Fire Protection - Scheduled Interruption Procedures
Purpose: To maintain a maximum level of safety in buildings at all times and minimize the quantity and duration of interruptions of the fire protection equipment in a building. To reduce unfounded fire alarms.
Responsibilities: Fire Prevention office, Security Services, Facilities Management and Development and on occasion, members of the community.
- Any authorized person requiring the scheduled interruption of fire protection equipment or of services (power, water) affecting this equipment, must make a request for a Fire Protection Equipment Shutdown Permit. The web form for this request is found on the EMFP website: Fire Prevention – Equipment shutdown link. Questions are simple and self-explanatory. Lack of data or providing less than 2 normal working days’ notice will result in an error message when you attempt to process your request.The Fire Prevention Office will review your request and either approve, deny or let you know if the shutdown is not required. Weekends and holidays are not considered part of the 48 hour notice. Even though the web program may not see the difference and advise of a ‘’notice’’ error when you process your request, the FPO will refuse/deny your request if you don’t give the two normal working day notice.Conditional approval: the fire protection equipment shutdown permit is viable only when the FPO instructions listed on the permit are followed.For emergencies/urgent repairs (less than 48 hours), the petitioner must call the Fire Prevention Office and speak directly to a FPO to obtain the permit. Scheduling errors, poor planning or a contractor showing up unannounced to do a job do not constitute an emergency. Only a sudden break in a system, water leaking and such events will be considered as emergencies.
- When the FPO requires a fire watch in his instructions, it is the responsibility of the petitioner to request this service to Security Services. Security’s procedures will need to be followed. If the fire watch becomes unavailable for any reason, the permit is void and FPO must be contacted immediately. The monitoring central and Security Dispatch must be informed by phone when the shutdown is beginning and when systems are returned to normal.
- When the re-activation of systems needs to be delayed, the petitioner must communicate with the FPO to provide a revised estimate for Shutdown End Time.
- Requesting an equipment shutdown permit does not automatically give you a work order with Facilities Management.
Fire Prevention Officer
1) Evaluate the request, communicate the decision, and provide details of any restrictions or requirements to the Petitioner. Any request not complying with the 48 hour notice shall be refused if not supported by an information call to FPO explaining the emergency.
In the circumstances that follow, the web program requires FPO to click on the approval symbol on the safety permit dashboard to process each request:
- Advise that a shutdown permit is not necessary – automatic reply programmed to the petitioner with a standard text
- Advise that the permit is denied – automatic creation of an email that FPO can call up in the administration page by clicking on the red @, add reason for the denial and then send to petitioner and other interested parties
- Advise that the permit is approved conditionally by providing FPO instructions, dating and signing off on the permit – automatic reply to petitioner, to Sector trades, to Campus Security, to Fire Prevention and to whomever is programmed by FPO to receive this notification. See the Safety permit dashboard.
If Risk Management requires notification of the shutdown for the type of equipment concerned than the FPO sends his Outlook email notification to them. See the Risk Management procedure on Notification of shutdowns for insurance.
Building Directors will be advised by the petitioner as needed and as required by FPO instructions.
2) Communicate delayed Shutdown End Times to the parties listed in #2 above, as deemed necessary and ensure the alarm monitoring central was advised.Communicate delayed Shutdown End Times to the parties listed in #2 above, as deemed necessary and ensure the alarm monitoring central was advised.
- FPO’s approval is conditional on the petitioner following instructions. Security verifies the forms received and provides them to their controller so they are aware of what work is scheduled, involving fire protection equipment. If a fire watch is required, Security will verify that the requestor follows their procedures to obtain the service and if an agent is not available, Security communicates the situation to FPO.
In FPO’s instructions on the permit, when a fire watch is required, a detailed description of this assignment is provided for the agents assigned this duty. Security Supervisors must ensure the assignment is understood and followed by their personnel.
Definitions for the Form FS-002
Fire Alarm Zone: Circuit of fire alarm devices covering one floor or sector in a building and identified as such on the fire alarm panel (1st floor, 2nd floor, etc.). In these systems individual devices can not be deactivated at the panel, only zones can (conventional alarm system). An addressable alarm system will allow the deactivation of individual devices/detectors in the work area.
Fire Watch: Surveillance performed by a designated, qualified individual with the objective of detecting a fire in its early stages and/or of sounding the alarm. This person will complete rounds as specified by the FPO on the equipment shutdown permit. A Fire Watch is provided with the means of readily communicating with the authorities (a 2-way radio).
Fire Watch Types: The following definitions determine the distinct type of Fire Watch required for specific situations. There may be some variations detailed by the FPO in his instructions.
- Type 1: Fire Watch – Loss of Communication.
The alarm system will function normally inside the building but no signal will be sent to the alarm monitoring station. The agent is required to remain at the fire panel to monitor for any incoming signals and call dispatch for further required action to be taken. If there is a fire alarm signal, 911 must be called immediately, followed by Security (514) 398-3000. If a supervisory or trouble signal is received at the panel, the agent must advise the controller who will follow normal procedures.
Depending on the affected building, this type of fire watch may be assigned by FPO as a visit to the building to verify the fire alarm panel at regular intervals. More than one building may be covered by this type of fire watch.
- Type 2: Fire Watch – Floor Monitoring.
When specific rooms or entire floor fire protection equipment is out of order or down for maintenance, the agent must perform rounds in all rooms in the affected area of the building, every 30 minutes and signal any trace of fire to the controller (smoke, fire) and to the occupants of the building by pulling a manual station in an area where the alarm system remains functional. If bells are not operational in the area being watched the agent will have to assist with the evacuation of this floor.
Between rounds, the agent must remain close to the area under watch but in an area where a fire alarm in the rest of the building can be heard (in case bells don’t ring in the area under watch). The agent must not remain at the fire panel because signals from the area under watch won’t be received at the Fire Alarm Panel (FAP). Signals to the monitoring company will be sent through the normal process and the Fire Department will be sent to the location.
- Type 3: Fire Watch – Entire Building Monitoring.
See Type 2 (above) and what follows:
- Every room on each floor must be visited within a 30 minute time frame. The size of the building will determine how many agents will be required to meet this criterion. Each agent remains in the area he is watching until an emergency requires an evacuation.
- Megaphone and/or air whistles must be provided to the agents and used to evacuate the building in case of emergency. Fire alarm bells will not ring.
- In case of fire, calls to 911 and Security must be placed by the agent as soon as possible
- Signage must be placed in elevators and at the main entrances to the building advising of the situation and that megaphones and whistles will be used to evacuate the building. Every attempt must be made to advise all occupants of the situation.