Municipal Fire Protection Information Survey Explanatory Guide by guy24

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									   This guide has been compiled to                                          CONT ENT S
   assist in implementing the Municipal                       PAGE

   Fire Protection Information Survey.                          1 Survey Purpose
                                                                1 Survey Focus
   To successfully complete this survey,
                                                                1 Survey Data
   community and fire officials must
   possess a clear understanding of the                         1 Survey Components:
   purpose, scope and the rationale for the                     1     1. Administration
   survey questions and the information                         1     2. Policies / Guidelines
   sought. As this version of the survey is
                                                                1     3. By-law Information
   designed to assist in determining
   compliance with the minimum fire                             1     4. Fire Protection Agreements
   prevention and public education                              1     5. Fire Loss Statistics
   requirements of the Fire Protection                          1     6. Fire Cause Determination Practices
   and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA) the
                                                                1     7. Fire Prevention Practices
   focus is on fire prevention and public
   education activities.                                        1     8. Simplified Risk Assessment

                                                                1     9. Fire Inspection Practices
    The guide is intended to assist with
   questions or concerns that may arise                         1    10. Fire Safety Planning
   during information gathering. Users                          1    11. Smoke Alarm Initiatives
   may also contact the OFM to obtain                           1    12. Public Education Practices
   additional information or clarification.
                                                                1    13. Public Education Resource
                                                                         Effectiveness Questionnaire




Municipal Fire Protection Information Survey Explanatory Guide  00-NOV-7                             PAGE  1
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Survey Purpose
The purpose of the survey is twofold:
 To assist municipalities in complying with the minimum requirements for fire protection
  services, as directed by the FPPA, and
 To enable the OFM to meet its responsibility for monitoring municipal fire protection
    services in Ontario, as required by the FPPA

Survey Focus
The survey focuses on the following minimum requirements:
   Simplified risk assessment
   Smoke alarm program, including home escape planning
   Distribution of public education information and delivery of public education programs
   Fire prevention inspections upon complaint or request


Survey Data
Survey data will be used to:
 Identify best practices in the fire service and share them with municipalities that could
  benefit by adopting them
 Create a database of useful information to be used by the OFM and shared, where possible,
  with the fire service
 Enable determinations regarding FPPA compliance to be made in an objective, substantive
  manner
 Provide advice and assistance to municipalities that are not currently in compliance
 Promote the use of up-to-date by-laws, service agreements, and council policies to
  establish appropriate service levels and provide adequate direction to fire department
  management
 Recognize the achievement of municipalities that are in compliance and award a certificate
  of compliance, where appropriate


Survey Components
The survey comprises the following 13 components:
    1.   Administration                                                 8.   Simplified Risk Assessment
    2.   Policies / Guidelines                                          9.   Fire Inspection Practices
    3.   By-law Information                                            10.   Fire Safety Planning
    4.   Fire Protection Agreements                                    11.   Smoke Alarm Initiatives
    5.   Fire Loss Statistics                                          12.   Public Education Practices
    6.   Fire Cause Determination Practices                            13.   Public Education Resource Effectiveness
    7.   Fire Prevention Practices                                           Questionnaire

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1.   Adm i ni str ati on
     Components of the survey that deal with issues such as by-laws, policies,
     service agreements, organizational structuring, and mission statements
     relate to a municipality’s ability to demonstrate due diligence in avoiding
     liability exposures. Although these issues are not directly related to the
     minimum service delivery requirements of the FPPA, it is important to
     recognize that they form the basis of a well-organized and operated fire
     department.
     Corporate organization charts provide useful information about the degree
     of access the fire chief has to the municipal council or a committee thereof
     (i.e., fire committee). It is important that the fire chief, as the community
     fire safety expert and the individual ultimately responsible to council for
     the delivery of fire protection services, has the ability to advise council on
     fire safety matters affecting the community.
     Organization charts also identify how various sectors of a municipality are
     grouped into clusters or commissions and the reporting relationships that
     result. The departmental organization chart identifies the human resources
     available to accomplish departmental goals and objectives and the internal
     reporting relationships and accountabilities.
     Mission statements help identify organizations that tend to be goal-oriented
     and provide insight into their self-acknowledged purpose and
     commitments. Types and levels of service are often defined in or adopted
     from mission statements.
     Fire department annual reports provide the fire chief with an opportunity to
     showcase the department’s activities and accomplishments to council, the
     public, other municipal departments, and internal staff. Annual reports also
     provide fire department managers with an opportunity to ensure that
     council is aware of issues such as activity levels, average response times,
     and fire losses. These reports usually include fire prevention inspection and
     public education activity overviews that may assist in determining
     compliance with minimum requirements.
     Information management is important in helping to ensure that accurate
     records of activities are kept, incident reporting obligations are met,
     inspection follow-ups are tracked, and community fire risks are effectively
     monitored. Fire departments may find that electronic information
     management systems are necessary for achieving maximum efficiency.
     Electronic systems are particularly useful for processing emergency
     response information and logging data.


2.   Policies / Guidelines
     In most cases, municipalities establish and maintain fire departments so
     they can meet their fire protection responsibilities under the FPPA.

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     However, there is still a need to create and maintain the fire department in
     accordance with the Municipal Act, through the enactment of a fire
     department Establishing and Regulating By-law (E&R By-law). This by-
     law is intended, in part, to provide the fire department with council
     direction as to which services it is required and authorized to provide to the
     community and the levels to which they will be provided. To avoid liability
     and to demonstrate due diligence, the activities and services provided
     should mirror the department’s responsibilities stated in the E&R By-law.
     Municipalities have additional means of providing policy direction to fire
     department management through formalized council resolutions or
     motions. Capturing programs, goals, and objectives through either of these
     formalized processes tends to result in clearer policy direction and to add
     credibility to the fire department’s programs and activities. In support of,
     and sometimes in the absence of, council-approved policies, fire
     departments typically create departmental policies to provide clear
     direction to internal staff. Municipal resources may be more readily
     available if they contribute to the achievement of formalized council goals
     and objectives rather than departmental goals and objectives.


3.   By- l aw Inf orm ati on
     By-laws that confirm policy decisions and are kept current and relevant are
     important to a municipality in its ability to demonstrate due diligence and
     protect itself from liability exposure. Municipalities are entitled and
     encouraged to develop reciprocal and/or financial agreements with
     neighbouring municipalities as means of providing the most effective,
     efficient, and safe levels of service to the public. However, it is important
     to ensure that these agreements are captured in written form and duly
     authorized by municipal by-law. Once municipal policies are created
     through the by-law process, it is necessary to operationalize them and
     enforce their requirements, where applicable.
     A great deal of case law supports the notion that, through policy-making,
     municipalities are enabled to determine the services to be provided and the
     levels to which they will be provided. However, once a municipality
     determines that a service will be provided, it must provide that service in a
     reasonable and competent manner, or it will expose itself to litigation and
     liability. A review of by-laws, policies, and resolutions is required from
     time to time to ensure that consistency between written policies and
     operational activities is maintained. The Establishing and Regulating By-
     law should be reviewed to ensure that the response and rescue service
     levels identified are consistent with the department’s ability to perform
     them effectively and without negligence.




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4.   F ir e Pr otec ti on Agr eem ents
     Many municipalities use fire protection agreements to enhance fire
     protection service levels. Written agreements provide each party with the
     necessary details and specifics to permit a clear understanding of the
     services to be provided and the compensation to be exchanged for the
     services.
     Municipal councils must understand the terms and conditions as well as the
     cost and service implications of these service agreements to evaluate their
     effectiveness and impact.
     Significant financial benefits and cost avoidance opportunities can result
     from using automatic aid agreements with neighbouring municipalities,
     when appropriate, to enhance fire protection service levels in the
     community.
     It is common to find municipalities that have entered into several
     concurrent service agreements (mutual aid, highway response, automatic
     aid, dispatch, etc.). The effective application of risk management principles
     is dependent upon clarifying roles, responsibilities, and procedures in
     formalized agreements to avoid unnecessary liability exposure.


5.   Fir e Loss Stati sti cs
     When conducting a simplified risk assessment of a community, it is
     important to recognize the value in reviewing the community’s past fire
     experience. Information about the type of occupancies and occupants most
     susceptible to fire and, in some cases, the public’s attitude toward fire, can
     be extracted from a review of this data.
     Although fire departments report fires on an individual occurrence basis,
     the opportunity for reviewing the yearly totals and identifying meaningful
     trends is sometimes lost. The OFM provides summary reports of property
     fire dollar loss by occupancy classification to assist municipalities in better
     understanding their recent fire experience and high loss occupancies. The
     reports are based on information gathered from OFM fire investigations
     and Standard Incident Reports submitted by fire departments. It is intended
     that the summary report, in conjunction with the corresponding tables in
     the survey, will verify that OFM and municipal records coincide and that
     the cumulative effect of all fires, based on building occupancy
     classifications, is identified and appreciated. Where the local fire
     department statistics do not correspond with OFM statistics, the fire
     department statistics will be used, although a reasonable attempt to
     rationalize the differences needs to be made. For the purposes of this
     information survey, vehicle dollar loss statistics will not be included.
     The OFM provides information on fire occurrences involving no dollar loss
     fire incidents as well.

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     Both types of incidents should be analyzed for benchmarking purposes and
     for identifying a community’s overall fire experience in order to create an
     accurate picture of responses to all types of fire incidents. Further, the "no
     loss" fire incidents may contribute significantly to the community’s fire
     problem. The no loss occurrences (i.e. arson, careless open-air burning
     practices, no loss fires at salvage yards, recycling facilities, or other similar
     business that could have a significant impact on the community) may
     indicate a need for some type of reactive prevention or public education
     initiative if the circumstances warrant it.
     Fire deaths and injuries are important components of a simplified risk
     assessment. Most municipalities do not experience fire fatalities on a
     regular basis, so local records and statistics do not always permit an
     effective analysis. The use of provincial comparators is an effective means
     of relating, on a per capita basis, relevant death and injury statistics
     compared to the provincial average.
     The analysis of this information is extremely useful in determining what
     public education programs would be most effective in a community. It also
     permits scarce inspection resources, if available, to be focused on priority
     areas, based on experienced fire occurrences and losses.
     To obtain the statistical data required to complete the Fire Loss Statistics
     tables contact your OFM adviser. When requesting data, state that you
     require two reports – “fires with” and “fires without” loss by property class.
     The information is categorized by municipality rather than by fire
     department. If a fire department provides service for another municipality,
     data for the other municipality should also be collected for the survey and
     analysis.


6.   Fir e C ause D eterm i nati on Pr acti ces
     Municipal fire departments are required to report all fire occurrences via
     the OFM Standard Incident Report. As part of this reporting responsibility,
     municipalities are also required to provide initial fire cause and origin
     information. Information such as area of origin, ignition source, fuel or
     energy associated, object or material first ignited, and possible cause is
     required to be provided on the Standard Incident Report.
     In order to answer these questions, investigation of the fire circumstances is
     necessary. When completing a Standard Incident Report after a fire, the
     possible cause “undetermined” should only be used when investigation of
     the fire fails to determine the probable cause.
     The OFM currently provides Fire Cause Determination courses that are
     available to assist municipal fire and police officials in conducting effective
     fire investigations. Determining fire cause is useful in identifying the fire
     prevention and public education needs of a community by showing specific
     areas that need to be addressed. For example, a municipality experienced

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     several fires that occurred in attached garages on cold winter mornings,
     caused by homeowners who were warming up their vehicles by running
     them unattended. Each of these fires resulted in significant fire dollar loss,
     although no personal injuries were suffered.
     Two issues were identified from the garage fires. First, building occupants
     could have sustained carbon monoxide poisoning because vehicle
     emissions were not properly vented to the exterior. Second, it established
     the need to raise public awareness of how running vehicles in enclosed
     garages presents a deadly health risk and greatly increase the likelihood of
     a serious fire situation. Knowing the cause of these fires allowed for an
     educational/awareness program to be quickly developed and provided to
     the media for widespread distribution. The media provided excellent
     coverage, and these fire occurrences stopped almost immediately.
     It has been found that contraventions of the Ontario Fire Code very often
     contribute significantly to the devastating effects of fire. Breaches in
     required fire separations and disabled automatic sprinkler systems can
     permit early stage fires to advance before building occupants have an
     opportunity to safely escape. Often, structural fire damage is significantly
     higher in occupancies that do not comply with the requirements of the
     Ontario Fire Code.


7.   F ir e Pr ev enti on Pr ac ti c es
     The FPPA focuses on public education and fire prevention activities as the
     primary means of protecting lives and property from fire. When viewed
     within the context of the three lines of defence, it is apparent that
     appropriate municipal financial resource levels need to be applied in these
     areas. It is helpful, during both operating budget preparation and ongoing
     expenditure control exercises, to be able to determine the amount of
     funding allocated to these areas, in comparison to total financial resources
     applied to fire protection services, especially in the reactive area of fire
     suppression.
     The ability to readily identify current resource levels permits comparison of
     resources to similar communities. This could initiate a convenient and valid
     fire department reserve fund of public user fees collected for services
     rendered. When these fees are allotted to general municipal revenue, they
     have little direct benefit to fire prevention and public education programs
     delivered by the fire department.
     It is intended that the fire prevention budget and the public education
     budget include all operating costs associated with those activities. Items
     such as staff salaries (full-time, part-time or pro-rated), benefits, uniforms,
     transportation costs, office supplies, etc., should be included to provide the
     most accurate budget figures possible. It is also important to identify any


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     unpaid time spent by volunteer staff in both development and delivery of
     fire prevention and public education programs.


8.   Simp lif ied Risk Assessm ent (SRA)
     Conducting a simplified risk assessment ( SRA) of the community is the
     precursor to determining the most appropriate programs and activities to
     deliver to the public. Public Fire Safety Guidelines (PFSG) 04-40-12 and
     04-40-03 describe the minimum fire prevention and public education
     requirements of the FPPA.
      PFSG 04-40A-03 provides detailed guidance on how to conduct a
     simplified risk assessment (SRA). The SRA consists of several main
     components. The community must be examined to identify significant fire
     safety issues, demographic makeup, building stock, vulnerable occupants,
     high-risk occupancies and potential impact of fire so that a risk inventory
     can be created and target areas identified. The risks and targets must then
     be analyzed so all available options can be identified and considered. The
     most appropriate programs and activities to address these risks can then be
     selected, based on priority, and an implementation plan created.
     In addition, the Fire Prevention Effectiveness sub-model of the
     Comprehensive Fire Safety Effectiveness Model also provides further
     guidance in the conduct of a more detailed community risk assessment, as
     does the Public Fire and Life Safety Educators’ Certificate Program,
     offered by the OFM .
     In some cases, municipalities contract fire protection services from an
     adjacent municipality. Care must be taken to ensure the fire prevention and
     public education needs of the community are not ignored with the focus on
     fire suppression only. Options such as further contracting for service or
     establishing a community fire safety officer/team can be used to provide
     necessary public education and fire prevention services to the community.


9.   Fir e Insp ecti on Pr actices
     The FPPA requires a municipality to conduct inspections upon complaint or
     request, as a minimum. Additional inspection requirements may be
     identified during the simplified risk assessment process, based on local
     needs and circumstances. From a resource management perspective, it is
     important to identify activity levels (frequency) and areas (occupancy
     types) of fire inspections being conducted. A Basic Fire Prevention and
     Inspection Program was developed to assist fire department personnel in
     conducting occupancy inspections. It is currently available and is delivered
     regionally throughout the province.


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      The OFM Assist Program is also available, upon request, to support
      municipalities in meeting their inspection responsibilities.
      Fire departments with full-time staff have an opportunity to conduct fire
      inspections utilizing on-duty, in-service crews, when appropriate. It is
      extremely important to ensure that only properly trained individuals that
      are knowledgeable of code application and enforcement, and fire protection
      systems, conduct fire code inspections, so that potential municipal liability
      is minimized. When volunteer firefighters conduct these activities, the
      same considerations apply.
      Space is provided in the survey form to collect data on actual time spent by
      full-time, part-time and volunteer staff.
      Where resources are limited, it is recommended that municipalities conduct
      inspections based on relative degree of risk. For example, occupancies such
      as hospitals or nursing homes with non-ambulatory residents are considered
      high risk from a life loss perspective. These types of occupancies should be
      given priority over lower risk occupancies, and inspection policies should
      reflect this setting of priorities.
      Comprehensive inspection and enforcement practices should be captured
      by council approved policies supplemented with departmental procedures,
      or guidelines to ensure a consistent approach is taken to enforcement of the
      Ontario Fire Code and other related legislations. Follow-up activities, up to
      and including prosecution, are necessary to rectify identified
      contraventions. It must be remembered that it is the responsibility of the
      owner to comply with the Ontario Fire Code.
      When conducting this part of the survey, attempt to identify any inspection
      programs currently being delivered by the fire department, including self-
      inspection programs, where applicable.


10.   Fire Safety Planning
      The Ontario Fire Code, Section 2.8, “Emergency Planning,” identifies
      specific buildings, occupancies, and occupant loads that require a fire
      safety plan to be prepared, approved, and implemented. A fire safety plan is
      required to include emergency procedures and instructions to occupants in
      the event of fire; appointment, organization, and instruction of supervisory
      staff; control of fire hazards; holding fire drills; operating and maintenance
      instructions for building facilities; and alternate measures during shutdown
      of fire protection systems or equipment.
      Effective public education programs focus on awareness of fire hazards and
      introduces best practices for human behaviour in fire situations. Fire safety
      plans provide building occupants with the necessary information to make
      informed and safe decisions when faced with a fire situation. It is essential
      that required fire safety plans are prepared, approved by the chief fire
      official, and implemented for the safety of building occupants. These plans,

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      if used properly, are also extremely helpful for disseminating relevant fire
      safety education information to occupants throughout the community.
      Further information on fire safety plans is available in a document entitled
      Report of the Public Inquiry into Fire Safety in Highrise Buildings by The
      Honourable John B. Webber.
      Technical guidelines for the preparation and implementation of residential,
      commercial and industrial fire safety plans are available through the OFM
      regional offices or on the OFM website. http://www.ofm.gov.on.ca


11.   Sm ok e A l arm Ini ti ativ es
      The value of a working smoke alarm and home escape plan for protecting
      lives during fires is indisputable. For this reason, a smoke alarm program is
      one of the minimum requirements of the FPPA.
      A smoke alarm survey is one method of determining use and maintenance
      and also assists in evaluating the current status of smoke alarm initiatives in
      the community. It can also provide an indication of public attitude toward
      fire.
      Smoke alarm surveys can be conducted in a variety of ways. In-service,
      door-to-door campaigns that involve viewing and testing smoke alarms,
      and simple question surveys in high traffic areas such as shopping centers,
      are just two examples.
      The Alarmed for Life program is also available as a means of promoting
      the use of smoke alarms and generating revenue for the fire department that
      can be used to further promote public education programs in the
      community. By creating partnerships with service groups or corporate
      sponsors, smoke alarms can be made more affordable or provided free to
      residents.


12.   Public Education Practices
      The FPPA focuses on public education as the primary tool in achieving a
      fire-safe community within the three lines of defence as captured in the
      Ontario Fire Safety and Protection Model. Public education can be
      provided in numerous ways, using a multitude of avenues. Public service
      announcements such as those provided by the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire
      Safety Council are excellent communication devices to use in spreading
      fire safety messages to the public through the media.
       Although public education is typically highlighted during Fire Prevention
      Week, it is important to ensure that the public is provided with educational
      information on a year-round basis. Programs should be determined based
      on the community risk assessment, which considers issues such as

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      demographic makeup; fire loss, death, and injury experience; industrial and
      environmental hazards; and impact of fire.
      The Public Fire and Life Safety Educators’ Certificate Program, available
      through the Office of the Fire Marshal, is designed to assist fire department
      personnel in identifying community risks and public education program
      needs, selecting appropriate public education programming, evaluating
      program effectiveness, and developing effective media relations and other
      components essential to delivering quality public education programs to the
      community.


      Public Education
13.
      Resource Eff ectiv eness Questionnaire
      The questions contained in this portion of the survey are self-explanatory
      and are intended to solicit feedback and gather information relating to the
      usefulness and effectiveness of OFM and FMPFSC support resources. It is
      intended that OFM Advisory staff will follow up on any
      concerns/complaints identified in this questionnaire, as practicable.
      A description and order form for fire safety materials through the Fire
      Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council is available on the OFM website or
      directly at http://www.safecommunities.com/




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