the nature of the required maintenance, the frequency of various procedures, and in some instances identify the qualifications of the person who would be carrying out the applicable service.
5. Ontario Fire Code Reference 126.96.36.199 (4)
This article states: “The fire safety plan shall be reviewed as often as necessary, but at intervals not greater than 12 months, to ensure that it takes account of changes in the use and other characteristics of the building”.
Update of the fire safety plan and re-submission to the fire department is required in the following circumstances:
i) changes or additions to the inventory of materials on the site, including all hazardous materials, flammable/combustible liquids and gases being stored.
ii) building additions, alterations, upgrades to the fire protection system, or modification of the floor plan layout
iii) changes in ownership of the property, building or business
iv) installation or relocation of major building electrical systems, natural gas valves, or isolation valves of the water supply for fire protection purposes.
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 correct, accurate or current 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 2021 – All Rights Reserved. See www.firepoint.ca or call 905-874-9400.