Fire Safety and the Manager's Role

The fire that ripped through an Oakland, Calif. warehouse, killing more than 30 people, highlighted both the importance of fire safety codes and the vital role they have played in turning mass casualty blazes into rare events, according to The New York Times.

“ 'The adoption and implementation of fire codes, having an effective enforcement system that’s been put in place at the city, county or state level — those have been the key elements that have made the difference we have seen,' said James Pauley, president of the National Fire Protection Association. 'When a deadly fire happens it is usually because something isn’t followed or something goes wrong or we learn something new.' "

Perhaps the greatest danger when it comes to fire safety is complacency, Pauley said — a feeling people may develop that disaster is unlikely to strike them because it has not so far.

Facility managers play a central role in ensuring that their organizations pay close attention to code requirements, facility preparations, and occupant readiness in case of a fire. To read more on the vital role of managers in fire safety, click here.

2 Replies

  • Dan,
    I couldn't agree more. I believe that if current fire safety building codes are followed we wouldn't have these tragedies. I testified for the 9/11 commission on the concept of insufficient fireproofing on the steel structure of the buildings. After 30 years in the fireproofing industry I developed a product that any facilities maintenance employee can use to patch fireproofing that has been knocked off or damaged in order to maintain the fire protection rating. This is a topic I'm very passionate about and I could talk for hours about it but I'll try not to. Feel free to shoot me an email or DM if anyone has questions about fireproofing.
  • So what is the answer? Is it to bring in specialized companies to review and advise on the installation/upgrade of the current systems in the facility? Is it to educate the FMs out there so that they become their company's "Expert" in the field and to employ sufficiently licensed and trained technical personnel to do the upkeep on the Life Safety Systems?

    Obviously the answer like most in the Fire Alarm Industry is "It Depends". You may not expect an apartment building to have a licensed and trained Fire Alarm installer/programmer on the employment roles, they would need to depend on the local experts, but a hospital, college campus, hotel could and should have their own Fire Alarm Trained Electricians on site working for them.

    Then you can stop paying $125.00 per hour minimum 2 hour charge for the tech to walk in the door and marked up products that you are paying 2 - 3 times what you need to if you had access to products from a supplier who doesn't need to pay for the vans and the insurances and the training of the field techs... a company who has the technical expertise to help answer any of the questions your in-house alarm folks may have. A company who not only knows the products they sell, but also the codes that need to be followed to do the job right.  A place that offers Testing and Inspection products and the replacement products you will need to keep your systems up to code and operating correctly.

    Places like this exist. I would be honored if you would start with our niche is the Facility Manager/End User market. Check out our site or give us a call at 800-837-8175...

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