One of the main strategies of an approved fire safety plan is to ensure building occupants are able to evacuate the premises as quickly and safely as possible, should a fire emergency occur. The fire code clearly stipulates that each building owner is ultimately responsible for carrying out the provisions for fire safety. Owners are defined as any person, firm or corporation controlling the property under consideration and may be one or a combination of parties, including building management, maintenance staff and tenant groups. These listed groups are responsible to ensure full implement of the fire safety plan including but not limited to the scheduled maintenance requirements for the building fire alarm and sprinklers, emergency lighting, generator, etc., in order to keep them fully functional 24/7, 365 days a year.
Besides providing building operators and property managers with fire safety guidelines for a facility, the approved fire safety plan also reflects the unique characteristics and classifications of the building, the occupant loads, means of egress floor layout evacuation maps, fire department access route drawing, emergency contacts and phone numbers, persons requiring assistance etc. Whether it be building employees, customers or tenants, anyone who enters and occupies the building has the expectation that fire safety planning measures have been fully implemented. It is certainly no wonder that the fire safety plan is one of the most important building manuals used by property management, business operators and facility maintenance personnel.
With such important details listed in the approved fire safety plan, it is mandatory under the fire code that it be reviewed as often as necessary, but at intervals not greater than twelve months, to ensure that it accounts for changes in the use and other characteristics of the building. General updates include emergency contact names, phone numbers and persons requiring assistance in the event of a building evacuation. These updates rarely call for a re-issue to the city fire service unless ordered to do so by the fire chief. Re-submission is required if the building ownership or business has been transferred, the building usage has changed, a fire alarm system retrofit has occurred, or in the case of substantial structural modifications or add-ons. It is to be noted that although physical changes may not have been made to the building or its contained fire and life safety equipment since the fire safety plan approval date, there are often updates to the fire code which will likely affect compliance of its contents.
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.