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Building/Tenant Fire Safety

Introduction

Fire is perhaps the most common and most frightening safety hazard. To combat this hazard effectively, a thorough knowledge of the building safety features, escape routes and fire and evacuation procedures is required.

When a fire occurs responses need to be automatic and exact. The information and programs outlined in this section in combination with fire drills will provide maximum safety in the event of a fire.

Building Fire Safety Features

1) 550 West Jackson a fully sprinkled high rise building constructed of structural steel and concrete to inhibit the spread and minimize the effects of fire on a building's structure.

2) Fire detection signaling devices used in the Building include flow switches, heat detectors, and smoke detectors. Upon initiation of any of these devices an alarm will be delivered to the engineers office, security desk and an off-site fire alarm monitoring company. Engineering and security will then follow their Fire Life Safety Emergency Procedure Plan.

3) Type ABC (multi-purpose) fire extinguishers are located throughout the building. Tenants should become familiar with the exact location and proper use of these devices.

4) Stairwell doors must not be blocked open because this allows the spread of fire or smoke into the exit stairwells. Tenants should become familiar with the location of all exit stairwells on their floor.

5) One-way voice communication. The Emergency Voice Communication System is zoned (by floor and stairwell) to allow the user to communicate by voice or tone any zone or all zones, as determined by the selection made at the voice command panel.

6) Two-way fire fighters phone systems. The two-way phone system located at various points in the stairwell provides communication between fire fighters and the building master control panel. Stairwells and emergency exits are highlighted on the following pages.


Recommended Fire Safety Features for Tenant Suites

1) Tenants should make arrangements with the Office of the Building to protect areas such as computer rooms, mailrooms, and duplicating and storage areas with fire-rated enclosures and fire extinguishers. If the size or value density of these areas is large smoke detectors should be considered. Call the Office of the Building at (312) 715-0550 if you need any assistance in arranging the purchase of any of the above equipment.

2) Tenants should take steps to safeguard their businesses from the effects of a fire in the Building by protecting vital documents and company records. This can be done by off-site storage of duplicate records, or fire-resistant storage areas. The specific method of protection will depend on the size and nature of the material involved.

Tenant Emergency Responsibilities

The following pages give specific information on items that should be included in your Fire Safety Program. It also gives detailed instructions on what to do in the event of a fire and demonstrates the important role the Tenant Safety Coordinator plays.

Tenant Safety Coordinator

Each tenant should appoint a Tenant Safety Coordinator and one Alternate for every 50 employees. Full-floor and multi-floor tenants may require multiple Safety Coordinators and Alternates. The people chosen should be individuals who rarely travel and who are familiar with the names and faces of all employees in your office. One Safety Coordinator should be responsible for receiving information from the Office of the Building regarding training and drills and conveying it to any Fire/Life Safety Team members within your office, and the development and implementation of the tenant's fire safety program. This program should include:

a) Development of evacuation plans.

- Familiarize employees with the location of all exit stairwells.

- Inform employees as to who is responsible for the order to evacuate.

- Inform the Office of the Building and your floor’s Disabled Person Assistors of all handicapped people who might require assistance during evacuation.

b) Training of employees in emergency response procedures upon discovery of a fire in the tenant suite.

c) Practice of emergency procedures to assure familiarity with individual responsibilities. The Office of the Building is available to assist you in organizing training sessions for your designated employees.

On a multi-tenant floor, the Tenant Safety Coordinator works with the Floor Captain to develop a Fire Life Safety Team. In most situations, the Tenant Safety Coordinator is a member of the Fire Life Safety Team.

Fire Life Safety Teams

Each floor should have a Fire Life Safety Team which should consist of reliable individuals, respected by the other employees within each firm, and capable of providing guidance in the event of a fire or other emergency. These individuals should rarely travel and be familiar with the names and faces of all the other team members.

Team Responsibilities

The ideal team should consist of the following personnel:

(1) Floor Captain

(1) Assistant Floor Captain

A Search Monitor from each suite or for a full floor tenant (8) Search Monitors (evenly divided, male/female, for a total of four teams, one for each quadrant of the floor)

(2) Stairway Exit Monitors

(2) Disabled Person Assistors/Bathroom Searchers

(2) Elevator Monitors

The roles of Floor Captain, Search Monitors and Disabled Person Assistors must be filled first. Personnel on the Team may assume more than one responsibility in order to assure that all positions are filled.

All supervising personnel must be familiar with this manual so that they can assume the responsibility of any unavailable team member. 

The Floor Captain

Responsible for the development and implementation of your floors Fire Life Safety Program. This Program would include:

1. Thorough understanding of the Emergency Procedures Manual, location of exits, fire alarms and fire extinguishers.

2. Development of evacuation plans, assignment of evacuation responsibilities, arranging meetings with other team members on your floor, and practice of emergency procedures.

3. Develop a specific "Emergency Plan" for their floor and review it periodically. Stay abreast of current team members, working with suite Tenant Safety Coordinators to notify the Office of the Building of changes in personnel.

4. In an emergency situation, assume control of their floor and ascertain the location of the fire/emergency. Select the safest means of exit on the basis of this information.

5. Notify all occupants of the floor.

6. Verifying the completion of evacuation for each suite.

Assistant Floor Captain

Responsible for completing duties as assigned by the Floor Captain and acting as Floor Captain in his/her absence following the guidelines as mentioned above.

The Search Monitors

Each suite should be represented by at least one Search Monitor. Search Monitors duties include:

1. Search Monitors physically search all rooms.

2. Search Monitors see that all doors are closed to prevent fire, and mark to indicate status of search.

3. Search Monitors report the clearing of an area/floor to their Floor Captain or Assistant Floor Captain.

The Stairwell Exit Monitors

Stairwell Exit Monitors station themselves at assigned locations, ensuring that the stairwell is safe to use. They will keep assigned stairwell doors open, directing the movement of occupants toward the exits to prevent congestion and panic. The Stairwell Exit Monitor will also:

1. Remain at their station until all occupants of the floor, including the remaining team members, have been evacuated.

2. Receive confirmation from the Floor Captain or the Assistant Floor Captain that the floor has been cleared.

3. Once the floor has been completely evacuated, they would close the stairwell door and proceed down the stairwell to their designated assembly points confirming the floor is all clear to the Floor Captain.

The Disabled Person Assistors/Bathroom Searchers

Disabled Person Assistors/Bathroom Searchers have two major functions. The first being they would help the permanently or temporarily disabled. The second and equally important function is to physically search all restrooms on the floor or assigned quadrant and reporting to the Floor Captain that the restrooms are clear.

1. They should know the locations of the disabled person(s) to be assisted and their disability.

2. Assist in removing them from their location to a safe, designated evacuation area.

3. Know what equipment may be needed in order to assist them and the location of such equipment.

4. Know how to properly carry a disabled person.

5. Ensure that crutches or wheelchairs are not left in the stairwells endangering personnel during evacuation.

6. Report to the Floor Captain the location of any disabled persons so the Floor Captain may notify the Fire Department.


The Elevator Monitors

1. Elevator Monitors will report to their designated elevator lobby and make sure the elevators are not used while directing the evacuation towards the stairwells.

2. Elevator Monitors will receive confirmation from the Floor Captain or Assistant Floor Captain that the floor has been cleared. The Elevator Monitors will then go to the nearest stairwell and proceed to the designated assembly point.

Team Member Replacement

Each tenant is responsible for providing replacements for their retiring or absent team members. This is especially important on floors which do not have a complete team of at least eight members. All new team members must attend a training session.

If the Floor Captain resigns, transfers or is no longer able to fulfill his/her responsibilities, he/she must:

1. Notify the Office of the Building in writing at least ten days prior to their departure.

2. Instruct the Assistant Floor Captain to assume his/her duties and responsibilities during the interim until a new Floor Captain is designated.

3. Ensure that the replacement is familiar with the responsibilities of the position by facilitating the training of the replacement.

Strict adherence to replacement procedures will ensure that all members of the Fire/Life Safety Teams are trained and prepared to handle any emergency. Floor Captains and team members will be visible and easily identified by bright orange vests.  

Tenant Evacuation Procedures

In most instances when evacuation of an area is required, only the fire floor and three floors immediately above and four floors immediately below will need to be evacuated. (The second floor below will be used as the Fire Department's Command Post). In order to ensure a clear, uninhibited entry for the Fire Department into the building and to the fire area, it is extremely important that all tenants evacuate in the precise manner and to the exact area designated by the Building's General Manager, Floor Captain, or Fire Department. The following evacuation procedures should be observed:

1. Listen for the order to evacuate over the building's annunciation system.

2. Tenant Safety Coordinator should inform any members of the Fire Life Safety Team of the evacuation and to take their designated places.

3. If possible, retrieve purses, wallets, valuables, etc. as soon as the order to evacuate is given. You will not be allowed back into the suite until the Fire Department decides it is safe to re-enter.

4. Before opening any door to the corridor, check the door and doorknob for heat. If it is warm, stay in your office and caulk around the door seams using wet towels or "duct" tape.DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR! Find another exit to the corridor.

5. If both your door and doorknob are cool, and you leave your office:

a. Check for smoke in the corridor.

b. When smoke is present, cover your mouth and nose with a wet handkerchief or cloth and stay low. Crawling is recommended since clean air is closest to the floor.

c. Everyone should proceed quickly, but calmly to the nearest stairwell as directed by the Floor Captain or Stairwell Monitors. DO NOT RUN! All the stairwells are constructed with fire-resistant materials to provide safe evacuation for building occupants. (See the enclosed floor plan for stairwell locations).

d. DO NOT PANIC! Panic is the most harmful and most difficult element to control in an emergency. Avoiding panic is accomplished through the following steps:

i. Knowledge of procedures which must be followed.

ii. Confidence in the Fire Life Safety Team's ability and guidance.

iii. Calmness and self-confidence of responsible personnel.

e. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS! Recent reports have indicated that elevators frequently travel to the fire floor.

f. Check stairwells for smoke.

g. If the corridor is smoke filled, RETURN TO YOUR OFFICE.

h. Evacuate to the exact area designated by the Building's General Manager, Floor Captain or Fire Department.

6. The Search Monitors should walk the suite to assist employees and make sure everyone is aware of the evacuation order. While walking the suite he/she should check each enclosed office then tag and close the door without locking it. This will help to confine any fire until the arrival of the Fire Department.

7. Form a single-file line at the stairwell exit door and proceed calmly and carefully down the staircase on the right side to the floor designated in the evacuation instructions. No one, however, should open any door without first checking to see if it is hot. If the door is hot, there is undoubtedly a fire on the other side. Proceed down the staircase and to the designated rendezvous floor.

8. Conversation should be kept to a minimum. Everyone should stay in a single-file line on the right side of the staircase. The Fire Department Personnel usually travel up on the left side.

9. Once the evacuation has begun, no one should attempt to re-enter the evacuated area until it has been declared safe by Fire Department officials.

10. During evacuation, handicapped persons should be helped into the stairwells by the Disabled Person Assistors.

11. Upon arrival at the rendezvous floor, everyone should remain in the prearranged corridor area. No one should wander about the floor or leave the floor unless directed to do so by the Fire Department.

12. The Search Monitors or Tenant Safety Coordinator should proceed to take a head count to determine if anyone is missing from their office. This information should be relayed to the Floor Captain at the rendezvous floor.


If evacuation of an area is not possible because all escape routes are blocked by fire or thick smoke, the following procedures should be observed:

1. Move as far away from the fire as possible. Close all doors and transoms as you go. Every closed door between you and the fire provides a barrier against smoke.

2. If a phone is accessible, call the Office of the Building - (312) 715-0550 - with your precise location.

3. Stuff clothing or other material around ventilation ducts and cracks in the doors to prevent smoke-filled air from penetrating the area.

4. Hang a cloth or other signal in the window to attract the attention of firemen.

5. DO NOT BREAK THE GLASS. Under certain conditions, an open window may draw smoke into the area. If the glass has been broken, there will be no way to stop the smoke from entering the room.

Discovering Fire/Smoke

1. Call the Fire Department (dial 911). Report the location – 550 West Jackson, the floor, your name and your phone number. Then contact the Office of the Building (715-0550).

2. When an alarm sounds, the Fire/Life Safety Team will listen for any announcements via the building's emergency public address system. If the instructions are to evacuate, they will implement the safety evacuation plan for their area.

3. Never use an elevator during a fire emergency!! Smoke could enter the elevator shaft and asphyxiate the occupants. Also, elevators could be "called" to the fire floor by heat/fire activating the call button.

4. Feel the door that leads from your office to the corridor before opening it. If it is hot or smoke is seeping in, do not open. If you become trapped in your office, keep the door closed and put an article of clothing down to seal the door frame. Call the Fire Department.

5. If the door feels cool, open cautiously. Close the door immediately if the hall is smoke infested or if you feel heat pressure against the door. If hall is clear, proceed with safety/evacuation plan.

6. If caught in smoke or heat, crawl under the smoke where the air quality is better. Take short breaths through nose until you reach a safe area/exit.

7. If you have to call the Fire Department:

a. Know the street address of the building.

b. If you are trapped, stay calm. Describe your exact location.

c. Stay on the phone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.

Training

Training provided by 550 West Jackson Management will cover:

1. Reporting a fire.

2. The rating of fires.

3. The various systems in the building pertaining to safety and evacuation.

4. The different types of fire extinguishers utilized at 550 West Jackson

5. A review of the functions of the Fire/Life Safety Team.

This will enable the individual employees and new team members to understand how the overall program functions. After receiving initial training, each team should meet to formulate a specific emergency plan for their floor. Periodically, and after re-organization of a team, this plan should be reviewed by the Team Captain to ensure that a viable plan is still in place for the floor.

Fire/Life Safety Team members and Tenant Safety Coordinators should ensure that all personnel in their suites receive instruction in:

1. Emergency procedures.

2. General safety precautions.

Developing an Emergency Plan

The following questions may serve as a starting point for Team Captains and members. Several of these questions will involve consultation with Tenant Service Coordinators.

1. Are you aware of your exact responsibilities in your floor's emergency plan?

2. Do you know all personnel, and do they know what is expected of them?

3. Do all personnel understand how to conduct themselves during evacuation and the location of the assembly points? (Elevators must not be used during evacuation!!).

4. If you were required to evacuate your area, could you determine that all the employees were evacuated and accounted for?

5. If it is impossible for you to know all the employees for whom you are responsible, have personnel been assigned this duty?

6. If it becomes necessary to inform employees not to come to work, do you have a list of names and home phone numbers?

7. Do you have designated assistants/alternates if you are absent?

8. Are these assistants/alternates aware of all the details to implement the plan?

9. Are your assistants familiar with primary and alternative evacuation routes? Do they know where the stairwells are and what hazards might be encountered in using them?

10. Do you have an alternate evacuation plan if the primary one is unusable?

11. Have you coordinated floor plans through Building Management to avoid congestion on evacuation routes?

12. Do you know the designated interior/exterior assembly points away from the area of possible danger? Do you know the route to take to these areas?

13. Who will verify that all employees have left the work area and arrived safely at the assembly point?

14. Who will determine the action to take if your employee count is incomplete?

15. Are arrangements for the safekeeping of currency, checks and vital work in progress in your areas? Who has been assigned a supervisory role to verify that these items are secured in an emergency?

16. Is your plan current? Does it take into consideration remodeling, alterations to the physical building and changes in personnel?

Types of Fires

The two most common types of fires in office suites and buildings are (1) the accidental fire caused by carelessness or equipment malfunction; and (2) the incendiary or suspicious fires.

Class A - Fires in such ordinary combustibles as paper, wood, cloth, rubber, textiles, and many plastics.

Class B - Fires in flammable liquids such as grease, oil, paint and gasoline.

Class C - Fires involving energized electrical equipment where there is a risk of shock. (When electrical equipment is de-energized, extinguishers for Class A fires may be used safely.)

Class D - Fires in combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, etc.

Multi-purpose "ABC" extinguishers can be purchased to handle all classes of office fires. They can, however, cause extensive damage to electronic equipment, perhaps even more than a fire. However, a fire in electronic equipment will almost always require the use of an "ABC" rated fire extinguishers. "A" because there is likely to be paper nearby, and "C" because it is electrical equipment. "B" will not be required but you cannot buy an "AC" rated fire extinguisher.

Arrangements with 550 West Jackson Management should be made to protect areas such as computer rooms, mail rooms, and duplicating and storage areas with fire-rated enclosures and fire extinguishers. Depending on the size and value of these areas, smoke detectors are recommended. 

Fire Prevention Tips

1. Make sure all cigarettes and cigars are thoroughly extinguished before throwing into the wastebaskets. Also do not leave lit cigarettes and cigars unattended.

2. Unplug electrical appliances like coffee pots or water heaters when not in use.

3. Arrange for proper use and storage of adhesives, cleaning fluids, and other flammable liquids and, where possible, substitution of less flammable products.

4. Eliminate extension cords where possible, by providing more power outlets or relocating some electrical equipment. 550 West Jackson Management recommends 6 foot, UL approved extension cords. NO LAMP EXTENSION CORDS OR MULTI-JACKS SHOULD BE UTILIZED.Extension cords should NEVER be placed in walk paths as this can cause serious accidents as the result of tripping.

5. Make sure the power is shut off on all office equipment such as typewriters, displaywriters, calculators, computers, etc. at the close of the business day.

6. Provide adequate ventilation for office equipment like copying machines, printers or computer.

Sample Emergency Evacuation Announcements

The building's annunciation system, when activated, sounds an intermittent loud beep, which is interrupted when an announcement is being made. You may hear an announcement resembling the following:

Evacuating Floor

"Your attention, your attention please. We have a Fire/Smoke condition on the (floor). Members of the Fire/Life Safety Team assume your duties for the evacuation of the following floors: (Usually the incident floor, the three above and the four below). All other personnel move toward the nearest exit. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS. Please move quickly and quietly. Listen to the Safety Team members."


Receiving Floor

"Your attention, your attention please. We have a Fire/Smoke condition on the (incident floor). The following floors have been designated as receiving floors: (pertinent receiving floors). Members of the Fire/Safety Team assume your duties. Prepare to receive personnel from the above evacuating floors. We ask that all other occupants other than the Safety Team members to please stay within your suite."

Tenant Evacuation Procedures

 

In most instances when evacuation of an area is required, only the fire floor and three floors immediately above and four floors immediately below will need to be evacuated. (The second floor below will be used as the Fire Department's Command Post).  In order to ensure a clear, uninhibited entry for the Fire Department into the building and to the fire area, it is extremely important that all tenants evacuate in the precise manner and to the exact area designated by the Building's General Manager, Floor Captain, or Fire Department.  The following evacuation procedures should be observed:

 

1.         Listen for the order to evacuate over the building's annunciation system.

 

2.         Tenant Safety Coordinator should inform any members of the Fire Life Safety Team of the evacuation and to take their designated places.

 

3.         If possible, retrieve purses, wallets, valuables, etc. as soon as the order to evacuate is given.  You will not be allowed back into the suite until the Fire Department decides it is safe to re-enter.

 

4.         Before opening any door to the corridor, check the door and doorknob for heat.  If it is warm, stay in your office and caulk around the door seams using wet towels or "duct" tape.  DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!  Find another exit to the corridor.

 

5.         If both your door and doorknob are cool, and you leave your office:

 

a.         Check for smoke in the corridor.

b.         When smoke is present, cover your mouth and nose with a wet handkerchief or cloth and stay low.  Crawling is recommended since clean air is closest to the floor.

c.         Everyone should proceed quickly, but calmly to the nearest stairwell as directed by the Floor Captain or Stairwell Monitors.  DO NOT RUN!  All the stairwells are constructed with fire-resistant materials to provide safe evacuation for building occupants.  (See the enclosed floor plan for stairwell locations).

 

d.         DO NOT PANIC!  Panic is the most harmful and most difficult element to control in an emergency.  Avoiding panic is accomplished through the following steps:

i.          Knowledge of procedures which must be followed.

ii.         Confidence in the Fire Life Safety Team's ability and guidance.

iii.        Calmness and self-confidence of responsible personnel.

 

e.         DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS!  Recent reports have indicated that elevators frequently travel to the fire floor.

 

f.          Check stairwells for smoke.

 

g.         If the corridor is smoke filled, RETURN TO YOUR OFFICE.

 

h.                  Evacuate to the exact area designated by the Building's General Manager, Floor Captain or Fire Department.

 

6.         The Search Monitors should walk the suite to assist employees and make sure everyone is aware of the evacuation order.  While walking the suite he/she should check each enclosed office then tag and close the door without locking it.  This will help to confine any fire until the arrival of the Fire Department.

 

7.         Form a single-file line at the stairwell exit door and proceed calmly and carefully down the staircase on the right side to the floor designated in the evacuation instructions.  No one, however, should open any door without first checking to see if it is hot.  If the door is hot, there is undoubtedly a fire on the other side.  Proceed down the staircase and to the designated rendezvous floor.

 

8.         Conversation should be kept to a minimum.  Everyone should stay in a single-file line on the right side of the staircase.  The Fire Department Personnel usually travel up on the left side.

 

9.         Once the evacuation has begun, no one should attempt to re-enter the evacuated area until it has been declared safe by Fire Department officials.

 

10.       During evacuation, handicapped persons should be helped into the stairwells by the Disabled Person Assistors.

 

11.       Upon arrival at the rendezvous floor, everyone should remain in the prearranged corridor area.  No one should wander about the floor or leave the floor unless directed to do so by the Fire Department.

 

12.       The Search Monitors or Tenant Safety Coordinator should proceed to take a head count to determine if anyone is missing from their office.  This information should be relayed to the Floor Captain at the rendezvous floor.

 


If evacuation of an area is not possible because all escape routes are blocked by fire or thick smoke, the following procedures should be observed:

 

1.         Move as far away from the fire as possible.  Close all doors and transoms as you go.  Every closed door between you and the fire provides a barrier against smoke.

 

2.         If a phone is accessible, call the Office of the Building - (312) 715-0550 - with your precise location.

 

3.         Stuff clothing or other material around ventilation ducts and cracks in the doors to prevent smoke-filled air from penetrating the area.

 

4.         Hang a cloth or other signal in the window to attract the attention of firemen.

 

5.         DO NOT BREAK THE GLASS.  Under certain conditions, an open window may draw smoke into the area.  If the glass has been broken, there will be no way to stop the smoke from entering the room.

 

 

Discovering Fire/Smoke

 

1.         Call the Fire Department (dial 911).  Report the location – 550 West Jackson, the floor, your name and your phone number. Then contact the Office of the Building (715-0550).

 

2.         When an alarm sounds, the Fire/Life Safety Team will listen for any announcements via the building's emergency public address system.  If the instructions are to evacuate, they will implement the safety evacuation plan for their area.

 

3.         Never use an elevator during a fire emergency!!  Smoke could enter the elevator shaft and asphyxiate the occupants. Also, elevators could be "called" to the fire floor by heat/fire activating the call button.

 

4.         Feel the door that leads from your office to the corridor before opening it.  If it is hot or smoke is seeping in, do not open.  If you become trapped in your office, keep the door closed and put an article of clothing down to seal the door frame.  Call the Fire Department.

 

5.         If the door feels cool, open cautiously.  Close the doorimmediately if the hall is smoke infested or if you feel heat pressure against the door.  If hall is clear, proceed with safety/evacuation plan.

 

6.         If caught in smoke or heat, crawl under the smoke where the air quality is better.  Take short breaths through nose until you reach a safe area/exit.

 

7.         If you have to call the Fire Department:

a.         Know the street address of the building.

b.         If you are trapped, stay calm.  Describe your exact location.

c.         Stay on the phone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.

 

 

Training

 

Training provided by 550 West Jackson Management will cover:

 

1.     Reporting a fire.

 

2.     The rating of fires.

 

3.     The various systems in the building pertaining to safety and evacuation.

 

4.      The different types of fire extinguishers utilized at 550 West Jackson

 

5.       A review of the functions of the Fire/Life Safety Team.

This will enable the individual employees and new team members to understand how the overall program functions.  After receiving initial training, each team should meet to formulate a specific emergency plan for their floor.  Periodically, and after re-organization of a team, this plan should be reviewed by the Team Captain to ensure that a viable plan is still in place for the floor.  

Fire/Life Safety Team members and Tenant Safety Coordinators should ensure that all personnel in their suites receive instruction in:

 

1.         Emergency procedures.

2.         General safety precautions.

 

Developing an Emergency Plan

 

The following questions may serve as a starting point for Team Captains and members. Several of these questions will involve consultation with Tenant Service Coordinators.

 

1.         Are you aware of your exact responsibilities in your floor's emergency plan?

 

2.         Do you know all personnel, and do they know what is expected of them?

 

3.         Do all personnel understand how to conduct themselves during evacuation and the location of the assembly points?  (Elevators must not be used during evacuation!!).

 

4.         If you were required to evacuate your area, could you determine that all the employees were evacuated and accounted for?

 

5.         If it is impossible for you to know all the employees for whom you are responsible, have personnel been assigned this duty?

 

6.         If it becomes necessary to inform employees not to come to work, do you have a list of names and home phone numbers?

 

7.         Do you have designated assistants/alternates if you are absent?

 

8.         Are these assistants/alternates aware of all the details to implement the plan?

 

9.         Are your assistants familiar with primary and alternative evacuation routes?  Do they know where the stairwells are and what hazards might be encountered in using them?

 

10.       Do you have an alternate evacuation plan if the primary one is unusable?

 

11.       Have you coordinated floor plans through Building Management to avoid congestion on evacuation routes?

 

12.       Do you know the designated interior/exterior assembly points away from the area of possible danger?  Do you know the route to take to these areas?

 

13.       Who will verify that all employees have left the work area and arrived safely at the assembly point?

 

14.       Who will determine the action to take if your employee count is incomplete?

 

15.       Are arrangements for the safekeeping of currency, checks and vital work in progress in your areas?  Who has been assigned a supervisory role to verify that these items are secured in an emergency?

 

16.              Is your plan current?  Does it take into consideration remodeling, alterations to the physical building and changes in personnel?  

 

Types of Fires

 

The two most common types of fires in office suites and buildings are (1) the accidental fire caused by carelessness or equipment malfunction; and (2) the incendiary or suspicious fires.

 

Class A -         Fires in such ordinary combustibles as paper, wood, cloth, rubber, textiles, and many plastics.

Class B -          Fires in flammable liquids such as grease, oil, paint and gasoline.

Class C -          Fires involving energized electrical equipment where there is a risk of shock.  (When electrical equipment is de-energized, extinguishers for Class A fires may be used safely.)

Class D -         Fires in combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, etc.

 

Multi-purpose "ABC" extinguishers can be purchased to handle all classes of office fires.  They can, however, cause extensive damage to electronic equipment, perhaps even more than a fire.  However, a fire in electronic equipment will almost always require the use of an "ABC" rated fire extinguishers.  "A" because there is likely to be paper nearby, and "C" because it is electrical equipment.  "B" will not be required but you cannot buy an "AC" rated fire extinguisher.

 

Arrangements with 550 West Jackson Management should be made to protect areas such as computer rooms, mail rooms, and duplicating and storage areas with fire-rated enclosures and fire extinguishers.  Depending on the size and value of these areas, smoke detectors are recommended.

 


Fire Prevention Tips

 

1.             Make sure all cigarettes and cigars are thoroughly extinguished before throwing into the wastebaskets.  Also do not leave lit cigarettes and cigars unattended.

 

2.         Unplug electrical appliances like coffee pots or water heaters when not in use.

 

3.         Arrange for proper use and storage of adhesives, cleaning fluids, and other flammable liquids and, where possible, substitution of less flammable products.

 

4.         Eliminate extension cords where possible, by providing more power outlets or relocating some electrical equipment.  550 West Jackson Management recommends 6 foot, UL approved extension cords.  NO LAMP EXTENSION CORDS OR MULTI-JACKS SHOULD BE UTILIZED.  Extension cords shouldNEVER be placed in walk paths as this can cause serious accidents as the result of tripping.

 

5.         Make sure the power is shut off on all office equipment such as typewriters, displaywriters, calculators, computers, etc. at the close of the business day.

 

6.         Provide adequate ventilation for office equipment like copying machines, printers or computer.

 

Sample Emergency Evacuation Announcements

 

The building's annunciation system, when activated, sounds an intermittent loud beep, which is interrupted when an announcement is being made.  You may hear an announcement resembling the following:

 

Evacuating Floor

 

"Your attention, your attention please.  We have a Fire/Smoke condition on the (floor). Members of the Fire/Life Safety Team assume your duties for the evacuation of the following floors: (Usually the incident floor, the three above and the four below).  All other personnel move toward the nearest exit.  DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.  Please move quickly and quietly.  Listen to the Safety Team members."
 

Receiving Floor

 

"Your attention, your attention please.  We have a Fire/Smoke condition on the (incident floor).  The following floors have been designated as receiving floors: (pertinent receiving floors).  Members of the Fire/Safety Team assume your duties. Prepare to receive personnel from the above evacuating floors.  We ask that all other occupants other than the Safety Team members to please stay within your suite."

Amenities