Fire risks are everywhere, and damage can happen for many reasons. Damage occurs when fire protection or detection systems, ระบบสัญญาณเตือนไฟไหม้, or other systems designed to maintain the fire resistance of building components or structures, in whole or in part, are out of use, planned or unplanned. The fire or detection equipment subject to impairment management includes sprinkler systems, fire water supply, fire pumps, fire mains, gas fire extinguishing systems, foam systems, fire detection systems, water mist systems, powder systems, explosion suppression systems, etc. Other fire safety systems may include fire doors (including sliding fire doors) and related alarm systems and automatic closing mechanisms; firewalls and related service penetration and other openings, fire curtains, etc.

A Fire Protection Impairment Management Programme is used to:

• Supervise the safe shutdown of fire protection systems

• Control potential fire hazards during the impairment

• Minimise the duration of the impairment by reinstating the fire protection system as soon as possible

Properly trained personnel should be assigned the following responsibilities:
 

Impairment Supervisor

• Is a supervisory-level company employee (not a contractor)

• Has overall responsibility for implementation of the Fire Protection Impairment Management Programme

• Ideally schedules only one impairment at a time. For large locations where this is not practical, the number of simultaneous impairments should be limited as much as possible.

• Notifies staff in the area of the impairment that the protection is out of service

• Notifies Allianz Risk Consulting of impairments expected to exceed 10 continuous hours in duration

• Issues the Fire Protection System Impairment Notification & Restoration Form
 

Fire Watch

• Works with the Impairment Supervisor to ensure safe conditions are maintained during the impairment.

• Reports unsafe conditions to the Impairment Supervisor.

• Has temporary fire protection available (e.g. fire extinguishers, fire hoses, etc.) and is trained in their use.

• Is familiar with the facility and the procedures for raising an alarm
 

IMPAIRMENT TYPES

 
There are two types of impairment:

1.
Emergency Impairment Where a fire protection system is out of service due to an unexpected occurrence, such as a pipe failure or interruption in the fire protection water supply.

2.
Planned Impairment Where a fire protection system is out of service due to work having been planned in advance
 

IMPAIRMENT PROCEDURE

 
1.
For impairments expected to exceed 10 continuous hours in duration, the Impairment Supervisor should notify Risk Consulting 48 hours in advance of a planned impairment and as soon as possible for an emergency impairment. The local fire service and alarm receiving centre may also need to be notified. Risk Consulting can be informed by completing Part A of the Fire Protection System Impairment Notification & Restoration Form and emailing the form to impairments team. Be sure to complete all information, including contact details, impairment details and precautions taken during the impairment.

2.
Prior to commencement of the impairment, the Impairment Supervisor verifies all applicable precautions listed on the impairment form have been taken. Precautions may include the suspension of hazardous activities (e.g. hot work, flammable liquid use, etc.) during the period of impairment. All workers, tools and equipment needed should be ready to complete the work prior to the impairment commencing.

3.
Assign a Fire Watch for the area of impairment. This can consist of a person conducting continuous tours of the area, or trained employees continuously working in the affected area.

4.
It is good practice to attach the completed impairment form to the impaired equipment (i.e. sprinkler valve, system control panel, etc.). Record the number of turns if shutting a sprinkler control valve

5.
The Impairment Supervisor retains a copy of the impairment form as a reminder of the work being done.

6.
Work without interruption until completed. Do not leave protection systems impaired for longer than is necessary. Where the impairment is scheduled to last in excess of one shift, robust handover procedures should be in place. The new Impairment Supervisor should be made fully conversant with all impairments and precautions in place.

7.
When the work is complete, the Impairment Supervisor should verify that the protection system has been fully restored to service.

8.
For sprinkler system impairments, verify that the number of turns to shut the valve equals the number of turns to open the valve. After opening the valve, conduct and record a main drain test to verify that an adequate water supply has been re-established.

9.
Notify Risk Consulting after the system has been returned to service by completing Part B of the Fire Protection System Impairment Notification Restoration Form and emailing the form to impairment team. Also notify the local fire service and fire alarm company, if applicable.

10.
Completed impairment forms should be retained on file for at least one year for review by Risk Consulting.