- Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College (RLESC) is one of the top educational establishments in Qatar and the MENA region, providing educational services in the areas of emergency, safety, and fire services (Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College 2018).
- RLESC has several facilities that are equipped with all necessary alarm systems, emergency exits, as well as safety and emergency warnings.
- The College recognizes the hazards associated with fire and ensures that the facility has a sophisticated fire safety management plan in place.
- The plan is developed in strict compliance with international standards and the guidelines of Qatar Petroleum and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Fire Safety Policy Statement
- RLESC is committed to ensuring the safety of all its staff, students, and visitors.
- The College will maintain, and constantly improve, the equipment related to fire and emergency management.
- The educational establishment will update this plan, and improve it regularly, in compliance with the existing international norms and standards.
- Employees are encouraged to report any issues or concerns linked to fire safety.
- All staff and students will receive training aimed at the acquisition of knowledge and skills regarding effective fire safety management.
- Compliance with the developed plan will be monitored, and the failure to follow the guidelines will result in certain legal obligations.
Fire Safety Management Structure
- The fire safety management plan presupposes the assignment of specific roles and responsibilities to different stakeholders (Ludhra 2014).
- The Dean of the College, in collaboration with the staff and Floor Marshals, is responsible for the development and implementation of fire safety management (see Figure 1).
- Notifying the fire station and police, as well as students and staff, of any fire issues is the responsibility of the Dean and Floor Marshals.
- Evacuation procedures are conducted by the Floor Marshals and the staff who have received the corresponding training. The Dean coordinates the process and ensures the notification of the fire service.
- Students, visitors, staff, and the Dean must follow the guidelines provided by the police and firefighters.
The college has three major exits and fire assembly points. The routes to these exits, as well as the assembly points, are marked, and there are warning signs and maps to provide everyone with the necessary information. Some of the primary instructions during emergencies are universal and applicable in the vast majority of settings (Della-Giustina 2014). Some of the most relevant guidelines include:
- What to do
- Once you hear the fire alarm, leave the place you are located, move as quickly as possible without unnecessary haste, find the nearest exit, and wait at the assembly point.
- Pull fire alarms if you see any, and notify others about the danger.
- Use the stairs.
- Try to remain as low as possible if there is smoke.
- What not to do
- Do not pack your things or take anything with you.
- Do not run.
- Do not use lifts.
- Do not panic or cause panic by screaming.
- Do not close doors as you leave rooms or buildings.
- Do not try to search for anyone.
- Do not try to extinguish the fire as it can cause injuries or even worsen the situation.
- The fire alarm system should be linked to the control room of the fire service (Backhouse & Ferrett 2016).
- The Dean or the delegated person must notify the fire service by the emergency plan.
- The students and the staff who have come to the assembly points should undertake a roll call and inform firefighters about people who might still be in the building. It is helpful to name exact places where these people could be.
- The facility affected by the emergency will be locked for the period necessary to investigate the causes of the fire.
Fire Alarm and Detection
- All facilities are equipped with systems that are consistent with the NFPA Standard.
- Systems are monitored and checked regularly to ensure their proper functioning.
- The College is equipped with a sprinkler system that is compliant with Qatar Petroleum and NFPA standards.
- The system ensures early detection of fire and its control.
- The sprinkler systems across the different facilities are not connected. In this case, it is necessary to notify the staff and students about the emergency and inform them about the steps to undertake (Backhouse & Ferrett 2016).
Fire Prevention and Arson Awareness
- Signs, maps, and guidelines should be placed in different places across all College facilities by the existing standards (Della-Giustina 2014).
- Staff and students should be trained to react accordingly. The training should be provided in the form of lectures and drills.
- The facilities must be constantly inspected regarding the maintenance of the fire alarm systems and the checking for any possible malfunction of equipment.
- Smoking should be restricted to those areas that are equipped by the norms and standards of Qatar Petroleum and NFPA.
- Proper housekeeping practices should be maintained to reduce the risk of fire and enhance emergency response activities.
Routine Procedures for Staff
- Staff should be involved in the process of fire safety management through employees’ engagement in the process of planning (Ludhra 2014). This engagement will enhance their understanding of the procedures that have to be implemented in different situations.
- The employees of the corresponding departments should inspect facilities, areas, and equipment to prevent fire or arson.
- Employees must follow the existing guidelines and standards, as well as take all necessary precautions when using certain tools and materials.
- Employees should inform the Dean or the person responsible for fire safety management about any hazards or inappropriate activities, as well as any system malfunctioning.
Selection and Control of Materials
- All flammable materials should be stored in appropriate places with the necessary precautions.
- Materials acquired for the needs of the College should be bought in compliance with Qatar Civil Defence General Fire Safety Requirements.
- The quality of materials should be inspected regularly.
Maintenance and Testing of Fire Safety Systems
- Signs, maps, and guidelines placed in the facilities should be checked daily.
- Indicators and the alarm system power supply should be inspected daily.
- Fire alarm systems should be maintained properly and monitored monthly.
- The functioning of the entire system, including people’s reactions, should be checked four times a year.
- Conditioning and ventilation systems should be inspected annually.
- Water type and carbon dioxide extinguishers should be tested once every five years.
Decorations, Alterations, and Extensions
- Any decorations, alterations, and extensions should be placed in strict compliance with the standards and principles of the Qatar Civil Defence Department Fire Safety Guidelines.
- All decorations, alterations, and extensions should be approved by the competent municipality.
- All decorations, alternations, and extensions should be documented properly and highlighted in the corresponding plans.
Staff Training and Fire Drills
- Staff must be trained by the fire safety management plan.
- Staff will be trained to use fire extinguishing equipment.
- Staff will be trained on how to act on the discovery of a fire, how to raise the alarm, and how to start the evacuation of visitors and students.
- Personnel will receive training on the appropriate actions after hearing the alarm.
- Employees will also be trained to notify the corresponding services and open emergency exits.
- Those employees involved in operating machines and equipment associated with electrical and gas power will be trained to isolate power supplies and cease work appropriately.
- A specified number of staff members will be trained in the duties of Floor Marshals and their position made clear to other staff members and students.
Fire Risk Assessments
- College staff should be aware of all hazardous materials they may encounter in the vicinity of the educational establishment.
- All hazardous materials and equipment, as well as certain zones, should have appropriate marking (Backhouse & Ferrett 2016).
- All identified hazards and risks will be considered during the development of the fire safety management plan and included in the provision of training.
- The assessment of risks and hazards will be conducted every month by the corresponding staff members.
- Personnel should document all concerns and violations regarding possible hazards.
- All fire incidents and emergencies should be properly documented in an appropriate register. All details and involved personnel should be highlighted, as well as the undertaken measures and their outcomes (Della-Giustina 2014). This attention to detail will be essential for the development of effective procedures to respond to specific issues in the future.
- All the records should be managed by a specific employee who will distribute the material among the relevant stakeholders. This person will also provide the documents to the Fire Officer whenever needed.
- All plans, registers, and other documents should be updated regularly.
- All reports should be provided within 7 days after an incident.
Audit and Updating of This Manual
- This plan will be audited on an annual basis.
- This plan will be updated based on the results of the audits.
- The present plan will be updated by the existing and emerging policies and regulations.
- The plan will also be assessed based on reports and registers regarding fires or emergencies, as well as training.
- Regular drills can be instrumental in identifying the limitations of this plan.
- If gaps and weaknesses are identified, a cross-functional team will start working on improvements immediately.
- Members of the cross-functional team can initiate a meeting if they have ideas regarding the improvement of this plan or the entire fire safety management system.
Backhouse, J & Ferrett, E 2016, Fire safety and risk management revision guide: for the NEBOSH National Fire Certificate, Taylor & Francis, New York, NY.
Della-Giustina, DE 2014, Fire safety management handbook, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Ludhra, S 2014, Common sense guide to fire safety and management, Routledge, New York, NY.
Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College 2018. Web.