Bulletin 196 June 2015 Promoting Workplace Fire & Life Safety
- Posted at: September 25, 2021 04:25:37

Abuildingmanager’sroleinfireandlifesafetyplanningmustconsiderthenatureofthebusinessconducted throughoutthepremises.Itisimperativetoaccountforallhazardsasthesemayhaveanimpactontheevacuation oftheoccupants.Forthemostpart,safetyplanningincludespreparingforfireandotheremergenciesthatcould occurinafacility,aswellasidentifyingareasforimprovement.Increasingoccupants’awarenessofhazardsmay helpthemunderstandtheimportanceofkeepingallexitpathsclearofobstructions,andpromptthemtoadvise buildingmanagersofexitfixturesthatarenotilluminated.Safeegressisadesignfeatureinmostbuildingswhich mustbemaintainedbyprohibitinganyactionthatcouldpreventsomeonefromescaping.Everydayobstacles,such asanabandonedboxinthehallwayorlodgeddoorlatchmaybeviewedasasimplenuisanceundernormalworking conditions.However,inarealfireemergencythesesameobstaclescanbedisguisedbyheavysmokeand darkness, andmaydelay anevacuation, causing apile-up orpanic. Visitorsareusuallyunfamiliarwiththebuildingfacility,aswellastheemergencyprocedurestofollowintheeventof afire.Inaddition,theregularstafforfirewardensmaynotbeonthelookoutforvisitorsaspartofthesearchprocess duringanevacuation.Newemployees,subcontractemployees,andlong-termvisitorsmustbemadeawareof egressroutesandassemblypointsoutsidethebuilding.Egressroutesshouldbeclearlyindicatedonevacuation diagramspostedinthebuilding.Inorderfortheemergencyresponseportionofthefiresafetyplantobeeffectively implemented,allemployeesmustunderstandtheimportantroletheyplayinpromotingfiresafetyintheworkplace, aswellasconstantlyadheringtofiresafetypracticesandprocedures.Aproactiveandconsistentapproachtofire safety planning remains essential, aseach building typecanpresent amultitude ofhazards foroccupants.

Conductingregularoccupantfiredrillswillreinforcethesafeuseoftheexitfacilitiesavailableforemergencies.When carefullyplanned,firedrillsallowoccupantstopracticeanorderlyexitinacontrolled,simulatedemergencysituation. Withinthisframework,buildingmanagersmustprovidekeypersonnel,suchasfirewardensandsupervisorystaff, withthenecessaryeducation andguidance tofulfilltheirspecifiedresponsibilities asoutlined inthefiresafetyplan. Instructionfortenantsregardingsafetyplanningandemergencyproceduresmayincludetheissuingoffloorplans withmarkedevacuationroutes,informationonfloorwardenassignments,anddirectionregardingthenearestexits fromeachpartofthebuilding.Forindividualswithlimitedmobilitythatpreventsthemfromevacuatingbywayofthe exitstairwells,planningisimperative.Supervisorypersonnelandtheirreplacementalternatesmustbefamiliarwith thenecessarycourseofactionandprocedurestofollow.Thecity-acceptedfiresafetyplandoeshavesectional contentspertainingtooccupantswithhearingorvisionimpairment,orthosewhoarephysicallylimited,wheelchair bound, etc.Specific procedures arelisted toassist withtheirevacuation from thebuilding.
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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