Professional practices for facility fire safety planning and fire safety directors

Submit public comments
Deadline: June 23, 2014

The NFPA Standards Council considered the request of the Loss Prevention Procedures and Practices Technical Committee (TC) that NFPA establish a standard for professional practices for facility fire safety planning and fire safety directors.

After review of all the material before it, the Council voted to publish a notice to solicit comments on the need for the project, its intended scope and breadth, information on resources on the subject matter, those interested in participating, and other organizations actively involved with the subject.

The following justification for the new project has been submitted to the Council:

a. Explain the Scope of the new project/document:
This new document would act as the consensus national standards for the development of facility Emergency Action Plans, and the duties, requirements for, and training/education required of building fire safety directors.  These actions are effected and individuals provide life safety and property conservation action prior to and in conjunction with facility fire brigades and municipal fire departments, at specific types of occupancies.

b. Provide an explanation and any evidence of the need for the new project/document:
Requirements for Emergency Action Plans and Fire Safety Directors have been in place for an extended timeframe.  The federal government has had regulatory requirements in place for the development of Emergency Action Plans at specific occupancies, and many municipalities (e.g. the cities of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles) have similar requirements.  These municipalities also proffer fitness for duty requirements for such individuals, however, a consensus national standard or best practice in this field does not exist. 
These plans and individuals operate at various occupancies, including high rise structures, hotels, motels, and public occupancies, as well as other locations.

c. Identify intended users of the new project/document:
Users for this new document would be varied and extensive:
• Facilities, required by the various codes and rules to provide emergency action plans and personnel to implement them [USERS].
• Enforcers (e.g. Municipalities, states, federal government) who have these basic requirements in place, and qualify, license or certify the competency of the plans and fitness of personnel [ENFORCERS].
• Individuals providing these planning functions from various facility fire prevention and safety offices and individuals self-evaluating these services and plans [CONSULTANTS/SME].

d. Identify individuals, groups and organizations that should review and provide input on the need for the proposed new project/document; and provide contact information for these groups:

The Loss Prevention Procedures and Practices Committee has identified the need for this document, and believes they have the expertise to formulate (with others) the standard.  The Chair/Staff Liaison can be contacted for additional information. 

e. Identify individuals, groups and organizations that will be or could be affected, either directly or indirectly, by the proposed new project/document, and what benefit they will receive by having this new document available:

GROUP

 

EFFECT

 

BENEFIT

 

1. Enforcers

 

Provision of a National Consensus Standard/Best Practice on the development of Emergency Action Plans/Establishment of Fire Control Centers and the duties, requirements for certification, and training/education of Fire Safety Directors who enforce these Emergency Action Plans.

  • Provides a benchmark for these services/individuals in the fire safety field.
  • Allows for adoption (by reference or referendum) of the standard into municipal or other standards and enforcement processes.
  • Provides defendability for plans and personnel who comply with and conform to this standard on a national level due to the consensus standards making process and the inclusion of present practices in these areas.

2. Users

Provision of a National Consensus Standard/Best Practice on the development of Emergency Action Plans/Establishment of Fire Control Centers and the duties, requirements for certification, and training/education of Fire Safety Directors who enforce these Emergency Action Plans.

  • Identifies currently acceptable best practices for the development of EAP and the duties, requirements, and training/education of Fire Safety Directors who enforce and implement plans as specified as specified facilities.
  • Eliminates excessive or inconsistent practices for these sites.

3. Consultants/Experts

Provision of a National Consensus Standard/Best Practice on the development of Emergency Action Plans/Establishment of Fire Control Centers and the duties, requirements for certification, and training/education of Fire Safety Directors who enforce these Emergency Action Plans.

  • Identifies best practices for clientele on a national basis.

4. Safety Training Sites

(Note: There are hundreds of thousands of users of this service, as they are currently located in the various jurisdictions with licensure required (e.g. New York City). Hotel/Motel; high risk; public assembly; institutional and educational occupancies are all users of this service.

   


f. Identify other related documents and projects on the subject both within NFPA and external to NFPA:

The Loss Prevention Procedures and Practices committee presently authors standards on facility fire brigades and security services in fire loss prevention.  Fire Brigades and security services are peripheral, however, to facility fire safety planning/emergency action planning.  Facility Fire Brigades operate at fire events to control fires; while security services restrict access and/or allow access by emergency services, to facilitate the fire response process.  Emergency Action Plans the Fire Safety Directors who implement them, complete property conservation and life safety planning, then implement these processes during fire events for these private locations.  Various examples of users exist, including:
• The U.S. Department of Labor:  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard on Emergency Action Planning and Fire Prevention Plans (29CFR1910.38), in particular at high risk facilities (e.g. those covered by the OSHA Process Safety Management Standard).

• The New York City requirements for plans and certified fire safety directors (NYC Local Law 6) in hotel, motel, high rise and public occupancies.
• Various locations within the State of California (e.g. County of Los Angeles; City of Los Angeles), who requires common business emergency planning, identification of an on-site person to implement the plans, and evaluations of plans and persons by municipal fire departments.
• The City of Chicago:  High Rise Fire Safety Director and Fire Warden Requirements for Buildings:  City of Chicago Code:  Chapter 13-78.
• Multiple Locations, such as the City of Seattle, WA and the City of Columbus, OH; have similar rules and regulations.

g. Identify the technical expertise and interest necessary to develop the project/document, and if the committee membership currently contains this expertise and interest:

The Loss Prevention Procedures and Practices committee currently contains expertise in this area, and has concurred with this project.  If approved as a project, users and enforcers, as well as subject matter experts in this area, may be added to round out the committee.  Individuals from locations such as the above cities, counties or federal agencies referenced may be ideal for this purpose.

h. Provide an estimate on the amount of time needed to develop the new project/document:

Timeframes typical to the standards development process would be necessary for this project.

It is estimated that a timeframe of approximately one (1) year would be required, which would include an initial meeting for standard development as well as follow-up timeframes for comment/adoption by the Committee and a recommendation for adoption by the Standards Council.

i. Comment on the availability of data and other information that exists or would be needed to substantiate the technical requirements and other provisions of the proposed new project/ document:

Substantive documents and materials exist for this project, however, materials are local.  The U.S. Department of Labor:  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been enforcing the EAP standard for approximately 30 years, and has experience in this area (although the OSHA standard is considered outdated at this time).

Documents from the municipalities noted above are plentiful, although a commonality does not exist.

Testing services for fire safety directors is provided by various organizations, in particular in the New York City area (e.g. a search of the certified fire safety director training site for New York City identifies (ww.nyc.gov/html/fdny) 15 such training and certification entities recognized by FDNY, and they range from Local 94 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (www.local94.com), through the John Jay College for Criminal Justice Studies, Fire Science Institute (www.jjay.cuny.edu/fsi).

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