Fire poses a significant risk to people’s lives, resources (building and infrastructure), and business continuity. Therefore, maintaining fire safety is a priority for the institution’s management board. This Fire Safety Management Plan (FSMP) outlines how the institution will manage fire risks, prevent fire outbreaks, limit infrastructure damage and ensure that operatives at the site do not sustain injuries or death in the event of a fire.
Fire Safety Policy Statement
The Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College believes that safety is a fundamental element of success. Thus, in compliance with relevant legislation, the institution will ensure that work, accommodation, and recreation spaces provide adequate structural protection and escape means for all occupants. This plan will help reduce fire risk, facilitate sufficient monitoring and alarm systems installation, and provide adequate communication to allow a timely response. The institution aims to ensure continual improvement in its fire safety management practices to comply with the above legislation.
Fire Safety Management Structure (See appendix 1 for a sample)
The institution’s fire management structure will comprise at the minimum the following:
- Staff involvement and participation (i.e., staff responsibilities).
- Communication systems.
- Institutional activities that may influence its fire safety practices and management.
- The use of information, procurement, sub-contractors will affect fire safety.
- Establish institutional and organizational competencies to ensure adequate safety management.
There are two main evacuation strategies: single-staged and two-staged evacuation. During a single-stage evacuation, a detector activates a warning that prompts immediate evacuation. The two-staged evacuation involves sending a coded alert to staff in a two-staged evacuation (Furness and Muckett, 2007). An investigation is done, and evacuation signals are broadcasted if a fire is confirmed or when another detector is activated. The occupants in the affected building are first to be evacuated and those on floors with mobility impairments. The remaining floors are evacuated, two at a time, at phased intervals until all bases are evacuated. Progressive horizontal evacuation is divided into compartments, allowing horizontal escape.
The institution will establish a set of standards hazards to identify emergency and business continuity programs. It will determine warning, notification, and communication systems based on hazards identified in risk assessments (National Fire Protection Association [NFPA], 2013). The emergency response program will outline notification and communication systems and evacuation procedures.
Fire Alarm and Detection
- The fire safety system will be installed, tested, and maintained per NFPA 70 requirements.
- Fire safety systems and components will receive approval for the intended purpose.
- Automatic smoke detectors should be installed in an alarm control unit, notification equipment, and supervising station, while a heat detector should be installed in buildings unsuitable for smoke detectors (“Fire detection alarm systems and emergency lighting,” no date).
- A manual fire alarm must be availed if the automatic detection is not in operation due to maintenance or testing. The manual fire alarm should have a separate circuit and should not be tested when other detectors are examined.
- The manual fire alarm box should be positioned 5ft from the exit for new installations, while for existing alarms, it shall be provided near exit access.
Routine Procedures for Staff
All staff must be familiar with the emergency and fire prevention action plan. They will ensure access to first-aid facilities, emergency exits, and fire extinguishers. They will also be responsible for ensuring fire safety tools and equipment are appropriately stored and do not cause injury to occupants. Daily inspections will ensure that the storage and discard of flammables and combustibles are correctly done. Designated staff will clean liquid spills and clear combustibles from the site as required.
Fire Prevention and Arson Awareness
A fire warden will ensure rubbish/combustible are removed daily and report any potential fire hazards as appropriate. Combustibles and flammable liquids will be kept away from any ignition sources. A fire extinguisher managed by a supervisor will be available for each work area. The safety department will examine the risk of flammable liquids with appropriate warning signs posted in their storage areas. Refueling operations will be conducted under guided supervision. The institution will have an arson prevention program: the initiative will focus primarily on providing education and training on arson awareness.
Maintenance and Testing of Fire Safety Systems (NFPA, 2009)
- The institution will periodically maintain and test the fire safety systems to support their operational integrity. The maintenance and testing of these components must be recorded and maintained.
- The institution must notify relevant authorities of any ineffective fire alarms for more than four hours in 24 hours.
- Different call points should be tested the same every week. The alarm should not be operated for more than a minute. If staff work during odd hours, an additional test should be done monthly.
- Generators and batteries should be tested monthly, with at least two or more servicing each academic year. The servicing should be conducted as per BS 5839 Part 1 Clause 45.4. provisions
Decoration, Alterations, and Extensions
Under NFPA section 7.5.5., the institution is mandated to (NFPA, 2013):
Provide building access for the fire department during any alterations, demolition, etc. The access width’s surface should be unobstructed and have the capacity to withstand the load of the fire apparatus. The access road should be over 150ft. in length and 20ft. of unobstructed width. The institution should ensure accessibility to a usable stairway, prominently marked standpipes, and water supply during a fire outbreak.
Staff Training and Fire Drills
The University is mandated to adhere to fire safety legislation that requires all premises to ensure procedures are in place to respond to fire emergencies, including building evacuations, staff and occupants training. NFPA mandates training provision to all institution inhabitants, including students (“Ministry of Interior, Qatar,” no date). Thus, the school will appoint a building manager and evacuation officer to provide information on emergency procedures to all staff and schedule at least two fire drills per year. The building manager will examine how the drills are conducted, make relevant modifications, and keep records.
The fire drill will be supplemented with staff training on:
- Evacuation procedures & rescue techniques.
- Basic firefighting with appropriate tools.
- First aid for burn treatment.
The “guide book” should identify the person responsible for organizing the drill, drill frequency, and assembly point. It must also outline the evacuation procedure for the disabled. The drill manager will assess people’s reactions to alarms, the disabled’s evacuation, and appropriate use of evacuation routes, firefighting equipment, and communication during the drill (“Fire safety laws and guidance,” 2012). Upon completion of the training, alarm systems should be reset, and any defects sustained remediated. The drill manager will conduct a full debrief on staff and occupants’ performance and report findings to the FSA.
Fire Risk Assessment
The fire risk assessment (FRA) process will help identify institutional hazards and examine the risk posed by these hazards. The assessment results will be recorded and used to determine whether the existing measures are adequate or need modification or expansion (“Fire risk assessment overview,” no date). The assessment goal is to minimize loss and harm and the likelihood of it happening to protect life, property, environment, business continuity, or combination (Meacham et al., 2016). The FRA action plan/module will contain at the minimum the following:
- Section 1: identify each building’s hazards (ignition, fuel, and oxygen sources) and people at risk.
- Section 2: Measures for hazard control and management (removal/reduction of hazards).
- Section 3: Provisions for escape routes, detection and warning, lighting, signs and notices, maintenance, etc.
- Section 4: Detection and alert systems.
- Section 5: Risk control, including arson.
- Section 6: Fire safety management (personnel training).
- Section 7: The priority Issues per building.
- Section 8: Recommendations.
A fire risk assessment score will determine the risk rating of each hazard. The examined buildings will be ranked as low, medium, or high-risk, depending on their scores. A Fire Safety Adviser (FSA) will advise on the need for modifications or equipment and system upgrades. They will monitor the implementation of the action plan and disseminate findings and recommendations to stakeholders. The FRA module will be reviewed annually or when there are significant changes to a building’s internal layout, fixtures/fittings, and the number of building occupants.
Records of FRA, performance evaluations, fire safety system, site safety auditing/inspection records, environmental conditions, the safety inspection reports will be stored on the institution’s electronic data management system for auditing and review. The documents will be kept for at least three years.
Audit and Updating of this Manual
Internal auditors will review this manual’s legal compliance and effectiveness of control measures. The auditing team will examine whether:
- The FRA contains all requirements stipulated by the (“Regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005,” 2005).
- All staff are trained on standard procedures in the event of a fire.
- Maintenance and testing practices of fire safety systems comply with relevant codes of practice.
- The communication systems are sufficient, and the FRA identifies the procedures for responding to unplanned events, emergencies, or disasters.
The auditing results will be communicated to the Director of Health and Safety Services, and audit files will be stored for at least three years.
Fire detection alarm systems and emergency lighting. (no date). Web.
Fire safety law and guidance documents for business. (2012). Web.
Fire risk assessment overview. (no date). Web.
Furness, A. and Muckett, M. (2007) Introduction to fire safety management (1st edn.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Meacham, B. J. et al. (2016) Building fire risk analysis. New York, NY: Springer.
Ministry of Interior, Qatar General Directorate of Civil Defense Fire Prevention Department (no date) Guidelines for inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection and life safety systems. Web.
National Fire Protection Association [NFPA] (2009). Life safety code ® enabling references. Web.
National Fire Protection Association [NFPA] (2013). NFPA 241, 2013 ed.—safeguarding construction, alteration, and demolition operations. Web.
Regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005. (2005). Web.
Smith, P. (2018) Fire safety strategy: southern health NHS Foundation Trust. Web.
Appendix 1 (Adapted from Smith, 2018)
Fire Safety Management Structure: Example.
|Outlines the person responsible for: – |
|The person with responsibility for fire safety risk assessment:|
|The person with responsibility for maintenance of: |
|The person responsible for developing and reviewing Fire Safety Management Plan details the procedures to be taken by all staff, visitors, students, etc.|
|The person with responsibility for staff training: |