For the most part, the goal of a residential or commercial business operator is to ensure the satisfaction and safety of their occupants. It is critical to be proactive and follow the requirements outlined in the approved fire safety plan (FSP) for the building. Most important is following the evacuation procedures described in the FSP so that occupants can quickly and efficiently evacuate the building in the event of an emergency. This can be accomplished if building operators fulfill their duties as prescribed by the fire code and implement their approved FSP, as well as regularly maintain its contents. Given that the fire code states that all FSPs are to be reviewed at intervals of no greater than twelve months, some advance preparation is required to comply. This may seem challenging when reviewing a fifty-page FSP, let alone when attempting to update its contents in a timely fashion. The implementation of an FSP may very well collide with the daily duties of running a building and managing a host of urgent work orders. By the time each day ends, unfinished tasks are moved to subsequent days. While it is true that there are only so many hours in the work-day, a fire or other emergency will usually strike without notice.
When updating an FSP, the first step is to find the workable copy of the fire safety plan, whether in soft or hard copy form, and then determine when it was accepted and/or approved by the city. Normally, the date can be found on a letter from the City, or a stamp located on the front cover of the FSP. Failing these two indicators, the original developer of the FSP may be able to assist with this information. As the owner of a FSP, obtaining an electronic version is of benefit as it allows the building owner or operator to print copies whenever needed. Unfortunately, updating the contents of an FSP will be a huge undertaking when attempting to edit pages which are locked in PDF documents. This may be a result of the contents of the FSP bearing the creator’s name in the approved version. In most cases, the owner of the FSP can contact the developer of the FSP to negotiate the revisions to be made and the issuing of any pages in a format which permits editing. With respect to floor plan layout drawings saved as PDF, the owner marks up the changes and sends these back for the developer to re-work them in CAD format. For extensive modifications to the drawings, such as fire alarm and sprinkler system retrofits or structural add-ons, a site assessment of the building may be warranted by the creator and require a re-submission to the City for re- examination and approval.
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.