Adrian Goh Guan Kiong on the basic insights into the Fire Safety Management System.
This article is written by Adrian Goh Guan Kiong, who is trained as a Fire Safety Manager and it aims to provide readers basic insights into the Fire Safety Management System. He is also trained in building management, workplace safety and physical security. He had also written on articles on Building management, Mental wellness, Mental resilience during COVID19, Work from home, Personal Finances, Can your boss be your friend)
Fire Safety Management System
A fire management system provides a complete description of coordinated policies and safety arrangements to minimize the occurrence of fire in a building – and if it breaks out- to save both the building and the lives of the occupants. A holistic fire management system, demonstrating how the best practices in the safety management can be practically implemented, revolves around 5 key components, which are: to plan, organize, control, monitor and review the fire safety standards. Compliance with the legal guidelines and providing a complete guideline – combining all fire-related documents into one document – into how occupants of a building must evacuate are the foremost objectives of a comprehensive fire management system. An efficient management plan involves plan, design, coordinate, and manage all the required safety procedures – including documentation – delineating emergency procedures, identification of responsibilities of the staff, and on-site fire safety systems.
A complete fire management system includes:
- A holistic strategy for fire safety management
- Fire protection strategy
- How to evacuate residents from the building in case of a fire
- Fire-fighting strategy
- Plan to control fire and smoke
- A fire emergency plan
A fire emergency plan is, indubitably, the key aspect of a successful Fire safety management. Based on the fire assessment, an emergency plan must include:
- Must be available to all the employees, enforcing authority, and staff representatives.
- Identify key exit/escape routes and how people can access to these routes from every part of the building.
- What employees and staff should do if a fire breaks out suddenly?
- How the evacuation process should be handled and coordinated
- How to give early warning to people in case of fire eruption
- How to save any physical equipment such as power supplies, machines, sensitive appliances, etc.
- How to contact fire-fighting and rescue teams?
- Training of employees and staff on what to do if a fire breaks out
To have a complete understanding of the Fire Management System Plan, it is necessary to develop insights into 5 fundamentals of the management system.
Five Fundamentals of Fire Management System Plan
The details about the 5 core components of the management system are outlined below:
In the first step of a fire management system, the person responsible for the structure such as building owner must devise a practical plan – by taking on-board all stakeholders – a practical approach that should include:
- Complete fire assessment risk in the building and its premises.
Determine the priorities in eliminating the potential hazards that may lead to a fire. The rationale is to minimize – if not eliminate altogether – all these risks to protect people from physical injuries.
- Then, choosing the right risk control measures – by taking guidance from the professionals and according to the legal provisions – to keep the risks under control.
- Finally, he/she must articulate performance standards and strict implementation of protective and preventive measures.
After properly planning a practical plan, the next step is to specify the details about the structure of the organization responsible for ensuring and implementing the plan. It may include:
- Communication of health and safety guidelines to all the employees and the staff.
- All the details of fire escaping rehearsals and fire drills.
- Details of evacuation and emergency plan and provide them to every employee.
- Maintenance plans of the building and who is responsible for that.
- Details of fire safety risk assessment
- An effective system of communicating necessary information to all the staff, or other responsible individuals on time.
- Taking necessary steps to prevent arson – deliberately setting fire to property.
- Housekeeping and how to prevent fire
- Making sure all the staff is apprised of and in compliance with all the guidelines and specifications of fire safety risk assessment.
- Providing relevant details of all the protected areas such as fire doors.
- Specifying the persons that will be responsible for making decisions about the preventative and protective measures and also of people responsible for implementing these measures.
- Necessary training, instructions, and information to ensure the competency of the staff.
Under this domain, the organizer needs to appoint responsible people at each level that can inspect and carry out the fire safety measures throughout the building. They establish control measures by:
- Clarifying the health, fire safety, and health responsibilities of each individual.
- Everyone must understand the roles and responsibilities tasked to him.
- Make sure there is substantial supervision and check over them
- Proper measures are in place to assess and evaluate the performance of people tasked with responsibilities.
The success of the whole fire safety management system is positioned on monitoring the progress of the appointed persons. It is indispensable to articulate a plan to schedule regular inspections of the fire precaution measures, launching the departmental investigations to determine the potential causes of the accidents to make sure lessons are learned and, if needed, procedures are improved. All these monitoring and evaluation processes must be documented for future analysis.
A proper review system to determine the shortcoming and deficiencies in the management system as well as correct them accordingly is an integral component of a competent fire safety management system. The review should:
- Proper methods are to be established to ensure that remedial or rectification work sees the end of the day.
- All the corrective work that has not been completed yet must be prioritized and expedited for completion.
- Finally, regular review of the entire management system to make sure that it is effective and up to date.
Hopefully, this article will clear some of the questions and doubts pertaining to fire safety management plan and why it is so important to articulate a holistic and comprehensive plan.