It is critical to conduct regular fire drills to ensure that all the occupants are fully prepared should a real emergency arise in a building. To assist building operators with drills, there are directives contained within the approved fire safety plan. The aim isto enhance the level of awareness among the tenants of a building, which is vital to their safety should an emergency event arise. It isthe building manager’s responsibility to familiarize all occupants with the emergency procedures, and to provide them with the ability to monitor their own environment. This shared accountability becomes a true asset for the entire building population, resulting in a more advanced level of evacuation readiness.Property managers and operators are also responsible to ensure their buildingshave designatedsupervisory or warden personnel where applicable,depending on the classification of the building occupancy. For the most part, theelected emergency personnel become responsible for a particular space, be it an entire or partial floor area. They must ensure that occupants evacuate the area, when it is safe to do so,via the nearest exit to an outside assembly location.Depending on the procedures contained within the approved fire safety plan, the ideal response to fire may not necessarily be the evacuation via a stairway to the outside, but to remain in a safe haven. The decision as to whether to evacuate may also hinge on how far the elements of smoke or fire have progressed within the building.
It is equally important for the elected supervisory floor wardens to be thoroughly familiar with the building fire alarm system and the various tones of the audible devices which may sound in the building. Depending on occupancy classification, the building may be equipped with a single-stage, modified 2-stage or a regular 2-stage control system. The fire warden team must have a clear knowledge the building’s floor plan layout, including all exit paths and cross-over floors, to effectively support the evacuees during an emergency. For this reason,property operators must askeachtenant company to have at least one representative attend an annual floor fire warden orientation meeting. This ensuresthat they are familiar withthe building’s fire alarm system, various fire alarm scenarios,and the evacuation procedures. Floor wardens will be providedwith documentationextracted directly from the approved fire safety plan, which outlines the occupant emergency procedures and the floor plan drawings of the building.Givenfire safety plan is continually referenced, its contents must bereviewedand updated at intervals of no greater than 12 months to accurately reflectthe current building layout, the fire equipment placement, and emergency personnel contact information. More advanced updates such as building structural changes, fire safety system upgrades and floor plan modification may subsequently warrant a re-submission for re-approval by the City.
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.