Klass Looch Associates

Employer OHS Champion since 1986 

Johannesburg Emergency Services By-Laws

Part 3 - Fire fighting equipment and emergency evacuation plans

Section 16. Installation and maintenance of fire-fighting equipment

(1) Every owner of a building must ensure that–

(a)all fire-fighting equipment and service installations on the premises are installed in a manner and condition ready for use in an emergency;

(b)all portable and mobile fire-extinguishers and all hose reels on the premises are serviced and maintained in accordance with SABS 0105 and SABS 1475;

(c)all fire-fighting equipment and service installations on the premises are –

(i)maintained in a good working condition by a competent person;

(ii)inspected and serviced in accordance with manufacturer specifications; and

(iii)are inspected by an appropriately registered and competent person at least once every 12 months; and

(d)a comprehensive service record of all fire-fighting equipment and service installations on the premises is maintained and furnished to the Chief Fire Officer every 12 months.

(2) Every person who inspects, services or repairs any fire-fighting equipment or service installation must–

(a)on completing the inspection, service or repairs, as the case may be –

(i)certify in writing that the equipment or installation concerned is fully functional; and(ii)furnish that certificate to the owner of the premises; or

(b)if the equipment or installation cannot readily be repaired to a functional state, notify the Chief Fire Officer of this fact in writing without delay.

(3) Except for purposes of inspection, service, repair or fire-fighting, no person may remove or interfere with any fire-fighting equipment or service installation at any premises.

(4) No person may alter, damage, misuse or render ineffective any fire-fighting equipment or service installation at any premises.

Section 17. Chief fire officer may designate premises for emergency evacuation plans

(1) The Chief Fire Officer may by written notice designate any premises as a premises requiring an emergency evacuation plan.

(2) The notice contemplated in subsection (1), must be served on the premises concerned and addressed to the owner or occupier.

Section 18. Duties of owner or occupier of designated premises

(1) The owner, or with the approval of the Chief Fire Officer, the occupier, of any premises designated in terms of section 17 must –

(a)prepare a comprehensive emergency evacuation plan for the premises in accordance with the guideline contained in Schedule 1 and submit it to the Chief Fire Officer in triplicate within 30 days of service of the designation notice;

(b)establish a fire protection committee comprised of occupiers of the premises to assist the owner or occupier to organise a fire protection programme and regular and scheduled fire evacuation drills;

(c)ensure that the emergency evacuation plan is reviewed-

(i)at least every 12 months;

(ii)whenever the floor layout of the premises is changed; and

(iii)whenever the Chief Fire Officer requires revision of the plan;

(d)ensure that an up-to-date emergency evacuation plan, any fire protection programmes, evacuation drills and any related documents are kept, maintained and all times available in a control room on the premises for inspection by any member of the Service; and

(e)identify a place of safety off the designated premises, but in the immediate vicinity of the premises, where persons who reside or work on the premises may gather during an emergency for the purpose of compiling a list of survivors.

(2) The Chief Fire Officer may in respect of premises designated in terms of section 17 –

(a)require the review of any emergency evacuation plan by the owner or occupier and may provide directions in this regard;

(b)instruct the owner or occupier to implement a fire protection program that the Chief Fire Officer believes is necessary to ensure the safety of persons and property on the premises; and

(c)require the owner or occupier to provide the Chief Fire Officer with a certified copy of the emergency evacuation plan and any associated documents at a specified time and place.

Schedule 1

Guideline for emergency evacuation plans

1. Content of emergency evacuation plans

Every emergency evacuation plan contemplated in section 17 must contain at least the information under the headings below.

(1) Emergency telephone numbers. A list of all relevant emergency telephone numbers.

(2) General information

(a)the physical address of the premises;

(b)a description of the activities on the premises;

(c)the number of persons present on the premises at any time;

(d)an indication of any control room on the premises;

(e)an indication of any alarm system on the premises; and

(f)the particulars and contact details of every responsible person in the event of an emergency;

(3) Area study. An area study addressing the following:

(a)a history of emergency incidents on the premises;

(b)any important and relevant features or landmarks regarding the premises; and

(c)any information regarding adjacent premises that may be relevant to evacuation in an emergency.

(4) Socio-economic or other threats. Any socio-economic or other threats and their potential impact on the premises.

(5) Details of available equipment Particulars and details regarding the position of the following equipment:

(a)Equipment in the control room;

(b)firefighting and first aid equipment on the premises; and

(c)any other equipment which may be relevant in an emergency.

(6) The emergency team. Particulars and details regarding the identity of members of the emergency team, including –

(a)its management;

(b)the continuity officers;

(c)the fire teams; and(d)the first aid teams.

(7) Duties of emergency team members. The duties and responsibilities of members of the emergency team.

(8) Action plans and emergency procedures. Details of the specific action plans and emergency procedures applicable to the premises.

(9) Building plans and maps. The building plans of the premises and any relevant topographical map must be included in the evacuation plan.

(10) Emergency plan register. The plan must include –

(a)an updated register of the emergency evacuation plan;

(b)an updated drill register for the emergency evacuation plan; and

(c)a bomb threat questionnaire.

2. Review of emergency evacuation plans

(1) An emergency evacuation plan must be reviewed and updated by the owner or occupier of the premises concerned at least once each year and whenever a member of the management of the emergency team ceases to work at the premises.

(2) Whenever an emergency evacuation plan is reviewed and updated, the owner or occupier of the premises concerned must ensure that all old plans on the premises or in the possession of the management of the emergency team are collected and destroyed in order to eliminate any confusion regarding the validity and accuracy of the evacuation plan.

3. Emergency evacuation drills

(1) An emergency evacuation plan should be drilled at least twice each year and involve the participation of all persons who work or reside in the building concerned.

(2) The owner or person in charge of a building should give all persons who are to be involved in an emergency evacuation drill at least 21 days’ notice of the drill.

4. Emergency evacuation awareness

Every person who works or resides on premises should be aware of the emergency evacuation plan for that premises.

5. Training of persons

Every person who resides or works on premises with an emergency evacuation plan should be suitably trained in –

(a)first aid or fire fighting;

(b)emergency aid;

(c)emergency evacuation procedures; and

(d)emergency management techniques.