Reporting of emergencies, coordination with emergency response forces, emergency plans and procedures for managing or responding to emergencies shall comply with the provisions of this section.
Exception: Firms that have approved on-premises fire-fighting organizations and that are in compliance with approved procedures for fire reporting.
It shall be unlawful to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or restrict the mobility of or block the path of travel of a fire department emergency vehicle in any way, or to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or hamper any fire department operation.
In theaters, motion picture theaters, auditoriums and similar assembly occupancies in Group A used for noncontinuous programs, an audible announcement shall be made not more than 10 minutes prior to the start of each program to notify the occupants of the location of the exits to be used in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Exception: In motion picture theaters, the announcement is allowed to be projected upon the screen in a manner approved by the fire code official.
Group I-3 occupancies shall be provided with 24-hour staffing. An employee shall be within three floors or 300 feet (91 440 mm) horizontal distance of the access door of each resident housing area. In Conditions 3, 4 and 5, as defined in “Occupancy Classification – Institutional Group I-3” in Chapter 2, the arrangement shall be such that the employee involved can start release of locks necessary for emergency evacuation or rescue and initiate other necessary emergency actions within 2 minutes of an alarm.
Exception: An employee shall not be required to be within three floors or 300 feet (9144 mm) in areas in which all locks are unlocked remotely and automatically in accordance with Section 408.4 of the International Building Code.
Upon discovery of a fire or suspected fire, hotel and motel employees shall perform the following duties:
- Activate the fire alarm system, where provided.
- Notify the public fire department.
- Take other action as previously instructed.
Emergency evacuation drills shall involve the actual evacuation of residents to a selected assembly point and shall provide residents with experience in exiting through all required exits. All required exits shall be used during emergency evacuation drills.
Exception: Actual exiting from windows shall not be required. Opening the window and signaling for help shall be an acceptable alternative.
In addition to the requirements of Section 404.2.2, a lease plan that includes the following information shall be prepared for each covered and open mall building:
- Each occupancy, including identification of tenant.
- Exits from each tenant space.
- 3.1. Fire department connections.
- 3.2. Fire command center.
- 3.3. Smoke management system controls.
- 3.4. Elevators, elevator machine rooms and controls.
- 3.5. Hose valve outlets.
- 3.6. Sprinkler and standpipe control valves.
- 3.7. Automatic fire-extinguishing system areas.
- 3.8. Automatic fire detector zones.
- 3.9. Fire barriers.
Tenant identification shall be provided for secondary exits from occupied tenant spaces that lead to an exit corridor or directly to the exterior of the building. Tenant identification shall be posted on the exterior side of the exit or exit access door and shall identify the business name or address, or both, using plainly legible letters and numbers that contrast with their background.
Exception: Tenant identification is not required for anchor stores.
On-duty fire watch personnel shall have the following duties:
- Keep diligent watch for fires, obstructions to means of egress and other hazards.
- Take prompt measures for remediation of hazards and extinguishment of fires that occur.
- Take prompt measures to assist in the evacuation of the public from the structures.
In other than Group A or E occupancies, where the fire code official determines that an indoor or outdoor gathering of persons has an adverse impact on public safety through diminished access to buildings, structures, fire hydrants and fire apparatus access roads or where such gatherings adversely affect public safety services of any kind, the fire code official shall have the authority to order the development of or prescribe a public safety plan that provides an approved level of public safety and addresses the following items:
- Emergency vehicle ingress and egress.
- Fire protection.
- Emergency egress or escape routes.
- Emergency medical services.
- Public assembly areas.
- The directing of both attendees and vehicles, including the parking of vehicles.
- Vendor and food concession distribution.
- The need for the presence of law enforcement.
- The need for fire and emergency medical services personnel.
The minimum number of crowd managers shall be established at a ratio of one crowd manager for every 250 persons.
Exception: Where approved by the fire code official, the number of crowd managers shall be permitted to be reduced where the facility is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system or based upon the nature of the event.
The duties of crowd managers shall include, but not be limited to:
- Conduct an inspection of the area of responsibility and identify and address any egress barriers.
- Conduct an inspection of the area of responsibility and identify and mitigate any fire hazards.
- Verify compliance with all permit conditions, including those governing pyrotechnics and other special effects.
- Direct and assist the event attendees in evacuation during an emergency.
- Assist emergency response personnel where requested.
- Other duties required by the fire code official.
- Other duties as specified in the fire safety plan.
Fire evacuation plans shall include the following:
- Emergency egress or escape routes and whether evacuation of the building is to be complete or, where approved, by selected floors or areas only.
- Procedures for employees who must remain to operate critical equipment before evacuating.
- Procedures for assisted rescue for persons unable to use the general means of egress unassisted.
- Procedures for accounting for employees and occupants after evacuation has been completed.
- Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for rescue or emergency medical aid.
- The preferred and any alternative means of notifying occupants of a fire or emergency.
- The preferred and any alternative means of reporting fires and other emergencies to the fire department or designated emergency response organization.
- Identification and assignment of personnel who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
- A description of the emergency voice/alarm communication system alert tone and preprogrammed voice messages, where provided.
Fire safety plans shall include the following:
- The procedure for reporting a fire or other emergency.
- The life safety strategy and procedures for notifying, relocating or evacuating occupants, including occupants who need assistance.
- 3.1. The occupancy assembly point.
- 3.2. The locations of fire hydrants.
- 3.3. The normal routes of fire department vehicle access.
- 4.1. Exits.
- 4.2. Primary evacuation routes.
- 4.3. Secondary evacuation routes.
- 4.4. Accessible egress routes.
- 4.5. Areas of refuge.
- 4.6. Exterior areas for assisted rescue.
- 4.7. Manual fire alarm boxes.
- 4.8. Portable fire extinguishers.
- 4.9. Occupant-use hose stations.
- 4.10. Fire alarm annunciators and controls.
- A list of major fire hazards associated with the normal use and occupancy of the premises, including maintenance and housekeeping procedures.
- Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for maintenance of systems and equipment installed to prevent or control fires.
- Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for maintenance, housekeeping and controlling fuel hazard sources.
Lockdown plans shall be approved by the fire code official and shall include the following:
- Initiation. The plan shall include instructions for reporting an emergency that requires a lockdown.
- Accountability. The plan shall include accountability procedures for staff to report the presence or absence of occupants.
- Recall. The plan shall include a prearranged signal for returning to normal activity.
- Communication and coordination. The plan shall include an approved means of two-way communication between a central location and each secured area.
Emergency evacuation drills complying with Sections 405.2 through 405.9 shall be conducted at least annually where fire safety and evacuation plans are required by Section 403 or when required by the fire code official. Drills shall be designed in cooperation with the local authorities.
Exception: Emergency evacuation drills shall not be conducted in school buildings during periods of mandatory testing required by the Virginia Board of Education.
Required emergency evacuation drills shall be held at the intervals specified in Table 405.2 or more frequently where necessary to familiarize all occupants with the drill procedure.
FIRE AND EVACUATION DRILL FREQUENCY AND PARTICIPATION
|GROUP OR |
|Group E||Monthlya||All occupants|
|Group I||Quarterly on each shift||Employeesb|
|Group R-1||Quarterly on each shift||Employees|
|Group R-2d||Four annually||All occupants|
|Group R-4||Quarterly on each shift||Employeesb|
- In severe climates, the fire code official shall have the authority to modify the emergency evacuation drill frequency.
- Fire and evacuation drills in residential care assisted living facilities shall include complete evacuation of the premises in accordance with Section 403.9.3.6. Where occupants receive habilitation or rehabilitation training, fire prevention and fire safety practices shall be included as part of the training program.
- Group B buildings having an occupant load of 500 or more persons or more than 100 persons above or below the lowest level of exit discharge.
- Applicable to Group R-2 college and university buildings in accordance with Section 403.9.2.1.
Records shall be maintained of required emergency evacuation drills and include the following information:
- Identity of the person conducting the drill.
- Date and time of the drill.
- Notification method used.
- Employees on duty and participating.
- Number of occupants evacuated.
- Special conditions simulated.
- Problems encountered.
- Weather conditions when occupants were evacuated.
- Time required to accomplish complete evacuation.