During the current pandemic, conducting fire drills certainly has become an ongoing top of discussion amongst building operators and property managers alike, with some electing to conduct online or virtual fire drill training. As is commonly known from approved fire safety plans, the fire code does stipulate that conducting comprehensive fire drills is mandatory, with the appointed supervisory personnel and floor wardens implementing the evacuation procedures. Their roles and responsibilities during fire drills entail initiating emergency procedures, directing occupants, and monitoring the evacuation to the designated outside assembly area. Pre-planning fire drills is a key component in establishing that an adequate number of supervisory staff are in place to carry out required tasks, and to review the emergency procedures under different fire scenarios which may occur the building. Of course, conducting the actual fire drill will allow building managers to measure the ability of supervisory staff to respond in a timely fashion to the fire emergency. It is a requirement for building management to provide fire safety training to all existing and newly-designated supervisory staff. This training is scheduled with the time of fire drills and repeated as often as necessary to ensure that the supervisory staff are familiar with their roles and responsibilities.
Many property managers opt to conduct simulated fire drills as part of their pre-planning process without the activation of the building fire alarm systems. The supervisory staff carry out their prescribed roles and responsibilities, with the building occupants fully participating. These simulated fire drills allow supervisory personnel to identify and implement any corrective action required to support the evacuation response as per the approved fire safety plan. Other property managers conduct administrative fire drills as part of pre-planning whereby discussions are held in a table talk setting with the appointed supervisory personnel and building management team. This type of fire drill does not include any physical movement through the building or emergency response activity. It is to be noted that simulated and administrative fire drills are not intended to be substitutes for the comprehensive fire drills required under the fire code. Following each fire drill, it is of benefit for all supervisory staff to attend a debriefing session, so as to report on their observations and review any corrective measures. All results are to be recorded and kept on site for a period of one year.
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.