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Fire safety plans are required for a variety of buildings and circumstances. Buildings that are undergoing construction or demolition may have different or additional requirements.

If you are in a residential building with a common area and want to know if your building has a fire safety plan, please contact the building manager.

Need more info?

Information on who needs a plan, how to submit a plan, where to store them, and other requirements can be found on our fire safety plans page.

What is required in a building fire safety plan?

Building fire safety plans must be reviewed at least every 12 months to ensure that they take into account any changes in use or building characteristics. They must include:

  • Procedures on
    • Sounding the fire alarm
    • Notifying the fire department
    • Instructing occupants on procedures to be followed when the fire alarm sounds
    • Evacuating occupants, including special provisions for persons requiring assistance
    • Confining, controlling and extinguishing the fire
  • Descriptions of the training requirements and responsibilities of supervisory staff and other occupants
  • Documents and diagrams showing the type, location, and operation of the building fire-emergency systems
  • Requirements for fire drills
  • Steps taken to control fire hazards in the building
  • Building inspection and maintenance information

High building requirements

Fire safety plans for buildings classified as a high building require additional information and documentation. The required information includes:

  • Training supervisory staff in the use of the voice communication system
  • Procedures for using the elevators
  • Describe the actions supervisory staff need to take to initiate any smoke control or fire emergency systems that are installed in the building
  • Instructions for supervisory staff and Calgary Fire on the operation of all smoke control and fire emergency systems
  • Describe the procedures that help Calgary Fire access the building and fire locations within the building

Fire safety plans for high buildings should be kept at the central alarm and control facility. Copies of the fire emergency procedures and duties outlined in the fire safety plan will be given to all supervisory staff. At least one copy of the fire emergency procedures will be posted prominently on each floor of the building.


Creating fire safety plans

To help you create your Fire Safety Plan we supply each building and business with the following information and documents. This information should be stored in a binder labeled “Fire Safety Plan”.

Vital Building Information (VBI) Form

The vital building information form is a quick reference sheet for initial responders and must be completed by someone knowledgeable enough to provide accurate information. If additional details and information can be added to the tabbed sections (see below). Not all sections in the form will apply to all buildings, please complete the information that applies to your building or business.

You are required to have five copies of this form in the fire safety binder.

Approved Fire Safety Plan Symbols

These approved symbols should be used on the base building drawing and if applicable the fire alarm zone drawing. Not all symbols may be needed on all drawings and only the symbols used on the drawings are required in the legend.

Sample Base Building Drawings

Our sample base building drawing shows you how to label items such as fire department access points, stairways, fire department connections and the separations between building areas like office and warehouse. Not all symbols may be needed on all drawings. Only the symbols used in your drawings are required in the legend.

You are required to have 5 copies of your building drawings in the fire safety binder.

Sample Fire Alarm Zone Drawings

Fire alarm zone drawings are required when a building has a fire alarm system that has zoned coverage. During an alarm, a fire alarm system with zoned coverage will indicate at the fire alarm panel which zone in the building is in alarm but it doesn’t give an exact location of the device that set the system into alarm. These drawings will let the fire crews know which section of the building is covered by which zone. Only symbols used are required in the legend.

You are required to have 5 copies of these drawings in the fire safety binder.

Sample Fire Alarm Zone Drawings

Tabbed Sections

All of the information and drawings within the fire safety binder should be inserted into appropriately labeled sections with tabs. If there is more information than can fit into the VBI form, insert that information in the appropriately labeled section.

Copies of all maintenance certificates (fire alarms, fire pump, sprinklers systems etc.) should be inserted in appropriately labeled sections.

For more information about developing a Fire Safety Plan, contact Fire Inspections and Investigations by calling 311 from within Calgary or at 403-268-2489 if calling from outside Calgary.

Training supervisory staff

Supervisory staff must be trained in fire emergency procedures before they are given responsibilities for fire safety. These training requirements must be met annually for most buildings and every six months for high-rise buildings. Staff in Calgary schools attended by children must practice fire emergency procedures three times in the spring and three times in the fall.

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