What is a “life safety plan” and what does it contain?
Now that we know who designs and evaluates means of egress, where and how is all this information documented?
Primarily this is documented on life safety plans which form part of the construction documents submitted for permit, typically as part of the architectural series.
WHAT IS A LIFE SAFETY PLAN?
First, what is a life safety plan?
A life safety plan is the document that demonstrates that the proposed building is code-compliant, specifically with regards to means of egress and life safety.
These can come in different formats. Unless a specific jurisdiction has a required format (which some do), each architect, consultant, or their respective firm may have a preferred format of how this information is conveyed.
These plans can go by many names, some could be “exiting plan,” “fire and life safety plan,” “egress plan,” “code sheets,” or “code summaries.”
“FIRE SAFETY, EVACUATION AND LOCKDOWN PLANS”?
Perhaps confusingly, I am not referring to the Fire Safety, Evacuation and Lockdown plans as required by IBC 1002.2, IFC Section 403, or IFC Section 404. These are operational plans which are required for certain high-risk or high-occupant buildings. Those Fire Safety, Evacuation and Lockdown plans show how a building will safely evacuate its occupants. These are living documents which the owner or facility operator maintains and conducts fire drills, maintenance, and fire protection system impairments against.
While there is some overlap in the information covered on both sets of plans, the life safety plans I’m referring to are part of the document permit set.
LIFE SAFETY PLANS
They demonstrate that the building meets building code and life safety requirements and are used as part of the review and approval process for granting permit and occupancy.
The life safety plans more than likely will be used in development of the Fire Safety, Evacuation and Lockdown plans, but the life safety plans are more comprehensive in evaluating building code and means of egress, whereas the Fire Safety, Evacuation and Lockdown Plans are more focused on operational fundamentals for evacuation and firefighter response.
LIFE SAFETY SET
So, what information needs to be included on a life safety plan?
This list can be pretty exhaustive. This is usually split into two parts.
One is more narrative in nature; it establishes the criteria and code compliance path.
The other is more plan-based and includes documentation on floor plans of these various means of egress requirements.
Let’s start with the narrative.
This can vary widely but often the narrative includes information such as:
This information is typically presented in a narrative, matrix, or otherwise number and text format.
The Life Safety Plan is more graphically oriented to demonstrating the required code and life safety compliance. This information can also vary but could include:
So, what is a life safety plan and what does it contain?
The life safety plans are the plans which specifically document the project’s compliance with building code and life safety. These can take varying formats but generally, most of the information we talk about in this series and the Building Occupancy Series will be included on the life safety plans to demonstrate code compliance.
In our next segment, we’ll talk on what codes and standards specifically address means of egress.
I’m Steven Barrett, this is MeyerFire University.
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