Bulletin 153 November 2011 Starting Points for Updating Your Fire Safety Plan
- Posted at: September 25, 2021 04:06:48

Over these few past months, several of our readers have written to inquire which sections in their fire safety plan require regular updates. Given that the Fire Code states that all fire safety plans are to be reviewed at intervals of no greater than twelve months, some advance preparation may help in the management of this important task. As a fire safety plan for a mid-size building can easily run over some fifty plus pages, a building operator can easily become overwhelmed with the update process. This is even more of a challenge since one of the aims is to update applicable text as required, but only where necessary, as modification of key sections of the fire safety plan requires further approval by the City Fire Prevention Office. A good starting point for the update process would be to establish when the fire safety plan was accepted and/or approved by your city officials. This could be in the form of a letter from the City or a stamp located on the front cover of the fire safety plan. Failing these two indictors, the original developer of the fire safety plan may be able to provide this information.

Possession of an electronic copy of the fire safety plan will enable the building operator to print their fire safety plan on demand so as to commence evaluation of its contents. In the event the electronic version is not available, a hardcopy of the fire safety plan may be found within the lock box located at the main building entrance of the premises for the purpose of making a photocopy. From there, the review of the fire safety plan can commence. Initial changes made by in-house building personnel may include updating human resources contact information, verifying individuals with special needs, confirming the current fire wardens and supervisory staff, etc. Unfortunately, if an electronic version of the original fire safety plan is not available, it will be necessary to re-type any altered parts of the document. Once any altered information has been documented and proofed, the updated pages may be replaced in the printout(s) of fire safety plan. As the current version fire safety plan must be maintained on official record, additional copies of the modified pages may be forwarded to the City Fire Prevention Office accompanied with a company letter summarizing the updates.

In some cases, it may also be of benefit to update the floor plan drawings in the fire safety plan when the annual inspection for fire and life safety takes place. These floor plan drawings may be printed and taken in hand to conveniently mark up any inconsistencies as the walkthrough is being performed. At the same time, any demising wall, exit routes, equipment modifications or additions may also be noted. For more extensive alterations, such as fire alarm and sprinkler system retrofits or structural add-ons, the developer of the original fire safety plan should be contacted as these updates may warrant conducting a full site assessment. Their comprehensive audit would include a detailed review of the present floor plan layouts and ascertain specifications on the operational sequence of a newly-installed fire alarm system, along with connecting functions such as magnetic door-locking devices, elevator homing features and advance evacuation procedures. Upon completion of any required drawing updates, the developer will revise related text in other sections, assemble the fire safety plan and assist with re-submission to the City Fire Prevention Office for examination and acceptance.

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.

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