What is a Fire Prevention Plan (FPP)?
Who needs one and how do you go about creating one?
A Fire Prevention Plan is simply a document that identifies workplace fire hazards such as combustible materials and heat-producing machinery. In addition, it names the employees tasked with the responsibility of mitigating the aforementioned fire hazards and outlines all protocols necessary for preventing any fires.
Each company’s FPP becomes an integral Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) resource that will guide employers and employees on secure fire safety workplace best practices.
The information contained in the FPP should be disseminated to all employees in both written and verbal form.
Now that we know what an FPP is, who needs one?
Who Needs a Fire Prevention Plan?
A Fire Prevention Plan is not obligated for all employers by OSHA/CCOHS but it is highly recommended for every business.
The only enterprises for whom a Fire Prevention Plan is compulsory are those employers who run operations where OSHA standards necessitate an FPP.
OSHA standards cover four main industries – general industry, construction, maritime, and agriculture.
If your business falls into one of these categories, then there is a very strong chance that you will be required to have an FPP.
The best way to confirm is to check with your local fire department or fire safety specialist.
The Necessity of a Fire Prevention Plan
Each year thousands of workplace fires are reported to the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM). As it stands over 12% of all fires that happen across the country every year take place within a place of business.
Apart from structural loss, workplace fires can leave behind a trail of devastation, injuries and even fatalities. They can damage your brand and customer trust.
While the number of loss fires has been steadily going down over the years, fire threat still remains real. And as long as there is a threat of fire, there will always be a need for a Fire Prevention Plan.
5 Requirements of a Fire Prevention Plan
So, what are the requirements of an FPP?
In a nutshell:
· Identification of Potential Fire Hazards
· Identification of Potential Ignition Sources
· Protocols to Handle Dangerous Substances
· Appointment of Fire Safety Wardens
· Fire Prevention Plan in Written Form
Let’s examine each point further.
1. Identification of Potential Fire Hazards
One of the fundamental requirements of a Fire Prevention Plan is the identification of all substances or materials that could prove flammable or combustible.
Any element that could be deemed fuel for a fire is a potential fire hazard and needs to be properly handled to avoid any accidental discharges.
Once these fire hazards are known, it is imperative to provide procedures on how to safely store these substances and outline them in the FPP.
The different types of fire protection equipment that may be necessary for safeguarding these fire hazards need to be listed as well.
2. Identification of Potential Ignition Sources
In order for a fire to break out, three elements are needed – fuel, an ignition source, and oxygen. The fuel, which is often a flammable substance, must be ignited somehow, meaning there is always an ignition source.
Part and parcel of the requirements of an FPP is identifying potential ignition sources. One begins this identification process by asking a series of questions such as:
- Is there machinery on site that can produce sparks?
- Are there any open electrical elements that can create heat?
- Are temperatures elevated in areas containing combustible substances?
You must make inquiries and probe to find any and all potential ignition sources. Once they have been identified, safeguarding mechanisms must be deployed in order to avoid incidental fires.
3. Protocols to Handle Dangerous Substances
If you are a business that deals with combustible materials how will your employees handle these? What are the processes that you will put in place to ensure these elements are safe, secure, and managed in a manner that mitigates fire risk?
How will the business make sure there is no over-accumulation of waste materials? How will waste materials be disposed of? Where will they be disposed of?
Every FPP is required to have these procedures clearly written out so that any employees new to the business will be brought up to speed regarding the handling of such substances.
4. Appointment of Fire Safety Wardens
In order for FFPs to work, they need the input and co-operation of employees. This means there are employees that need to be tasked with duties to do with reducing fire risk.
The first group of employees will be those involved in making sure fire hazards are known and dangerous substances handled and stored correctly.
Another specialized group of employees will need to be appointed to carry out routine maintenance of heat-producing equipment to ensure that its safeguards are in place and working as they should.
All the employees involved in these activities will need to be mentioned in the FPP. This is done for accountability purposes and so that other employees in the company know who is in charge of what.
5. Fire Prevention Plan in Written Form
The last requirement for a Fire Prevention Plan is that it should be accessible in written form and readily available for all your employees to read.
If you have less than 10 employees you can also communicate the elements of the FPP to them verbally.
Having a Fire Prevention Plan is one more layer of security added to protect your facility and employees. It increases employee preparedness and awareness of workplace fire safety procedures.
If you’re concerned about fire prevention for the home or of your business premises don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Profire Safety Services can assist you with fire safety plans, on-site routine testing, gas detection, inspections, and maintenance of fire protection systems such as sprinklers, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency lighting, emergency backup generators, and exit lighting.
We also make recommendations for fire protection solutions if you’re looking to upgrade your existing systems.
Request a free quote today.