Over the few past weeks, 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 be 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. Any modification of key sections of the fire safety plan requires subsequent approval by the local municipal 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. The date can be found on a letter from the City, or a stamp by the municipal Fire Prevention Official located on the front cover of the fire safety plan. Failing these two indicators, 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 the evaluation of its contents. In the event that the electronic version is not available, a hardcopy of the fire safety plan may be found within the fire safety plan 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 the update of the human resources contact information, identifying those 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 revised 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 equipment takes place. These floor plan drawings may be printed and taken in hand to conveniently mark up the changes 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. The audit would also ascertain specifications on the operational sequence of a newly-installed fire alarm system, along with its connecting functions such as magnetic door-locking devices, elevator homing functions, smoke control 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 municipal 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.