No matter the type of building,whether itis recently constructed or an agingstructure, property operatorsand managers may be faced with a potentially risky fire emergency. Add to the mix unexpected situations,such as when building occupantsare in a state of panicwhich affectstheir safe evacuation from the building.Furthermore, not all occupants share the same degree of building layout familiarityand when confronted by fireor smoke: their visual perceptions may very well impair their movementtowards the mean of egress. Preventing firesfrom occurring in the first place is most definitely the number one goal of all building management teams, andis to be outlined in the approved fire safety plan under Controlling Fire Hazards.
An approved fire safety plan covers the designated actions to be taken by business owners and property managers,including individuals who have been elected as supervisorypersonnel in the event a fire emergency occurs in their building.This shared accountability and advance preparation aims to provide a higher level of evacuation readinessfor occupants of a building, which is vital to their safety should afire emergency event arise.The fire safetyplan includes implementation instructions, the schedule formaintaining the buildings fire and life safety systemsand illustratesthe floor plan exits, stairwells and placement of the fire extinguishers, manual fire alarm pull stations, etc.The occupantevacuation procedures, fire drill schedules, roles and responsibliesof the supervisory personnel and the outside assemblypoints are also part of the approved fire safety plan content.
When updating the fire safety plan, the first step is to locate the workable copy, whether in soft or hard copy form.Once the copy has been found, the plan itself will usuallyindicate 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 fire safetyplan. Should a workable copynot be available, the original author of the plan may be contactedto obtain the electronic versiontoallow for updates, such as thehuman resourceslist and persons requiring assistance.For extensive modifications, such as fire alarm and sprinkler system retrofits, transfer of the building ownership or structural add-ons, a site assessment of the building may be conducted. For industrial facilities, it is critical to update the quantities of storedflammable and combustible liquids,alongwith implementation ofthe mandatory fire code requirements for thebuilding classification. It is recommended that you contactyourCity official to confirm their re-submission requirements,or alternatively review the original City letter which was issued at the time of the fire safety plan approval.Abuilding fire safety plan is to be updated as often as deemednecessary, at increments no greater than 12 months, as is requiredunder the fire code.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.