One of the primary responsibilities for building maintenance facilitators is ensuring a safe working space for building occupants. This is a top priority and one that deserves a good deal of attention. This role requires facilitators to check that there are sufficient safety procedures in place and that they are adhered to, especially as it pertains to fire safety.
In this post, we’ve listed 10 of the most common questions building maintenance facilitators should be asking in relation to safety procedures.
Question 1: In the event of a fire, what are the protocols for evacuating the building safely?
Are building occupants aware of the emergency evacuation procedures in case of a fire? It’s not wise to assume that they do. Hence, it’s paramount to make sure that tenants know all the means of escape, especially emergency exits on their floor levels and out to the assembly point.
To cement this knowledge, it might be necessary to carry out regular fire drills so building occupants become familiar with the safety procedures surrounding fires.
Question 2: Are the smoke detectors and fire alarms in the building operational?
There’s little use in having smoke detectors and fire alarms installed but they’re non-functional. Therefore, it’s important that all smoke detectors and fire alarms are checked routinely to ensure that they’re functioning as they should.
Regular inspections alongside maintenance are an absolute must for all buildings. Fire inspection specialists like Nutech Fire Prevention can be called upon for annual inspections as and when needed around Hamilton.
Question 3: Is the building equipped with fire suppression systems?
Fire suppression systems like sprinklers and fire extinguishers are mandated by provincial Fire Codes. Building inspectors must verify their presence and where they have been mounted. Are these systems installed in strategic locations that are readily accessible?
And secondly, are tenants familiar with how these systems work? Can they use fire extinguishers to extinguish small fires? Do they know when to attempt to put out a fire and when the fire is beyond their capacity?
Question 4: Does the building store flammable materials? If yes, are these substances correctly stored?
The triage of elements needed to start a blaze includes a fuel source. Flammable materials can be fuels. That’s why they have to be identified and properly stored.
Potential ignition sources also need to be identified so that these flammable materials are kept as far away as possible. Furthermore, it is imperative to have proper labelling to avoid any mishaps.
Question 5: What are the potential fire hazards in the building?
There is no end to potential fire hazards in buildings. These can be anything, for example:
- Faulty electrical equipment
- Incorrect use of electrical equipment
- Overloaded electrical outlets and extension cords
- Damaged and or frayed power cords
- Unattended stoves and candles
- Incorrectly stored combustible materials
- Smoking in non-designated areas
- Blocked emergency exits
- Cluttered or dirty offices
- Human error and negligence
Building managers have an obligation to carry out routine inspections so as to identify these hazards and find ways to remedy them.
Question 6: Does a protocol for the reporting of safety concerns or emergencies exist?
What are the rules that govern how information about the safety of building occupants is transmitted? What are the channels that people with concerns can follow in order to be heard? Is there even a protocol for reporting safety concerns or possible emergencies?
Not only is it key that such protocols exist, but it’s important that occupants in such workplaces know how to report fire-related emergencies or safety concerns.
Speaking of employees, someone must be selected from among them as the designated point of contact during emergencies.
Question 7: Are building occupants cognizant of safety policies?
Firstly, does the building have safety procedures? Secondly, are building occupants aware of these policies?
It is the mandate of building maintenance facilitators to disseminate information about safety policies to those working in the building.
This may very well mean providing necessary training so that all who work on the premises understand the safety policies and subsequently comply with these safeguarding protocols.
Question 8: What are the regulations guiding building inspection and maintenance?
Routine building maintenance is a necessary part of good fire safety best practices. Competent building facilitators have a routine maintenance schedule that allows them to identify and remedy safety issues before they become bigger problems.
Under this section is the obligation to carry out rote inspections to verify that the safety procedures are being implemented.
Question 9: What are the building code regulations that must be followed?
There is a building code that guides construction across the country ensuring uniformity and compliance with internationally established building norms. This building code is binding to all contractors and acts as a benchmark for building safety.
Building maintenance facilitators have to confirm that all applicable building codes and regulations are being kept. They also have to implement the most recent building safety compliance standards.
Lastly, they must also educate building occupants on building code regulations.
Question 10: Is there a protocol to guide and revise safety procedures?
It does sometimes happen that safety procedures need to be reviewed and revised. This is done to make sure that the current protocol is effective at preventing danger.
If there are changes to the safety procedures, there should be an appropriate protocol to inform building occupants. There needs to be a careful plan about how revisions and or updates will be communicated to all the necessary parties.
The Bottom Line
A good building maintenance facilitator will ask the right questions about safety procedures so they can address any concerns head-on before they escalate. Asking good questions is the first step to improving safety procedures in a building. These questions, coupled with the latest safety best practices can go a long way in helping to prevent accidents and emergencies. Such questions can help to identify gaps in the safety protocol and plug such leaks creating a safer working environment for all.
Get in Touch With a Fire Hazard Detection Specialist
Building managers in Hamilton, Ontario can reach out to Nutech Fire Prevention for assistance with developing customized fire safety protocols.
In addition, we also offer fire safety training, fire safety recommendations, the development of fire safety plans, and routine checks and maintenance of your fire equipment.
That’s not all we do as we also provide and install a comprehensive line of emergency backup generators, fire alarm systems, fire warning systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, and sprinkler systems.
Request a free quote today.
Looking for more insight? Check out these previous posts:
- How to Plan a Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business
- How to Quickly Stop a Fire in the Workplace
- Fire Safety Training Courses for Canada Businesses