Customized to your building and its characteristics, a fire safety plan outlines the designation of the emergency response supervisory staff. Their role would be to ensure entry and provide master keys to the fire responders upon their arrivalat the premises. In addition, the supervisory staff may giveother relevant information to fire fighters. This includes the quantities and nature of materials stored or processed at a manufacturing facility, and the location of the special needs occupants within a commercial office building. Equally important, they would have a copy of the approved fire safety plan and related drawingsavailable, should the attending fire responders call upon the planto determinethe building orientation or known hazardous area in a particular floor area. In larger operations, a more structured emergency response by supervisory staff may be required, including the designation of fire wardens who are trained to coordinate the evacuation of specific areas, individuals who can provide access and assistance for fire fighters, as well as employees trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers and who are equipped to confine and extinguish a fire. It is therefore a fire code requirement to have the duties and responsibilities of the supervisory staff outlined within the fire safety plan. Person(s) designated as supervisory staff do not necessarily have to be a manager or a supervisor at a company; however, they will need authority consistent with their assigned duties. They must also become qualified and willing to take on the added responsibilities and be trained to respond to a fire emergency in a prompt, positive and intelligent manner. In order for the emergency response portion of the fire safety plan to be effectively implemented, all employees must understand the important role they play in promoting fire safety in the workplace. Everyone must adhere to the workplace fire safety practices and procedures.
All in all, one of the main requirementsfor a fire safety plan is that it shall be implemented with the appointment and organization of designated supervisory staffand alternates. Supervisory Staff arethose occupants who have accepted responsibility,as described in the fire safety plan,to uphold the fire safety of other occupants within their building. Therefore, it is critical for the building management to provide these personnel with training on how to respond to a fire emergency in a predetermined manner. Orientation training for all employees should include fire safety instructions on what to do upon discovery of fire, what to do upon hearing an alarm of fire and how to prevent or minimize fire hazards in the workplace. Supervisory staff must be instructed in the fire emergency procedures that are described in the fire safety plan before they are given any responsibility for fire safety. A copy of the fire emergency procedures and other duties outlined in the fire safety plan must be given to all supervisory staff. With respect to employees, it is recommend they receive training in the safe use of portable fire extinguishers, instructions on how to activate and reset the fire alarm system where appropriate, and learn how to react quickly to a fire emergency.Finally, the provisions for the safe evacuation of persons requiring assistance must be discussed and in place. These procedures are based on the physical and human resources of each building, and must be included in the approved fire safety plan, including the locations of areas of refuge that may be required until help does arrive. All procedures specific to the building occupants must be discussed with the local City Fire Services prior to being implemented.
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.