Office of the Fire Marshal

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, Lobby Hours: 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

703-246-4800
TTY 711

12099 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Richard A. Roatch,
Deputy Chief

Hypothermia Centers Evacuation Planning

OVERVIEW

This page outlines the evacuation planning requirements for facilities operating an approved temporary hypothermia center providing transient overnight sleeping accommodations as part of the Fairfax County Hypothermia Prevention Program. The content of this information is based in part on the requirements for evacuation planning outlined in Chapter 4 of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC).  Questions regarding this content for hypothermia centers should be directed to the Special Projects Unit of the Fire Inspections Branch at 703-246-4865, TTY 711.

  • Facilities conditionally approved by the Fairfax County Building Official to establish and operate a temporary hypothermia center are required to prepare an evacuation plan.
  • Evacuation plans shall be reviewed and approved by the Fire Marshal at the above address or at the hypothermia center location during the first annual compliance inspection. This annual inspection is conducted before the hypothermia center opening date; therefore, evacuation plans must be prepared well in advance of the hypothermia center opening date.
  • The scope of the plan should include all areas of the facility associated with the operation of the approved hypothermia center.  Review this entire page prior to preparing he plan.
  • A sample evacuation plan is provided below.  It may be used as a template.

 

PLAN CONTENTS

The evacuation plan required for a temporary hypothermia center consists of three (3) parts:

Facility Floor Plan

Evacuation Diagrams

Evacuation Plan (Narrative or Outline)

 

FACILITY FLOOR PLAN (Part 1)

The facility floor plan does not have to be drawn by a design professional but shall clearly illustrate and label the following information:

  • Location of the hypothermia center (label all associated rooms, sections, floors, and/or wings)
  • Location of all exit corridors, exit stairs, and exits serving all hypothermia center areas
  • Location of all designated sleeping, cooking, and material storage areas
  • Entrance for emergency responders to quickly access the hypothermia center
  • Primary and secondary evacuation routes leading to the designated outside assembly areas - **Use solid lines to show the primary route and dashed lines to show the secondary route**
  • Location of all fire alarm system manual activation stations and all portable fire extinguishers

 

EVACUATION DIAGRAM (Part 2)

A diagram depicting two evacuation routes shall be posted on or immediately adjacent to every required egress door from each designated sleeping area.  Evacuation routes and designated exits shall be clearly shown on each evacuation diagram.

 

EVACUATION PLAN (Part 3)

Evacuation plans shall contain the following information:

  • Reporting Fire Emergencies & Occupant Notification
  • Describe the preferred and any alternative means of reporting fires and other emergencies to the fire department or emergency response organizations (911). When describing the means for reporting fires and other emergencies, consider the following:
    • Immediate Notification Required.  In the event an unwanted fire occurs on a property or upon evacuation of a fire alarm, employees or staff shall immediately notify the fire department (911) and implement the evacuation plan.
    • Staff Emergency Duties. Upon discovery of a fire or suspected ire, hypothermia center staff shall activate the fire alarm system, where provided, and immediately notify the fire department (911) and implement the evacuation plan.
    • Delayed Notification Prohibited. A person shall not, by verbal or written directive, require any delay in the reporting of a fire to the fire department (911).
  • Describe the preferred and any alternative means of notifying occupants of a fire emergency, and where provided, include a description of the emergency voice/alarm communication system alert tone and preprogrammed voice messages.
  • Evacuation & Accountability of Occupants
  • Designate emergency egress or escape routes, and whether evacuation of the building is to be complete or, where approved, by selected floors or areas only. (404.3.1)
  • Explain the life safety strategy and procedures for notifying, relocating, or evacuating occupants, including occupants who need assistance. (404.3.2)
  • Designate the evacuation assembly area(s) outside and away from the building. (404.3.2)
  • Explain the procedures to account for occupants after evacuation has been completed. (404.3.1)
  • Staff Emergency Response Duties & Occupancy Hazards
  • Explain the procedures for employees who must remain to operate critical equipment before evacuating, if applicable. (404.3.1)
  • Explain the procedures for assisted rescue of persons unable to use the general means of egress unassisted, if applicable..
  • List the identification and assignment of personnel responsible for rescue or emergency medical aid, if applicable. (404.3.1)
  • List all major fire hazards associated with the normal use and occupancy of the premises, including maintenance and housekeeping procedures. (404.3.2)
  • List the identification and assignment of personnel responsible for the fire protection systems, maintenance, housekeeping, and controlling fuel hazard sources. (404.3.2)

 

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Once you have completed all parts of the evacuation plan, double-check the plan to ensure that all requirements outlined in this publication are addressed as applicable to the hypothermia center. Then, assemble two (2) copies of the completed plan, along with one (1) copy of the current "Hypothermia Site Visit Report" issued by the Fairfax County Building Official, and make arrangements to have the plan approved by the Fire Marshal's Office as specified above (i.e., submit to the Fire Marshal or make available for review during the first annual inspection).

 

SAMPLE EVACUATION PLAN

THE NAME OF YOUR FACILITY GOES HERE

1234 Main Street, Anywhere, USA, 98775 - Phone: 555.555.5555

** Temporary Hypothermia Center Fire Evacuation Plan **

No Smoking Policy. Smoking shall be prohibited inside the building. However, smoking is allowed in approved, designated smoking areas outside the building; smoking materials shall only be discarded in approved receptacles. Lighted matches, cigarettes, cigars, or other burning objects shall not be discarded in a manner that could cause ignition of other combustible material.

The primary strategy during a fire emergency, fire and/or smoke alarm activation, gas leak or carbon monoxide alarm activation is to preserve the life and safety of the guests, staff, and volunteers through a coordinated building evacuation process, notification of emergency responders, and to account for or identify person(s) who may not have successfully escaped the building.

Reporting Fire Emergencies. According to the Virginia law (i.e., Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code), the following must be observed with respect to the fire emergencies and alarm activations:

  • Immediate Notification Required.  In the event an unwanted fire occurs on a property or upon evacuation of a fire alarm, employees or staff shall immediately notify the fire department (911) and implement the evacuation plan.
  • Staff Emergency Duties. Upon discovery of a fire or suspected ire, hypothermia center staff shall activate the fire alarm system, where provided, and immediately notify the fire department (911) and implement the evacuation plan.
  • Delayed Notification Prohibited. A person shall not, by verbal or written directive, require any delay in the reporting of a fire to the fire department (911).

Alarm Activation, Fire, Smoke. In the event of an odor of smoke, smoke seen, fire discovered, and/or activation of any fire alarm, smoke alarm, or fire sprinkler, immediately do the following:

  • Sound the Alarm and/or Manually Activate the Fire Alarm (if not already activated)
  • Notify Occupants; Evacuate the Building
  • Call 911 (always call 911, regardless of whether the fire alarm has already activated)

Odor of Gas, Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Activation. In the event of an odor of gas, gas leak, or CO alarm activation, immediately begin an orderly evacuation of the building and call 911.

Occupant Notification.  Staff and volunteers shall verbally direct the occupants to evacuate the building through the appropriate emergency exits, where they will be directed to the designated assembly area outside and away from the building. Staff and volunteers must be calm and focused.

Evacuation Plan.  Evacuation of the building shall be complete; no occupants shall remain in the building during a fire emergency, fire or smoke alarm activation, gas leak, or CO alarm activation.

  • The primary emergency evacuation route is...
  • The secondary emergency evacuation route is...
  • The outside evacuation assembly area(s) is...

**Describe the primary and secondary evacuation routes and all outside assembly areas.  Evacuation routes and assembly areas must also be clearly illustrated and labeled on the facility floor plan and evacuation diagrams.

Accountability of Occupants & Emergency Response Duties

  • ** Specify procedures for accounting for all guest, staff, and volunteers after the evacuation. **
  • ** Designate a staff member to meet the first arriving fire department units. **
  • ** List staff emergency response duties and occupancy hazards; Items 3A-3E above. **
 

 

 

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