Identifying and Developing Solutions for Hazards Term Paper

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Role and Responsibilities of the Fire Safety Director

Fire safety directors are mandated with the responsibility and task of ensuring the safety of a facility similar to facility managers. This is an important responsibility for fire safety directors because of the need to enhance the well-being and safety of everyone in a facility or building. As part of their role in achieving this goal, fire safety directors are required to carry out a hazard assessment, which primarily focuses on identifying current and probable hazards before their occurrence or before the harm anyone in the building and facility. Once fire safety directors have identified existing and potential hazards, they develop controls or suitable measures for lowering or eliminating the risks through an effective risk management plan for the hazards. Generally, there are several ways through which fire safety directors can prevent and control hazards. Some of these measures include establishing hazard correction processes, creating awareness on the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment in case of a hazard, ensuring every individual understands and adheres to safe work processes, and ensuring proper use and maintenance of equipment. The various practices used to prevent and control hazards include safe work practices, engineering controls, and administrative controls. Administrative controls focuses on ensuring workers have adequate time to rest if necessary while engineering controls focus on dealing with the source of the hazard, and safe work practices entails preventative maintenance to prevent injuries and illnesses.

Hazard Assessment of a Facility

As previously mentioned, one of the crucial measures through which fire safety directors achieve their objectives is by conducting a hazard assessment. Given the increased risk of hazards in the modern workplace, businesses are increasingly faced with the need to prepare for the hazards by establishing appropriate work policies and procedures. These policies and procedures should focus on safeguarding people from probable loss of life and damage to property that can be caused by a hazard like fire. Together with preparedness assessment and planning, hazard identification and planning helps businesses to identify existing and potential risks to the safety of people and property as well as the development of suitable practices to prevent those hazards or lower their risks ("Hazard Assessment for Business," n.d.). When conducting a hazard assessment, the fire safety director identifies internal and external factors in an organization or business that are likely to cause fire. Once these internal and external risk factors have been identified, the fire safety director proceeds with the development and establishment of safety policies and procedures that govern work practices in order to lessen the risk of a fire emergency and its associated impacts.

Generally, fire safety directors have the responsibility of developing and implementing good fire prevention practices within their facilities or buildings. These emergency service professionals are provided necessary training based on fire prevention guides that are developed by relevant bodies and organizational departments. Fire safety directors also have the task of ensuring new employees receive relevant adequate training once they are employed ("High Rise Fire Safety Director Manual," n.d.). Fire prevention guides and suitable training are crucial because they help lessen the risk of a fire emergency and its associated impacts on people's lives and property.

As a fire safety director, I have the responsibility of promoting the safety of a building or facility through ensuring existing and potential internal and external risks factors are identified and developing suitable measures for dealing with the hazards. Given this responsibility, the most suitable processes to carry out are hazard identification and assessment as well as preparedness assessment and planning. My role and responsibility as a fire safety director involved conducting a hazard assessment in a high rise commercial building in San Francisco. The building has 16 floors and was built in 1927 with 3 elevators and currently has 219 tenants. In light of these factors, it is increasingly important to ensure the safety of the facility from any potential fire incident that is likely to generate significant impacts on people's lives and property. The hazard assessment identified 6 hazards or factors that are likely to cause a fire incident and result in loss of life and damage to property.

Outline of Identified Hazards and their Proposed Solutions

As previously mentioned, the hazard assessment of the building resulted in the identification of 6 hazards that could result in loss of life and property if not addressed. The identified hazards include

Extension Cord

One of the major hazards identified in this facility is extension cord that leads into the back of the hallway of the lobby from the basement. This is a major problem since electrical equipments that are not handled properly increases the likelihood of a fire emergency. In this facility, the extension cord leading to the back of the hallway of the lobby from the basement is electrical equipment that could lead to a fire incident because of loose wiring. The extension cord enhances the risks of electrical fire since it is located in an area that is frequently used by the facility's tenants and visitors.

The proposed solution for this problem or potential factor is removal of the extension cord because of safety hazard. As previously mentioned, the extension cord is located in an area that is constantly used by the building's tenants and visitors. The frequent use of the hallway implies that there is need for proper and safe functioning of all electrical equipment. Given the increased use of the hallway, the extension cord is a major problem that could result in a fire incident since it is fixed in an inappropriate place. Therefore, the suitable solution to this problem is removing the extension cord, which will lessen the risk of a fire to the users of the hallway and facility.

Electrical Wires

The second problem in the facility, which is also related to electrical equipment, is electrical wires hanging from the ceiling in the basement. As shown in the figure below, these electrical wires hanging from the ceiling in the basement are not properly fixed. This implies that the building's tenants and visitors are constantly exposed to these wires, which enhances the likelihood of a fire incident.

The proposed solution for this problem is removal of the electrical wires in order to lessen their probability of causing a fire, especially an electrical fire. This proposed solution is appropriate for this problem since the wires are seemingly unused or unnecessary. Actually, one of the best measures of preventing the risk of electrical fire in a building is to ensure all electrical wires are properly fixed and removing unnecessary ones. In this scenario, the removal of the hanging electrical wires is a suitable approach since they are seemingly unused and are not properly fixed.

Ladder and Other Building Materials

The third problem in the high rise commercial building in San Francisco is ladders and other building materials that are blocking a basement hallway. Generally, a hallway should be kept clear at all times, especially free of building materials like ladders upon completion of the building process. Ladders and other building materials that are blocking a basement hallway pose risks to the health and safety of workers and other people in the building. These materials enhances the risks of workplace injuries and illnesses since they a blocking a basement hallway. Moreover, the ladder and other building materials are likely to spread fire in the building because they are combustible in case of a fire emergency. This implies that if these materials are not removed, they could not only generate workplace injuries and illnesses but also spread fire since they are flammable.

The proposed solution to this problem is keeping these materials in a storage room. As previously mentioned, a hallway should be clear at all times since it is characterized by movements by the building's tenants and visitors. Therefore, the ladder and building materials should be kept in a storage room in order to ensure the hallway is clear of any materials. Through removing these materials, the risk of workplace injury and illness as well as spread of fire in case of an emergency would be considerably lessened.

Recycle Bins and Trash Cans

Recycle bins and trash cans are also a major problem in the building because they are kept in a manner through which they block gas shut off valve. As a result, the gas shut off valve is blocked by recycle bins and cans in the basement. Recycle bins and trash cans that are blocking gas shut off valve enhances the risks of a fire incident because of combustible loading. In this facility, the recycle bins and trash cans are not controlled properly, which enhances the probability of a fire because they are kept close to the gas cylinder.

The best possible way for addressing this problem is removing the recycle and trash bins out of the way of the gas shut off valve. This will help in controlling combustible loading and ensuring the gas cylinder is kept in a manner that it…

Sources Used in Document:


"Hazard Assessment for Business." (n.d.). New Zealand Safety Limited. Retrieved from Ministry of Civil Defence and Public Education Advisory Committee website:

High Rise Fire Safety Director Manual (n.d.).

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