A Fire Safety Plan outline, that has been developed by the Fire Commissioner’s Office, is available from Sterling Fire & Associates Inc. The technical information about equipment, locations, and functions required in the Fire Safety Plan can be obtained with a simple walk through of the site, which takes about 30 minutes for the average sized building.
Implementing a comprehensive Fire Safety Plan is the most effective way to meet the standards set out in the British Columbia Fire Code. A Fire Safety Plan is a document, designed from sections of the B.C. Fire Code, that enables owners and operators to increase the level of safety in their buildings to that required by the B.C. Fire Code. It outlines such things as:
1. The appointment of a Fire Safety Director and Deputies and an outline of their responsibilities
The Fire Safety Director and Deputies are appointed, in writing, by the owner of the building and are responsible for such tasks as administering and maintaining the Fire Safety Plan and B.C. Fire Code regulations. This entails such things as keeping records of all false alarms, fire drills, and fire incidents; providing information to occupants on general fire safety and evacuation procedures; and maintaining familiarity with the building’s fire protection systems, to name a few.
2. Procedures after fire safety equipment has been operated
This section outlines the procedures to be followed in the event that the following equipment has been activated during a fire condition or accidentally: fire detection and alarm systems, wet and dry automatic sprinkler systems, and sprinkler systems during freezing weather. By following these procedures, safety is ensured and property damage due to water can be minimized.
3. Fire drill procedures
Fire drills should be conducted on an annual basis by the Fire Safety Director and Deputies to provide them with the opportunity to conduct fire safety and evacuation procedures with occupants willing to participate, and to identify any problems with these procedures.
4. Building description, safety features and operation of fire systems
This section gives a full description, location and understanding of the fire safety features and equipment in the building. This information includes such things as: the type and functions of the fire alarm system; location and coverage areas of emergency light units; types and locations of elevators, fire extinguishers, and fire hoses; natural gas and electrical shut offs; information for the Fire Department; and sprinkler system and water shut down locations. This information is vital to the safe operation of the building by the assigned Fire Safety Director and the Fire Department in the event of a fire.
5. “In case of fire . . .”
These procedures are to ensure proper evacuation and assembly of occupants in an emergency situation. For those in need of assistance, information sheets with their name, disability, and location are available to the Fire Safety Director to ensure that they receive the help they need during evacuation of the building.
6. Site & Floor plans
A floor plan provides essential information such as: the location of Fire Department Connections, water and natural gas shut offs, the nearest fire hydrants, fire extinguishers, fire exits, and other fire safety features within the building.
7. Inspection, testing and maintenance of fire equipment
These regulations and standards; as referenced by standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association, the Canadian Standards Association, and the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada; describe the monthly, semi-annual and annual inspection, testing, and maintenance of the following: fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, emergency light systems, standpipes and hose systems, portable fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment. Monthly inspection and testing of equipment can be carried out by the Fire Safety Director and the records must be kept for two years. Annual inspection, testing and maintenance of equipment must be carried out by a qualified contractor or service company and the records kept for two years.
8. Occupant fire prevention, preparedness and control
This section is an outline for the Fire Safety Director to institute appropriate fire prevention measures; inform occupants about fire prevention issues, procedures and information about fire drills; when to use and when not to use fire safety equipment; and safety procedures for other emergencies like earthquakes and natural gas leaks.