Standard for fire safety planning and fire emergency organization - Chapter 3-1

Outlines the minimum requirements for fire safety plans, including the organization of designated staff for fire emergency purposes.
Date modified: 1994-02-15

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1. General

1.1 Purpose

This standard establishes the minimum requirements for fire safety plans including the organization of designated staff for fire emergency purposes.

1.2 Application

This standard applies to all:

  1. departments and agencies listed in schedules A and B of the Financial Administration Act(FAA) with the exception of the Department of National Defence;
  2. branches designated as departments for the purposes of the FAA; and
  3. those departments and other portions of the Public Service as defined in part I of schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

This chapter replaces chapter 7-1 of PMM Volume 12.

1.3 Scope

This standard describes the procedures to be followed by departments and agencies in planning and organizing for fire emergencies in Government of Canada property. It is to be read and implemented in conjunction with part II of the Canada Labour Code, part XVII of the Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, and the requirements of the National Fire Code of Canada regarding emergency planning. (See appendix A.)

1.4 Administration

  1. The Fire Commissioner of Canada or his authorized representative is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this standard.
  2. This standard is not to be interpreted as permitting practices specifically prohibited by provincial, municipal, or other federal legislation.

1.5 Definitions

Certain terms used in this standard are defined to ensure understanding of their meaning and intent.

Designated staff
means those occupants of a building who have some delegated responsibility for the fire safety of other occupants under the fire safety plan (personnel désigné);
fire emergency organization
means a formal organization of designated staff to perform specified duties in the event of a fire emergency. (See appendix A) (organisation des secours en cas d'incendie);
Government of Canada property
means real or personal property under the administration and control of a federal government department or agency, including property leased to the government (bien du gouvernement du Canada);
senior officer
means the highest ranking official of any department or agency occupying space in a building or facility and being responsible for the preparation and administration of the fire safety plan. The person so identified is to be located in that building (fonctionnaire supérieur).

1.6 Abbreviations

In this standard:

  1. "FC" means Fire Commissioner of Canada or the authorized representative of the Fire Commissioner of Canada;
  2. "NBC" means the latest edition of the National Building Code of Canada, as amended periodically;
  3. "NFC" means the latest edition of the National Fire Code of Canada, as amended periodically.

1.7 Standards

  1. Unless otherwise noted, a reference to another standard means to the latest edition of that standard, as amended periodically.
  2. In the event of an inconsistency between any standard incorporated by reference in this standard and any other provision of this standard, that other provision shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

2. The fire safety plan

2.1 Preparation

  1. A fire safety plan shall be prepared for all Government of Canada properties by the senior officer.
  2. The fire safety plan shall include:
    1. emergency procedures to be used in case of fire, including
      • sounding the fire alarm;
      • notifying the fire department;
      • instructing occupants on procedures to be followed when the fire alarm sounds;
      • evacuating endangered occupants, including special provisions for the disabled;
      • confining, controlling and extinguishing a fire; and
      • the time required to complete evacuation.
    2. the appointment and organization of designated staff to carry out fire safety duties;
    3. the instruction of designated staff and employees so that they are aware of their responsibilities for fire safety;
    4. the preparation of diagrams showing the name, if any, and address of the building and the type, location and operation of the building fire emergency systems;
    5. the holding of fire drills;
    6. the control of fire hazards in the building;
    7. the inspection and maintenance of building facilities provided for the safety of occupants;
    8. a record of the fire emergency systems installed in the building and instructions to the designated staff and fire department on the operation of the systems;
    9. the procedures for reporting fires and false alarms; and
    10. the procedures to facilitate fire department access to the building and to the fire location within the building.
  3. In buildings as designated in Subsection 3.1, in addition to the requirements of (b), the fire safety plan shall include:
    1. the establishment of a fire emergency organization;
    2. the duties and responsibilities of members of the fire emergency organization;
    3. the organization chart of the emergency organization;
    4. the appointment and instruction of designated staff in the use of the voice communication system;
    5. a plan of the building, showing:
      • the name, if any, and the address of the building,
      • the name and address of the owner of the building,
      • the names and locations of the tenants of the building,
      • the date of preparation of the plan,
      • the scale of the plan,
      • the location of the building in relation to nearby streets and in relation to all buildings and other structures located within 30 m of the building,
      • the maximum number of persons normally occupying the building at any time,
      • a horizontal projection of the building, showing thereon its principal dimensions, and
      • the number of floors above and below ground level;
    6. a plan of each floor of the building, showing:
      • the name, if any, and the address of the building,
      • the date of preparation of the plan,
      • the scale of the plan,
      • a horizontal projection of the floor, showing thereon its principal dimensions,
      • the number of floor to which the plan applies,
      • the maximum number of persons normally occupying the floor at any time,
      • the location of all fire escapes, fire exits, stairways, elevating devices, main corridors and other means of exit,
      • the location of all fire protection equipment, and
      • the location of the main electric power switches for the lighting system, elevating devices, principal heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment and other electrical equipment,
    7. the names, room numbers and telephone numbers of the chief fire emergency warden and the deputy chief fire emergency warden of the building appointed by the senior officer.
  4. In institutional occupancies, as defined in the N.B.C., a sufficient number of designated staff shall be on duty to perform the tasks outlined in the fire safety plan.
  5. In group A, division 1 occupancies, as defined in the N.B.C., and containing more than 60 occupants, there shall be at least 1 designated staff member on duty in the building to perform the tasks outlined in the fire safety plan whenever the building is open to the public.
  6. In high buildings within the scope of Subsection 3.2.6 of the N.B.C., the fire safety plan shall include the following:
    1. the instruction of designated staff on the use of the voice communication system,
    2. the procedures for the use of elevators and for the evacuation of the disabled,
    3. the action to be taken by designated staff in initiating any smoke control or other fire emergency systems installed in the building until the fire department arrives, and
    4. the procedures established to facilitate fire department access to the building and fire location within the building.
  7. In buildings or parts of buildings used for the short or long term storage of raw materials, goods in process, or finished goods, the fire safety plan shall identify:
    1. the product classifications, as per the N.F.C., for each part of the building where products of different classification are stored,
    2. the method of storage, including aisle widths for rack storage,
    3. the maximum permitted height of storage for the building or part of the building, if different,
    4. the maximum permitted size of individual storage areas,
    5. in sprinklered buildings, the sprinkler system design criteria, inside and outside hose allowances, and results of the benchmark sprinkler system main drain and water flow tests,
    6. the storage method and maximum height of storage as described in (ii) and (iii) shall be prominently posted in the storage area.
  8. In buildings where radioactive materials are stored or handled, the fire safety plan shall include:
    1. methods to control a fire emergency and to recover radioactive materials and equipment containing radioactive materials safely and efficiently,
    2. the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons to be contacted in case of fire during non-operating hours,
    3. the names, addresses and telephone numbers of primary and alternative sources of expert radiation safety advice and assistance,
    4. the location of primary and alternative sources of radiation survey instruments, and
    5. the location for decontamination.

2.2 Administration

  1. The fire safety plan shall be prepared and administered by the senior officer.
  2. In buildings occupied by a number of departments, the senior officer of the department having the largest number of employees shall prepare and administer the fire safety plan.
  3. The senior officers of the remaining departments referred to in (b) shall co-operate in the formation and operation of the fire safety plan and shall be responsible for providing the necessary fire emergency wardens for the areas occupied by their respective departments.
  4. The senior officer preparing and administering the fire safety plan is encouraged to seek the co-operation of private sector and public sector employers and employees working in the building to whom this standard does not apply.

2.3 Review and acceptance

  1. The fire safety plan is to be prepared in co-operation with the fire department.
  2. The fire safety plan shall be reviewed and signed by the senior officer.
  3. The signed fire safety plan shall be forwarded to the District Office of Labour Canada for review and acceptance prior to implementation.

2.4 Distribution and posting

  1. A copy of the fire safety plan shall be distributed in manual form, to each member of the fire emergency organization, and shall be surrendered on leaving the organization.
  2. The fire emergency procedures shall be prominently posted on each floor and all Government employees are expected to be familiar with the instructions contained therein.

2.5 Availability

A copy of the fire safety plan shall be kept in the building in a specified location for inspection by Labour Canada officials or by an officer from the local fire department and for reference by designated staff in the building. Where there is a central alarm and control facility, it shall be kept at this location.

3. The fire emergency organization

3.1 Requirement

  1. A fire emergency organization is required in all buildings that are more than three storeys, including storeys below grade, or when the occupant load usually in a building exceeds the number given in appendix A for the classification of the major occupancy of the building, except as required in (b).
  2. The FC may require a fire emergency organization in buildings other than as stipulated in (a) to accommodate unique situations.
  3. In buildings not requiring a fire emergency organization, one person plus an assistant, shall be designated responsible for fire safety matters in the building. These two persons shall be known as the "fire emergency warden" and "deputy fire emergency warden".

3.2 Administration

  1. The fire emergency organization shall be established and administered by the senior officer.
  2. In buildings occupied by a number of departments, the senior officer of the department having the largest number of employees shall establish and administer the fire emergency organization.
  3. The senior officers of the remaining departments referred to in (b) shall co-operate in the formation and operation of the fire emergency organization and shall be responsible for providing the necessary fire emergency wardens for the areas occupied by their respective departments.
  4. The senior officer establishing and administering the fire emergency organization is encouraged to seek the co-operation of private sector and public sector employers and employees working in the building to whom this standard does not apply in the formation and operation of the fire emergency organization.

3.3 Personnel appointment and training

  1. Personnel for the fire emergency organization shall be employees who are normally employed in the building and shall be recruited on an equitable basis from staff of all occupying departments (see appendix B).
  2. Every fire emergency warden shall be instructed and trained in the responsibilities under the fire safety plan and in the use of fire protection equipment. A record of all instruction and training provided shall be kept by the employer for a period of two years from the date on which instruction or training is provided.
  3. Every employee shall be instructed and trained in the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency and the location, use, and operation of fire protection equipment and emergency equipment provided by the employer.

3.4 Chief fire emergency warden

  1. In buildings occupied by a single department, the chief fire emergency warden shall be appointed by the senior officer of that department.
  2. In buildings occupied by more than one department, the chief fire emergency warden shall be appointed by the senior officer of the department having the largest number of employees in the building.
  3. During a fire emergency, the chief fire emergency warden shall assume full authority for and control of the fire emergency organization and for the evacuation of building occupants until such time as the emergency is terminated or the fire department arrives at the scene and assumes responsibility.

3.5 Deputy chief fire emergency warden

  1. In buildings occupied by a single department, a deputy chief fire emergency warden shall be appointed by the senior officer of that department upon agreement and/or recommendation of the chief fire emergency warden.
  2. In buildings occupied by more than one department, the deputy chief fire emergency warden may be appointed by the senior officer of the second largest occupying department; but by arrangement with the senior officer of the major occupying department in consultation with the chief fire emergency warden.

3.6 Qualifications

Chief fire emergency wardens and deputy chief fire emergency wardens should be appointed from supervisory staff, and should possess or acquire the skill and knowledge necessary to fulfill the duties of their positions.

3.7 Floor fire emergency warden

  1. A floor fire emergency warden shall be appointed for each floor area occupied by Government of Canada departments.
  2. The floor fire emergency warden shall be appointed by the chief fire emergency warden subject to the approval of the senior officer of the appointee's department, and the appointee's supervisor shall be so advised and shall also be informed of the responsibilities entailed.

3.8 Deputy floor fire emergency warden

A deputy floor fire emergency warden and additional deputy floor fire emergency wardens, as may be required, shall be appointed by the floor fire emergency warden, subject to the approval of the senior officer of the appointee's department. The appointee's supervisor shall be so advised.

3.9 Monitors for disabled

Monitors shall be appointed by the floor fire emergency warden to assist with the evacuation procedures for the disabled, subject to the agreement of the appointee's department and the disabled person. The disabled and his or her supervisor shall be so advised.

3.10 Other fire emergency wardens

Other fire emergency wardens may be required for special duties because of the configuration, location or occupancy of the property, and shall be appointed by the chief fire emergency warden subject to the approval of the senior officer of the appointee's department. The appointee's supervisor shall be so advised.

3.11 Temporary absence

When the chief fire emergency warden and the deputy chief fire emergency warden are to be absent from the building at the same time, they shall make arrangements to appoint acting fire emergency wardens during their absence and the senior officers of their respective departments shall be so advised. It is important to consider such factors as shift operations, meal and break periods when making provisions for temporary absences.

3.12 Resignations

When a chief fire emergency warden or a deputy fire chief emergency warden resigns, a replacement shall be appointed at the earliest possible time.

3.13 Fire emergency organization meetings

  1. At least once every year and after any change is made in the fire safety plan for the building, all fire emergency wardens shall meet for the purpose of ensuring that they are familiar with the fire safety plan and their responsibilities thereunder.
  2. The senior officer shall keep a record of each meeting for a period of two years from the date of the last meeting. The record shall contain the date of the meeting, the names of those present, and a summary of the matters discussed.

3.14 Visual inspections

Daily visual inspections by fire emergency wardens shall be made of floor areas and obvious faulty conditions reported to the appropriate officials for corrective action. Faulty conditions include:  fire doors wedged or blocked open; exits, stairways and corridors obstructed; exit lights out; fire fighting equipment inoperative or obstructed; and obvious hazards such as the improper disposal of smokers' material, the unnecessary accumulation of combustibles, the improper use of flammable liquids, temporary or unsafe electric wiring and other unsafe conditions and practices.

3.15 Other duties

  1. Where buildings are required to have voice communication systems, the fire emergency organization shall be responsible for the operation of the emergency voice communication facility pending the arrival of the fire department. The senior officer is responsible to arrange for instruction in the use of such equipment for certain members of the fire emergency organization designated by the chief fire emergency warden.
  2. Personnel of the fire emergency organization may be requested to assist in other emergencies.

3.16 Fire department responsibility

  1. All fire emergencies shall be under the control of the officer in charge of the fire department upon his arrival at the scene. The fire emergency organization shall be placed under the direction of such officer.

3.17 Visual identifiers

  1. All wardens of the fire emergency organization shall be provided with a cap or other means of identification.
  2. The caps or other means used for identification shall be distinctive in colour for the chief, deputy chief, wardens and monitors for the disabled.
  3. The caps shall be provided by the department appointing the fire emergency wardens.

3.18 Loudspeakers

  1. In buildings occupied by 100 or more occupants, or in buildings where, due to building configuration it is deemed necessary by the FC, a battery-operated portable loudspeaker shall be provided to assist in crowd control.
  2. The loudspeaker shall be under the custody and control of the chief fire emergency warden.
  3. The loudspeaker shall be provided by the department responsible for the appointment of the chief fire emergency warden.

3.19 Flashlights

  1. In high-rise buildings, and other buildings as designated by the FC, flashlights shall be provided to each fire emergency warden.
  2. The flashlights shall be provided and maintained in good operating condition by the department appointing the fire emergency wardens.

4. Evacuation drills

4.1 Requirements

  1. At least one evacuation drill involving all occupants shall be conducted annually in all Government of Canada occupied areas of buildings except as required in (b).
  2. In certain occupancies, evacuation drills shall be held as follows:
    1. Non-residential schools(attended by children)
      • a minimum of 6 drills each year, held at irregular intervals: 3 drills in the fall term starting shortly after the school opening, and 3 drills between January and June;
    2. Non-residential schools(adult)
      • at least 2 drills each year: 1 drill in the fall and 1 drill in the spring;
    3. Residential schools(attended by children)
      • at least 1 drill per month;
    4. Residential schools(adult)
      • 1 drill per course session, resulting in at least 1 drill every 3 months;
    5. Daycare centres
      • 1 drill per month;
    6. Hospitals
      • 1 drill per month involving permanent staff on all shifts, and patients to the maximum extent possible taking into consideration their medical condition;
    7. Passenger terminals
      • 1 drill routine to be held at least every 3 months which may be conducted on a zone basis and may include passengers;
    8. Correctional institutions
      • 1 drill every 3 months involving permanent staff on all shifts, and inmates where possible;
    9. High buildings within the scope of subsection 3.2.6 of the NBC
      • designated staff drill every two months;
      • a total evacuation drill once yearly;
      • 1 drill every 3 months involving groups of adjoining floors.
      • Private sector occupants shall be encouraged to participate to the maximum extent possible.

4.2 Participation

All occupants shall participate in evacuation drills unless specifically exempted by the chief fire emergency warden. The disabled shall participate as much as reasonably practical.

4.3 Notification

The local fire chief shall be notified at least one week in advance if fire department participation is desired during a drill. Also, the local fire department has to be notified immediately prior to any fire alarm system activation for the purpose of carrying out a drill and afterwards as soon as the fire alarm system has been restored to normal operating condition.

4.4 Record of evacuations and drills

All evacuations and drills shall be recorded and the results maintained on file for a period of two years.

5. Evacuation procedures for disabled

5.1 Responsibility

  1. Specialized procedures shall be implemented as a part of the fire safety plan in order to provide for the safe evacuation of persons whose mobility is impaired (including both employees and visitors) in the event of a fire emergency, and shall include the following:
    1. A register shall be maintained in every building containing the location and number of disabled employees in the building, with a brief description of the impairment. In high buildings, the register shall be located in the control room, and in other buildings, in a central location. The names of the individuals should be registered, subject to the individual's agreement;
    2. The disabled persons are to identify themselves to their immediate supervisor. The supervisor is responsible to ensure that the disabled persons are registered; this includes temporary disabled individuals;
    3. At least two monitors shall be assigned to each disabled person;
    4. The procedures to be taken for the evacuation of the disabled shall be discussed with the disabled individual.

5.2 The procedures for the evacuation of the disabled should be practiced with the disabled person(s) to the extent practicable.

 


Appendix A

Table of maximum occupant load
Group* No. of Division Occupancy Classification Occupant Load**
A 1,2,3,4 Assembly: e.g. theatres, passenger terminals, museums, libraries, and schools All
B 1,2 Institutional: e.g. hospitals, correctional institutions (occupants under restraint). All
C - Residential: e.g. residential schools, barracks (excludes 1 and 2 family dwellings). 10
D - Offices 50
E - Mercantile: e.g. retail stores. 50
F 1 Industrial, high hazard: e.g. grain elevators, spray painting shops 25
F 2,3 Industrial, light and moderate hazard: e.g. mail processing plants, laboratories, aircraft hangars, warehouses 50
  • * Group occupancy classification as per NBC
  • ** Includes employees and patrons/visitors

Appendix B - Explanatory material

A - 1.3

The Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations Part XVII, contains requirements for emergency procedures, emergency warden appointment and training, and emergency warden meetings and drills.

The emergency procedures to be prepared by the employer are for a variety of emergencies of which fire emergency is one. Therefore, the chief emergency warden, deputy chief emergency warden and other emergency wardens appointed as members of the emergency organization are usually the same individuals identified in this standard as the chief fire emergency warden, deputy chief fire emergency warden, and fire emergency wardens as members of the fire emergency organization.

This standard includes all fire safety requirements related to emergency planning and procedures that are contained in the Canada Labour Code, part II, as well as the requirements of the N.F.C. and the Office of the Fire Commissioner of Canada.

During the preparation and implementation of emergency procedures, the fire safety plan is to be prepared as an independent document which can be part of the entire Emergency Procedures Manual.

A - 3.3

The officers of the fire emergency organization should be appointed from supervisory staff to the extent possible.

Appendix C - Reference publications

This standard makes reference to the following codes and standards which are not found in this volume:

  • Fire Commissioner of Canada standards
  • Construction Operations
  • Welding and Cutting
  • Computer Systems
  • Record Storage
  • Piers and Wharves
  • General Storage
  • Sprinkler Systems

These standards may be obtained from:

The Fire Commissioner of Canada
Operations Program, Labour Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0J2

Or from regional offices of Labour Canada (see appendix B). As they are revised, they will be issued in this volume.

Treasury Board publication

Treasury Board Manual
Materiel, Services and Risk Management volume
Fire Protection, Investigation and Reporting (Part III, chapter 5)

This volume may be purchased from:

The Canada Communication Group
Publishing, 45 Sacré-Cœur Blvd.,
Hull, Québec, K1A 0S9.

National Research Council of Canada publications

National Building Code of Canada
National Fire Code of Canada

These codes may be purchased from the Secretary, Associate Committee on the National Building Code:

National Research Council,
Ottawa, K1A 0R6.

Labour Canada publications

Canada Labour Code, Part II
Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations

C.L.C. Part II and C.O.S.H. Regulations may be purchased from Supply and Services Canada, Queen's Printer for Canada.

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