Special to Ontario Construction News
As building management firms begin to restore their full operational abilities during these unprecedented times, focus is being directed to ensure that the maintenance checks and tests are being implemented to the fire protection and life safety systems in their commercial, industrial and multi-occupancy residential buildings. Without question, confirming the monitoring station signaling is of key importance as this network transmits data commands to dispatch the fire services in the event that building fire alarm or sprinklers have been activated.
For building fire safety personnel and business managers who are temporarily working from their private residence, some have taken the opportunity to review their fire safety plan and make any necessary revisions accordingly. These changes may range from updating the building or business emergency contacts, after hour key holders, and listing of employee or residences requiring assistance in emergency situations. For those which simply do not have a copy of their fire safety plan, these can easily be obtained and e-transferred upon requesting the files from the plan’s developer. It is mandatory to review the fire safety plan as often as deemed necessary, and at increments no greater then 12 months. For extensive modifications, such as fire alarm and sprinkler system retrofits, transfer of the building ownership or structural add-ons, a site walkabout by the plan developer may be necessary, as well as a possible re-submission to the fire department in your jurisdiction.
During the pre-review of the fire safety plan by business owners and property managers, it is recommended to include individuals who have been elected as supervisory personnel, even if they are still temporarily working from home via readily available internet communications tools. This will permit management to share critical information contained in the fire safety plan with the aim of upholding the required level of evacuation readiness for occupants should an emergency event arise in the building. In addition, further directives may include giving their equipment contractors instructions on scheduling the maintenance of the building fire and life safety systems. Many workplaces which are temporarily unoccupied as a result of the current health crisis have verified that their security personnel have reviewed the fire watch procedures located within the approved fire safety plan.
From all our bulletin contributors, writers and editors, we wish to give thanks to all the front line personnel for their extraordinary courage, commitment, bravery, dedication and perseverance during these challenging times.
This article was contributed by Firepoint, a Brampton-based company, develops code-compliant fire safety plans on behalf of building owners, to properly equip asset managers to properly evacuate a building’s occupants in case of fire. See www.firepoint.ca or phone (905) 874-9400.