It is not uncommon forbuilding fire alarm control panels, sprinkler risers, standpipes, etc. to betemporarily taken out of servicewhen repairs are necessary. In other cases, aparticular zone or detection device might betemporarily takenoffline while waiting for a service company toinvestigateand complete corrective measures. Fire safety protectionsystems may also be downwhilea building floor is undergoing renovations, includingre-location of sprinkler heads and other fire system devices such as heat and smoke detectors, visual and audible devices,and pull stations.Whenevercritical fire and life safety equipment in abuilding isout of service, building operators are to implement fire watch procedures immediately,as outlined in the approved fire safety plan.One of the first steps isto post the bypass noticesthroughout the building. This signage is to display the particular fire and life protection systemwhich has been bypassed and the in case of fire emergency procedures. Notices are to remain posted until the applicable equipment hasbeen re-activated.Hot works construction activities in a building, such as using a cutting torch, welding, or other flame/spark generating work, callfor localized fire watch procedures. Hazardous activities similar to hot works during building demolitions also fall under the fire watch criteria.
During a fire watch, elected fire watch personnel, or in some cases anoutsourced security company,actively look for evidence of smoke or fireas they walk through the entire building. The numberof personnel involved in the fire watch mustbe adequateto cover all areas of the building within specified time limits, and they are not permitted to perform any other duties.While on patrol,it is vital they are equippedwith a working cellular telephone for a means to call the City fire services.If smoke or fire is seen, they must declare a building emergency and contact the City fire services immediately.Log sheets are availablein the approved fire safety plan for documenting contact with the City fire servicesat the startand end of each fire watch interval or shift change. Until the particular fire protection system(s) areback online, the fire watch personnel are to regularly maintain written logs, indicating date, time,and alarm status. The fire watch personnel are to havean up-to-date list of occupants requiring assistance, includingnamesand locations in the building.Canceling the fire watch is basedon the fire and life safety systems being fully operational,at which time the City fire services arenotified and the bypass notices are removed.
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 prohibitedwithout the written consent of Firepoint Inc. Copyright 2021 -All Rights Reserved.See www.firepoint.ca or call 905-874-9400.