Building Fire Safety Plan
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Heritage Plaza

1111 Bagby Street, Houston, TX

Building Fire Safety Plan

Brookfield Properties prides itself on providing outstanding prevention measures to ensure the safety and security of its tenants, visitors and employees. This is accomplished through fire and life safety education, as well as planning for emergencies. It is important that each tenant and their employees be familiar with emergency exits, equipment, evacuation plans, and well informed on all issues related to fire and life safety.

Tenants are given materials and are educated in response procedures for both fire and non-fire related emergencies. Fire Drills are conducted twice a year and an emergency action plan (EAP) drill is conducted annually.

Each floor’s fire safety team personnel receive additional training in the approved FDNY Fire Safety and Emergency Action Plan written specifically for their building by the Emergency Action Plan Director or his/her designee.

We provide additional on line fire life safety information for tenants via our corporate website where a customized video describes all of the buildings safety features (click on lick below.) In addition, our tenants can review their knowledge on fire life safety topics by answering site specific questions provided in the RJ Westmore On Line Life Safety Training website. (See Section 1.1 - How to Access the Tenant Emergency Procedure Manual On-Line)

In conjunction with security consultants, we also hold seminars for building staff and tenant representatives. Seminar topics include fire life safety, bomb threat preparedness, and other personal security related issues.

The entire evacuation of high-rise buildings in an emergency cannot be accomplished in a short period of time and the number of people occupying a high-rise building is too great to permit everyone to leave at the same time. During a fire condition, this potentially dangerous situation could cause a panic and hamper firefighting and rescue operations. In fact, during most fire situations within a high-rise building, an entire building evacuation will not be necessary or feasible.

The fire and life safety systems installed in high-rise buildings today, including automatic fire sprinkler protection, are designed to control a fire and therefore lessen the need to evacuate all occupants. In a typical scenario, the occupants of the fire floor and the floor immediately above it should use a safe exit stairs to descend to a floor level that is at least two floors below the fire floor, and await further instruction from fire officials.

Fire Safety Plan

The purpose of the Fire Safety Plan is to establish a systematic, safe and orderly method of evacuating an area (or areas) within the building in the least possible time, to an area of safety. The plan also provides instructions for the use of available fire appliances, including fire extinguishers, manual pull station alarms and fire warden telephones for the controlling or extinguishing of fire and the safeguarding of human life.

The Fire Safety Plan relies on technology, including fire alarm and communication systems, smoke detectors, sprinklers, door releases, other safety mechanisms, and on highly trained building staff and tenant employees to assist with evacuation/ relocation of occupants. Documentation relative to the life safety features within the building i.e., copies of the Certificate of Occupancy, floor plans, riser diagrams for standpipe/sprinkler systems, elevator and stair identification charts, are posted in the fire safety plan.

The objective of the Fire Safety Plan is to provide proper education through a continuing employee indoctrination and written program for all occupants, to assure the prompt reporting of fire, the response to fire alarms as designated, and the immediate initiation of fire safety procedures to safeguard life and contain the fire until the arrival of the Fire department.

Each tenant on every floor must appoint a responsible individual to the position of Floor Warden. This appointment will ensure that the floor is under the direction of a designated floor warden, who is familiar with the safety plan.

Fire Prevention

Elements of Fire

There are three elements of fire:

• Fuel (furniture, plastics, grease, etc.)
• Heat (matches, cigarettes, sparks, electric, etc.)
• Oxygen

Fire needs all three elements. If you remove one, you can eliminate or reduce the fire. For example:

• Closing doors – reduces the amount of oxygen
• Dousing with water – reduces heat
• Using an ABC Type Fire Extinguisher – smothers the fire, reducing oxygen
• Removing nearby draperies, papers, furniture – removes the source of fuel

Fire Tips and Facts

• In an emergency, use stairwells. Do not use elevators, unless instructed otherwise.
• Feel the stairwell door with the back of your hand for heat, before opening the door.
• If you encounter smoke, get down on your hands and knees. The air is cleaner and cooler nearer the floor. Crawl to the nearest stairwell exit.
• Most fatalities are a result of smoke inhalation, poisonous gases and panic. Panic, a sudden overpowering terror, is usually the result of not knowing what to do.
• Smoke detectors serve as an early-warning system. Smoke detectors save lives.
• A sprinkler system is designed to suppress a fire. Sprinkler heads are activated one at a time by a rise in the temperature.

Planning and Preparedness

• Have a list of emergency phone numbers.
• Be familiar with your floor’s layout.
• Know primary and secondary exits.
• Know emergency exit routes and termination pointsâ?”up and down.
• Know location, type and how to use manual fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
• Know primary and secondary methods of communication.
• Know safe refuge areas (re-location floors) during a fire emergency:
• If relocating within the building – usually a minimum of four (4) floors below the fire floor is adequate.
• When evacuating the building – move away from the building, and out of the way of emergency vehicles, flying glass and other obstacles. Usually a distance that is greater than the height of the building and proceed to your pre-determined outside assembly area.

Safe Stairwell Procedures

• Remain quiet and calm. Do Not Talk and Do Not Text!
• Remove high-heel shoes. Keep a pair of old sneakers next to your work station.
• Use handrails & move quickly. Walk in a single file.
• Keep to the right so Emergency personnel can ascend the stairs on the left.
• Allow others to enter into stairwell flow, but do not unnecessarily hold up traffic.
• Assist those who are slower or physically impaired.
• Walk down the stairs (unless otherwise instructed).
• All injuries should be treated at stairwell landings when required and safe to do so.
• Do not spread false information, rumors, etc.
• Do not bring drinks or food into stairwell.
• Develop awareness of safety conditions, fire violations and potential hazards, for example: fire doors improperly blocked or open, improper lighting, frayed cords, overloaded outlets, obstructed halls and corridors, trash buildups, etc.
• Participate in fire drills and review emergency procedures.
• Know your area of responsibility and your emergency actions.

Fire Prevention Tips

• Obey “NO SMOKING” law in all areas of the building.
• Do not use portable heaters in the building at anytime.
• Check for frayed or damaged electrical cords. Report them to your supervisor.
• Do not run electrical cords under carpets or chair pads.
• Do not overload electric outlets.
• Turn off or unplug appliances when not in use.
• Do not let trash overflow in wastebaskets or collection areas.
• Do not block corridors, freight elevator bays and stairwells.
• Do not prop open stairwell, corridor or other fire doors.
• Check lighting in corridors, stairwells and exit signs. Report any malfunctioning lights.
• Do not store any flammable liquids, oily rags or combustible materials in the building at anytime.
• Under NO circumstances should any items be stored in the stairwells. They are your means of exiting in an emergency.

Fire Extinguishers

Always maintain 3 feet of clearance around all fire-protection equipment. Never re-hang a fire extinguisher once it has been used. Have it recharged by a licensed service provider. Most of all, practice fire prevention and good housekeeping. Don’t give fire a place to start.

Class A
Any fire involving ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cloth, rubber and plastics.
Extinguish with a penetrating cooling agent. Water is the best material commonly available for this.

Class B
Any fire involving flammable liquids, such as gasoline, naphtha, acetone, greases and oils; or flammable gases like methane or hydrogen. Extinguish with surface-acting agents such as dry chemicals, which break up the chemical reaction of the fire; or use inert, dense, heavier-than-air gases, which smother the fire.

Class C
Any fire involving electrical equipment, appliances and wiring. Extinguish with a nonconductive extinguishing agent to protect against electrical shock. Most extinguishers that have a Class B rating also have a Class C rating, but read the label to be sure.

Class D
Any fire involving combustible metals such as magnesium, lithium, potassium, etc. would be considered a Class D Fire

Fire Extinguisher Types

The building is equipped with multipurpose ABC dry chemical extinguishers that are suitable for class A, B and C type fires. All Class A fires must be followed up with water to ensure extinguishment of all deep-seated smoldering fires.
Class A - Air Pressure Water Tank, Hand Pump Water Tank and multipurpose ABC dry chemical.
Class B - Pressurized Dry Chemical, Carbon Dioxide, Halon and multipurpose ABC dry chemical.
Class C - Pressurized Dry Chemical, Carbon Dioxide, Halon and multipurpose ABC dry chemical.

The “PASS” Method for Using ABC Extinguishers

Pull safety pin while holding upright
Aim the hose at base of fire and stand back 10 feet and
Squeeze the lever/trigger.
Sweep side to side. 

Fire Safety Personnel

Fire Safety Director

Trained Fire Safety Directors are on duty at all times. They are responsible for ensuring that all tenants are trained and aware of the safety procedures. In an emergency, the Fire Safety Director has the primary responsibility of manning the Fire Command Center and implementing the Fire Safety Plan. From this main location in the lobby, he/she will be able to control all mechanical, alarm, and communication systems within the building. The Fire Safety Director, under normal fire or fire alarm situations will usually only have to be initially concerned with evacuating the fire floor and the floor immediately above. As a standard operating procedure, usually the evacuation of those exposed will be to a location four (4) floors below the floor evacuated. Further evacuation, of additional floors, can be ordered as information is received at the Fire Command Center, or as ordered by the Fire Department Incident Commander.

The Fire Safety Director organizes and trains a Fire Brigade composed of Building staff and is responsible for their equipment and state of readiness. He or she is also responsible for overseeing the designation and training of a Floor Warden for each floor and sufficient Deputy Floor Wardens for each tenant to meet Fire Department regulations. The Fire Safety Director maintains organizational charts listing members of the current tenant emergency teams.

Fire Brigade

A Fire Brigade, consisting of building personnel, will initially report to the floor below the fire to assist in evacuation and provide information to the Fire Command Center. After the evacuation of occupants from the fire floor they shall attempt to control the spread of fire by closing (but not locking) doors behind them as they move towards their means of egress. If the fire is small and conditions do not pose an immediate personal threat, (i.e., a fire in its incipient or beginning stage) the Fire Brigade will attempt to extinguish the fire using hand held extinguishers. (As directed or instructed during their annual training)

The use of hand held extinguishes for Fire Brigade personnel shall not be attempted for a fire beyond its incipient stage. The following are definitions and examples of the various stages of fire:

Incipient/Beginning Stage - No significant smoke, no flame and very little heat (but sometimes noticeable odor of smoke) "Incipient" infers a fire that has just begun and is of such size that poor visibility, smoke inhalation, and high temperatures have not reached the degree to require the use of breathing apparatus. This stage usually develops slowly and can be extinguished by a portable fire extinguisher.

(Example: small waste paper basket)

Free Burning Stage - Large amounts of heat, flame, smoke, and potentially toxic gases are produced. The transition from the previous stage can be very fast. Fire Brigade and Fire Safety Teams are NOT to attempt to extinguish these type fires. They are to be handled by firefighting professionals only!

(Example: fire extension from waste paper basket to surrounding area)

Upon locating the fire, one member of the Fire Brigade will move to the floor below the fire to direct the Fire Department to the location of the fire and to inform them of conditions. Upon arrival of the Fire Department the Fire Brigade shall report to the Fire Command Center.

A member of the fire brigade shall be designated as Alarm Box Runner, who shall know the location of the nearest Fire Alarm Box, and be instructed in its use. Such member shall immediately, upon receipt of information that there is a fire or evidence of fire, go to the street alarm box, transmit an alarm and await the arrival of the Fire Department and direct them to the fire.

Fire Safety Team Members

Fire Safety Teams are critical to the emergency response process. Team members provide leadership and guidance to other employees during building emergencies, and ensure that their areas have been safely and completely evacuated. They will receive training by the building Fire Safety Director and/or his or her designee. This training is only to educate them on implementing the evacuation of their floor, and only if safe to do so. It does not imply that they place themselves in a dangerous situation. (i.e., fire or heavy smoke conditions).

Each floor of the building shall have a Fire Safety Team assigned to assist during building emergencies. The Fire Safety Team shall consist of (1) Floor Warden, (2) Deputy Floor Wardens, and (4) Searchers -- (2) Males and (2) Females. If a floor is multi-tenanted, each tenant must assign a Floor Warden who will be responsible for his/her area. For every 7500 square feet or a portion thereof, there must be a Deputy Floor Warden. Male and Female Searches must be assigned as required by the amount of square footage and the configuration of each tenant occupancy. Any questions, please contact your Fire Safety Director.

Floor Warden

A crucial step in the development of a fire safety plan is the appointment of Tenant Floor Wardens and Deputy Floor Wardens; these individuals should have strong personalities and the ability to take charge in the event of an emergency. Strong decisive action early in an emergency may save lives. In the case of multiple-tenant floors, a Floor Warden is appointed for each tenant. Each tenant will be required to man all safety team positions on each floor and should check stairwells and restrooms in an emergency.

The Floor Warden has overall responsibility for their floor’s Fire Safety Team. They will be familiar with the fire safety plan, the location of exits, and the location and operation of any available fire alarm system, and the location of any persons needing assistance. In the event of fire, or fire alarm, they ascertain the location of the fire, and direct the evacuation in accordance with directions received making sure that all persons on the floor are notified of fire and all are evacuated to safe areas.

The most critical areas for immediate evacuation are the fire floor and floor immediately above. Evacuation from the other floors shall be instituted when instructions from the Fire Command Center or conditions indicates such action. Evacuation should be via uncontaminated stairs. Evacuation to four (4) or more levels below the floor evacuated is generally adequate and he/she shall keep the Fire Command Center informed of his/her location.

(IMPORTANT – never endanger your own life or the lives of others when carrying out Floor Warden duties.)

Deputy Floor Warden

Deputy Wardens assist the Floor Warden with the evacuation of their floor in the event of an emergency, and in the absence of the Floor Warden, would assume overall floor responsibility.

(IMPORTANT – never endanger your own life or the lives of others when carrying out Deputy Floor Warden duties).

Searchers

The Searchers are responsible for conducting preliminary searches of the alarm floor during the evacuation, and to be aware of any areas that may not have received the initial alarm. Searchers are only responsible for notifying persons on their floor of a fire or alarm condition and only if it is safe to do so. They are not expected to place themselves in a dangerous situation to accomplish this task. They are also expected to be able to assume the responsibilities of the Deputy Floor Warden and/ or the Floor Warden in their absence.

(IMPORTANT – never endanger your own life or the lives of others when carrying out Searcher duties.)

Organizational Charts

An organizational chart designating employees and their assignments shall be prepared and posted in a conspicuous place on each floor and a copy shall be in the possession of the Fire Safety Director. The Fire Department takes the establishment, training and availability of Floor Wardens and Deputy Floor Wardens very seriously. If the Fire Safety Director finds that an individual is neglecting the responsibilities outlined in the tenant’s emergency plan, he or she is required to inform the Property Management Office, which will in turn inform the tenant. If the tenant fails to correct the situation, the Fire Department will be notified.

Flooding

In the event of a flood that may cause damage to tenant property or affect the normal operation of the building, designated tenant representatives will be contacted by Building Management personnel, regardless of the time of day.

The first priority is to ensure that no personal injury occurs as the result of a flood. The second priority is to discover the cause and prevent or minimize additional flooding.

Once the flooding has been contained, clean-up operations will be commenced. Tenants will need to contact their insurance carrier for any damage to their property. 

Tenant Handbook