Fire Safety Plans
Posted: Sep. 10, 2020
In North America fires annually cause over 10,000 injuries, 3,000 deaths and over $7 billion in direct damages. Most of these losses are related to home fires, however industrial and commercial fires are involved in 10% of these losses. Businesses should encourage employees to extend fire safety planning principles to their homes. Because of their large potential for harm, fire planning is an important component of health and safety programs and emergency planning.
Components of a Fire Safety Plan
The main components of a fire safety plan include:
- Evacuation and emergency plans
- Prevention Plans
- Fire control plans
Evacuation and Emergency Plans should include:
- How to sound a fire alarm;
- How to notify internal and external firefighting services;
- How to safely evacuate each individual building, structure or facility;
- How to safely shut-down operating equipment, systems, utilities and processes in the event of a fire emergency;
- Locating all emergency exits, routes, lighting and signage;
- Providing training for employees in their fire safety emergency duties and responsibilities;
- Having contingency plans in-place for employees who require assistance evacuating; and
- How to provide firefighter access and communicate with fire services.
Prevention Plans should include:
- Conducting fire drills, practicing evacuations and reviewing and communicating the results of these drills;
- Establishing and verifying specific maintenance procedures for fire fighting equipment and fire suppression systems;
- Providing readily accessible diagrams and instructions for any fire emergency system;
- Conducting regular inspections by competent persons of all fire safety plan elements, equipment and evacuation routes;
- Identifying all potential sources of ignition and the safe work processes to be used to prevent contact with flammables and combustibles;
- Ensuring the safe storage and use of flammables and combustibles;
- Ensuring that HVAC systems are designed to eliminate flammable and explosive atmospheres and reduce the spread of fires; and
- Making sure that electrical systems are compatible with the hazard classification of the area.
Fire Control Plans should include:
- Making sure that fire stops and fire doors are installed and operating as required;
- Ensuring that fire extinguishers are readily accessible and of the correct type for the fires likely to be encountered;
- Having fire suppression systems designed and installed by competent persons in each building or facility according to the fire hazard assessments performed; and
- Providing specific training to employees who have fire control responsibilities.
Legislation and Codes Pertaining to Fire Safety
Many of the elements of a fire safety plan cited above will be required through safety legislation, fire safety codes and occupancy permits. You may be subject to municipal, regional, provincial, state and/or federal legislation governing fire safety and fire safety plans.
Always use your hazard assessment process to help you determine what preventative and control measures to use. Consult with your firefighting services and invite them to review your plans and your facilities. Formally encourage your employees to have a fire safety plan at home by providing home programs and consider assisting with alarms and extinguishers as part of your safety incentive program.
“Don’t let your plans go up in smoke – have a fire safety plan”
The following materials or websites were used in the preparation of this newsletter and can be accessed if you require additional information:
- CCOHS OSH Answers Fact Sheets – Fire Protection https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/fire_protection.html
- InUnison HSM SWP Fires and Explosion Hazards
- InUnison HSM Fire Prevention and Fire safety
Please contact your InUnison safety representative if you require any assistance with your Fire Safety Plans or your health and safety system.
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