Fire Safety Plan & Pre-Incident Plan Program
West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services is implementing a program to ensure that Fire Safety Plan requirements for specified occupancy classes of buildings are met.
We have established a standard for the format and content of Fire Safety Plans & Pre-Incident Plans, and will be requiring those affected to either create new plans or update existing plans to meet these standards. A new Pre-Incident Plan program for existing buildings is being established as part of this program. This is being done to improve the quality of safety in our community for both residents and firefighters.
What is a Fire Safety Plan?
A Fire Safety Plan is a manual that contains vital information and safety procedures for each affected building and property for the purpose of public safety. The British Columbia Fire Code requires certain properties, based on building use or occupancy type, to create and maintain a Fire Safety Plan.
What is a Pre-Incident Plan?
A Pre-Incident Plan is a site plan of a building and property to be used by, and ensure the safety of our firefighters. West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services requires a Pre-Incident Plan to be submitted along with the Fire Safety Plan.
If a property owner has received an order from West Vancouver Fire & Rescue to update their Fire Safety Plan, they must have a Fire Safety Planning Service provider of their choosing submit a letter of intent to West Vancouver Fire & Rescue by December 31, 2017.
The letter of intent must state that a Fire Safety Plan & Pre-Incident Plan will be submitted and include a committed completion date of no later than December 31, 2018.
The BC Fire Code requires buildings with certain occupancies to have a Fire Safety Plan because those types of building pose higher than average risks to both occupants and rescue personnel in the event of an emergency. Occupancy classes that are required by legislation to have a Fire Safety Plan have a fire alarm panel and occupancy over 60, including:
- Assembly (e.g., theatres, arenas, schools, libraries)
- Care or detention (e.g. hospitals, jails)
- Multi-storey residential (apartment buildings)
- Multi-storey business buildings
- Mercantile (multi-storey retail and covered shopping malls)
- Occupancies containing hazardous materials or processes
- Demolition and construction sites
- Buildings that require a fire alarm system
Fire protection begins with good planning. Whether you own, build or manage one building or many, you are responsible for the safety of the people who live or work there. A properly developed Fire Safety Plan, including a Pre-Incident Plan, protects building occupants, reduces damage and prevents emergencies.
Fire Safety Plans & Pre-Incident Plans help the building's occupants gain confidence and familiarity with emergency procedures. When a fire happens, the people in your building will be looking for a way to evacuate as quickly and safely as possible. The key to a successful fire evacuation is to make sure that no one is hurt and that each person understands exactly where to go during the emergency.
As planning ahead is a legal requirement for every building owner or management authority, a well designed Fire Safety Plan & Pre-Incident Plan can reduce panic, prevent injuries and ensure added safety to all building occupants.
Firefighters are expected to respond in a timely fashion into a very hostile environment to perform rescues and/or extinguish fires. This hostile environment of heat, smoke, and noise is further complicated by lightweight construction techniques that fail rapidly under fire conditions.
If there was an emergency in your building today, would the Fire Department know the most direct access to it and where best to enter? Would they know where to find the nearest hydrants? Would they know where flammable or toxic chemicals are stored?
Planning ahead can make a huge difference in the outcome of a fire. By understanding in advance the construction, occupancy and layout of a building, the decision-making process of commanding officers becomes streamlined and far more effective.
Operational success is greatly enhanced by information gathered ahead of an incident. Pre-Incident Plans aid responding personnel in effectively managing an emergency with available resources, while documenting the hazards at the target location, which increases the probability of a positive outcome.
Only Fire Safety Plans & Pre-Incident Plans produced by a professional Fire Safety Planning Service will be accepted by West Vancouver Fire & Rescue. To locate a provider, search "Fire Safety Planning Service". These plans must be submitted in both PDF and CAD format.
If your Fire Safety Plan does not meet these guidelines, you are required to renew your Fire Safety Plan.
All occupancies in West Vancouver that require a Fire Safety Plan now require a Pre-Incident Plan. Even if you have an acceptable Fire Safety Plan, you are now required to have a professional Fire Safety Planning Service produce a Pre-Incident Plan for your building.
A Fire Prevention Officer will review the information and visit your property to confirm the information.
Make sure your submission includes all of the following:
1. Fire Safety Plan
Review the links below for content requirements. The Fire Safety Plan is to be submitted in separate attachments in both PDF and CAD format.
2. Pre-Incident Plan
The Pre-Incident Plan consists of a set of site and floor plan drawings taken from the Fire Safety Plan that have been formatted to be firefighter specific. The Pre-Incident Plan is to be submitted in separate attachments in both PDF and CAD format. Review the following links below for content requirements.
Both the Fire Safety Plan and Pre-Incident Plan Drawings will follow the requirements and use the symbols as specified in the following links:
3. Vital Information Form
The Vital Information Form extracts firefighter-specific information from the Fire Safety Plan. This document is to be completed by the Fire Safety Planning Service producing your Fire Safety Plan.
4. Appointed Fire Safety Director/Deputy Training Form
This form is to be completed by the fire safety planning company, and the business owner or person responsible for maintenance and safety of the building.
Where to submit your documents
The Fire Safety Plan, Pre-Incident Plan Drawings and Vital Information Form must be submitted in the described format by email:
All buildings requiring a Fire Safety Plan must install an Operations Box. Your Fire Safety Plan will be located in this box.
The Operations Box must be secured with a padlock, with a spare key and lock inside and will be labelled Fire Safety Plan on the front of the box.
The Operations Box is to be installed in a location approved by West Vancouver Fire & Rescue.
Copies of the Fire Safety Plan will also be held by the building owners or owners authorized agents and their appointed fire safety directors.
West Vancouver Fire & Rescue is currently developing comprehensive guidelines for Construction and Demolition Site Fire Safety Plan Requirements. These guidelines will be announced in fall 2016.
A Fire Safety Plan must be completed as part of your building permit application.
There must be an appointed Fire Safety Director/Deputy for the construction site. The Fire Safety Director/Deputy form must be completed after his/her training and signed by the Fire Safety Plan designer.
Fire safety planning for construction and demolition sites is required as per the BCFC 2012 Section 2.8 Emergency Planning and Section 5.6 Construction and Demolition Sites 5.6.1.
The fee is $150+GST for West Vancouver Fire & Rescue to review your Fire Safety Plan. (fees subject to change)
Already have a Fire Safety Plan?
Most buildings in West Vancouver that already have a Fire Safety Plan do not have one that is complete or up-to-date.
If your Fire Safety Plan does not include all of the required documents, you will need to contact a fire protection services company to create a new plan for you.
If you are unsure about the status of your Fire Safety Plan, contact the Fire Prevention Officer.
Fire & Rescue Services
The Fire Department works to prevent or minimize the impacts of emergency incidents by:
- delivering prompt and effective response to fire, rescue and medical emergencies
- protecting life, property and the environment
- providing fire prevention and education services to the public
- enforcing regulations, including the Fire Code and municipal bylaws