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Fire Safety Directors

The Job

Fire safety directors play an often unheralded, but extremely important, role in protecting skyscrapers and other structures from damage by fire, natural disasters, and human-made disasters. They perform the following duties to keep buildings and their occupants safe:

  • Prepare and maintain their building’s emergency evacuation and operations plan and communicate this information to the building’s occupants
  • Develop fire safety training programs for deputy fire safety directors, floor warden teams, fire brigade members, and building occupants
  • Maintain records that detail the building’s fire protection systems and fire inspections
  • Supervise monthly fire and evacuation drills
  • Conduct building safety inspections to identify potential fire hazards and impediments to evacuation and access by firefighters  
  • Check and maintain all fire safety equipment (such as fire extinguishers) to ensure that it is in working order

If a fire is detected, the fire safety director jumps into action and takes the following actions:

  • Immediately calls 911 (at some buildings, an automated system automatically notifies the fire department)
  • Operate the fire alarm system panel in the lobby’s fire command center (FCC) and contact the floor fire wardens(s) to investigate the alarm
  • Make voice announcements about the location of the fire and evacuation instructions to the building’s occupants using a two-way voice system
  • From the FCC, oversee and supervise floor evacuations in affected areas
  • Liaise with fire department personnel upon their arrival at the building; identify the floor(s) that are affected by the fire; provide information about the building’s layout, fire suppression systems, and special hazards, as well as give master keys and elevator keys, to firefighters; and direct the firefighters to building occupants who need immediate assistance
  • Assist the building’s occupants who have been evacuated during a fire and provide status updates to the evacuees
  • Communicate with the building’s senior management during the emergency