Monday, December 5, 2016

Elements of Plan Review




For fire prevention organizations tasked with conducting plan reviews, NFPA 1730 lists 9 plan review elements. This post will examine each of these and provide links to additional resources.

1.  Fire Protection Environmental Impact (Feasibility Study). The feasibility study should examine such items as response times for fire/emergency services, communications capabilities,  hydrants availability, and water main requirements.  Any special considerations, and fire protection alternatives or equivalencies, should be documented and reviewed.
    Suggested resource: Fire Protection Approaches in Site Plan Review 

2.  Water Supply and Fire Flow. These should be conducted to ensure that the available water supply requirements can be met. If they cannot, other options should be considered and decided upon at this time.
    Suggested resource: How to Conduct Hydrant Flow Testing 

3.  Emergency Vehicle Access. This should be based on the largest piece of apparatus that the responding department may have to use.  Driving surfaces, widths, overhead clearances, loads, and turn-around's, and dead-ends should be considered.

4.  Construction Building Plans. This element of plan review should be conducted to determine code compliance, occupancy classifications, construction type, required fire protection features, fire resistance ratings, interior finishes, and any special hazards or structures.
     Suggested resource: The Art of Reading Buildings ; 101 Things I Learned in Engineering School 

5.  Certificate of Occupancy Inspections. These inspections are carried out throughout the project and can include all the trades (plumbing, electric, HVAC, etc.) and fire protection systems.  These inspections ensure that what has been approved on the plans is what is being installed in the building.
     Suggested resource: Why You're Stuck in Permitting (and how to get out!)

6.  Hazardous Materials and Processes. Any hazardous materials or processes should be reviewed for proper storage, handling, transfer, containment, emergency planning, and fire protection.
     Suggested resource: What's your MAQ? ; How to Store Hazardous Materials 

7.  Fire Protection System Plans.  These reviews confirm that required systems are in place, designed properly, and work for the structure.  These systems include, sprinklers, alarms, smoke control, fire pumps, hood systems, kitchen hoods, elevator recall, and similar items.
     Suggested resource: Sprinklers where required... ; How to Design a Fire Alarm System

8.  Fire and Life Safety Systems Field Acceptance Inspections.  These final inspections are in place to visually witness the correct operation of the fire protection systems, and confirm that all systems are in place and functional in accordance with codes, standards, and approved plans.
     Suggested resource:  Testing Integrated Fire Systems ; Understanding Pre-Action Sprinkler Systems

9.  Certificate of Occupancy (CO) issued.  This is the main objective for any building project.  After all work is completed, and all items are confirmed to be installed and functional per the approved plans, the Certificate of Occupancy can be issued, and the structure can be put into use.
     Suggested resource: The Road to C.O. - the Direct Route to Building Occupancy