Minimum Fire Safety Technical Requirements for directors and fire safety personnel of foreign companies operating in the territory of the Russian Federation Abstracts
Current fire situation in the Russian Federation
In 2007 the fire situation in the Russian Federation was characterised by the following key indicators:
- 211,163 reported cases of fire;
- 15,924 people dead including 597 children;
- 13,646 people injured;
- 8,551.2 mln roubles worth of direct damage to property.
In 2007, 579 cases of fire resulting in 44 fatalities and 37 casualties were registered daily in the Russian Federation. 160 buildings, 24 automotive equipment units and 8 heads of cattle were damaged by fire. Daily financial loss reached 23.4 mln. roubles.
In 2008 there were 200,386 cases of fire (which is 5.7% less compared to the year 2007) resulting in 15,165 fatalities (-5.6%), including 584 children (-2.2%). 12,800 people (-6.5%) were injured.
In 2008, there were 549 fire outbreaks per day on average, resulting in 42 fatalities and 35 casualties and destroying to 166 buildings, 27 automotive equipment units and 8 heads of cattle. Daily financial loss amounted to 33 million roubles.
Most cases of fire recorded in the territory of the Russian Federation in 2008 occurred in residential areas. They accounted for 71.3% of the total number of fires in Russia. Maximum damage to property countrywide was registered in residential buildings (42.1%) and industrial buildings (18.1%).
In 2008 accidents due to fire safety negligence accounted for 44.8% of the total number of fires recorded, which resulted in 22.4% of damage to property. Every fifth fire (19.4%) occurred due to violation of electrical safety code resulting in 33.3% of financial loss.
Regulatory Legal and Technical Fire Safety Control of Corporate Property
In accordance with the enacting clause of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009), fire safety ensuring is one of the key functions of the state.
Regulatory legal control in the sphere of fire safety is laid down by Article 20 of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994, and it constitutes adoption of regulatory legal acts on fire safety by government authorities.
Technical control in the sphere of fire safety is maintained according to the procedures established by the Russian Federation legislation by passing respective technical regulations.
Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements was passed on 22 July, 2008. In defines the term fire risk (as potential fire hazard of a facility and its consequences for people and tangible property) and the term acceptable fire risk (as a fire risk which level is acceptable and justified in terms of the socio-economic conditions). It also mentions (Article 5) that the fire safety system of a facility must obligatorily contain a set of measures to prevent possible exceedance of the acceptable fire risk established by this Federal Law and aimed at preventing the risk of damage to third parties as a result of fire.
In accordance with Article 4 of Federal Law No. 123-FZ in force as of 22 July, 2008, technical control in the sphere of fire safety implies:
1) establishing fire safety requirements to products and design, production, operation, storage, transportation, sale and disposal processes in regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation and regulatory documentation on fire safety;
2) legal control of relations in the sphere of application of fire safety requirements;
3) legal control of relations in the sphere of conformance evaluation.
At the same time, Russian Federation fire safety regulatory legal acts include federal laws on technical regulations, federal laws and other regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation, which establish mandatory fire safety requirements. Fire safety regulatory documents include national standards and codes which contain fire safety requirements (rules and guidelines).
As of the effective date of Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements (22 July, 2008) every corporate facility (buildings, structures, process plants and equipment) must have a fire safety system which meets the specified fire risk standards. The law requires performing a risk assessment at all stages of an object's life-cycle from designing to operation.
According to this Federal Law (Article 6), fire safety is thought to be guaranteed if:
- mandatory fire safety requirements set forth by the federal laws on technical regulations, are complied with in full, and the fire risk is sustained within allowable levels established by this law;
- fire safety of facilities beyond the scope of the federal laws on technical regulations, is deemed ensured, provided that an acceptable level of fire risk is being maintained.
It should be noted that under Item 3 of Article 6 of Federal Law No. 123-FZ in effect as of 22 July, 2008, fulfilment of mandatory fire safety requirements laid down by the federal laws on technical regulations and the requirements of fire safety regulatory documents does not require fire risk assessment.
The Federal Law On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements (particularly Article 144 of the law) stipulates the following forms of evaluation of conformance of fire-protected facilities to the fire safety requirements: independent fire risk evaluation (fire safety audit), state fire supervision, confirmation of conformity of fire-protected facilities (products) and others.
When submitting a declaration on notification basis, the owner must specify which requirements should be met at the subordinate facility. In other words, one needs to prepare a fire safety action plan for a particular organisation.
According to Article 64 of Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements dated 22 July, 2008, Fire Safety Declaration for Fire-Protected Facilities includes:
- either a list of fire safety regulatory documents to be adhered to by the owner;
- or estimated fire risks and a list of measures to maintain fire risk within the allowable level established by this Federal Law.
The main objective of technical regulation in the sphere of fire safety is redistribution of responsibility for infliction of harm or damage between the state and an organisation, which may inflict it. In the event of emergency, affected parties should not merely rely on state support. The owner must insure the organisation against risks at the specified rates depending on the hazard rating of the object.
The required level of fire safety of a company's fire-protected facilities
must meet the requirements of Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements dated 22 July, 2008. In accordance with Articles 79 and 93 of this Federal Law, only one fatality is acceptable within a fire zone containing one million people. If fire occurs on the shop floor, this index makes up 1/10,000, provided, however, that the company organises respective personnel training and provides social protection of the personnel to compensate for their work in increased risk conditions.
Corporate Fire Safety System
In accordance with Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in force as of 21 December, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009) the fire safety system is a combination of resources and legal, organisational, economic, social and scientific and engineering measures and arrangements, whose aim is fire control. Key fire system elements are government authorities, self-governing authorities, organisations and citizens that assist in ensuring fire safety in accordance with the Russian Federation legislation.
It should be mentioned, that under Article 37 of the Federal Fire Safety Law, "heads of organisations shall be in charge of direct management of the fire safety system within the scope of their competence at the subordinate objects and be personally responsible for compliance with the fire safety requirements."
In accordance with Article 5 of Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements in effect as of 22 July, 2008, every fire-protected facility must have its fire safety system. The fire safety system is set up to prevent fire, ensure people's safety and protect property in the event of fire.
The fire safety system of a facility includes: a fire prevention system, a fire protection system and a set of fire safety organisational and engineering arrangements.
The fire safety system of a fire-protected facility must include a set of measures to prevent possible exceedance of the acceptable fire risk level established by this Federal Law, and prevent the risk of damage to third parties as a result of fire.
As specified by Article 48 of Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements in effect as of 22 July, 2008, fire prevention systems are established to prevent fire causal factors. Prevention of fire causal factors implies excluding the build-up of a combustible medium and (or) excluding the conditions for forming of ignition sources in a combustible medium (or their transfer into it).
In accordance with Article 50 of Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements dated 22 July, 2008, formation of ignition sources in a combustible medium (or their transfer into it) may be avoided in one or several ways. For instance:
1) application of electrical equipment which corresponds to the class of the fire-and (or) explosion-hazard area, as wells as the category and group of the explosive mixture;
2) use of quick-acting shut-off protection systems in the design of electrical installations and other devices which may trigger off ignition;
3) application of equipment and maintaining operating conditions which do not generate static electricity;
4) installation of lightning protection systems in buildings, structures and
5) maintaining a safe heating temperature of substances, materials and surfaces
which may come into contact with a combustible medium;
6) application of methods and systems to reduce the electric spark energy in a combustible medium down to safe levels;
7) application of spark-proof tools when handling inflammable liquids and combustible gases.
In accordance with Article 51 of Federal Law No. 123-FZ On Technical Regulations of Fire Safety Requirements dated 22 July, 2008, fire protection systems are established to protect people and property from the effects of fire hazards and (or) mitigation of its consequences. Protection of people and property from the effects of fire hazards and (or) mitigation of its consequences is provided by slowing down the development of fire hazards, evacuation of people and property into a safety area and (or) fire suppression. Fire protection systems must be reliable and resistant to fire hazards long enough to achieve the fire safety objectives.
Procedures for Establishing and Maintaining Fire Prevention Conditions by Organisations.
The Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009) defines the term fire prevention conditions as the rules of conduct, production engineering procedures and (or) premise (territory) maintenance procedures aimed at preventing violation of the safety requirements and fire suppression.
Under Item 15 of the Russian Federation Fire Prevention Rules (PPB 01-03), approved by Russian Ministry of Emergencies Order No. 313 dated 18 June, 2003, registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice on 27 June, 2003 (registration number 4838), every company's executive document must specify fire safety conditions correspondent to the fire risk level. Companies must:
specify and equip smoking areas;
specify the place and permissible quantity of simultaneously indoor-stored raw materials and semi-finished and finished goods;
establish the procedures for removing combustible waste and dust, and storage of oily working clothes;
determine the procedures for cutting off electrical equipment in case of fire and at the end of the working day;
the procedures for temporary open-fire handling (welding, plumbing) and other fire-hazardous work;
the procedures for visual inspection and locking up premises once work is finished;
and determine the procedures and time for fire prevention briefing and teaching minimum fire safety technical requirements and appoint appropriate persons in charge of such teaching and briefing.
Under Item 14 of the Russian Federation Fire Prevention Rules (PPB 01-03), the rules for on-site open fire handling and driving, and acceptability of smoking and temporary fire-hazardous operations are set forth by uniform fire safety guidelines.
In accordance with Item 6 of the Russian Federation Fire Prevention Rules (PPB 01-03), all facilities should have their fire safety guidelines for every fire /explosion hazard and fire hazard area (workshops, shop floors, etc.) as per Appendix No. 1 to PPB 01 -03.
Appendix No. 1 to PPB 01-03 Requirements to Fire Safety Guidelines
Fire safety guidelines should be based on the fire safety regulations and regulatory technological, regulatory and other documents, which specify fire safety requirements based on the specificity of fire risk of buildings, structures, processes and process and production equipment.
Fire safety guidelines should contain the following:
procedures for maintaining territories, buildings and premises, including evacuation routes;
fire prevention measures for processes, equipment operation and performing fire-hazardous operations;
procedures and norms for storing and transporting inflammable and explosive substances and materials;
smoking areas, open fire handling and fire operations;
procedures for collecting, storing and disposing of combustible substances and materials, and maintaining and storing working clothes;
extreme readings of instrumentation (pressure gauges, temperature gauges, etc.) which fluctuations may cause fire or explosion;
staffs responsibilities and actions in case of fire, including:
rules for calling out fire-fighting services;
procedures for shutting down process equipment;
procedures for cutting off ventilation systems and electrical equipment;
directions for use of fire-extinguishing equipment and automatic fire-fighting equipment;
procedures for evacuation of combustible substances and tangible property;
procedures for examination and safing (making fire- and explosion-safe) of all premises of the company (division).
In accordance with Item 8 of the Russian Federation Fire Safety Regulations (PPB 01-03) heads of organisations or self-employed entrepreneurs are entitled to appoint members of staff who, according to their position or type of work performed, by virtue of the applicable regulatory legal acts and other acts, must abide by respective fire safety regulations or control other employees' observance of these rules at particular shop floor area.
Fire safety commissions and volunteer fire teams (PPB 01-03, Item 9) can be set up to engage company employees in fire prevention and fire control.
Property owners and persons duly authorized to own, make use of and dispose of property, including company heads and officials, appointed to be in charge of fire safety according to established procedures, must:
- control whether fire safety requirements, instructions, orders and other legal requirements of state fire safety inspectors are being carried out in due time;
- in pursuance of duly approved norms and lists of critical facilities, secure structures and companies having fire protection systems, establish and maintain control authorities and fire-fighting units and control their continuous duty as well as proper use of staff and fire-fighting equipment (PPB 01-03, Item 10).
Procedures for Occupational Fire Safety Training in Organisations.
In accordance with Article 37 of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009), heads of companies must "promote fire safety and make sure that the personnel know fire safety precautions." Article 25 of the Federal Law particularly states that: "Occupational fire safety training is arranged by the company management (owners) in accordance with the fire safety regulatory documentation based on special training programmes approved by appropriate heads of the federal executive agencies and coordinated according to the procedures established by the federal executive agency authorized to deal with fire safety issues."
In accordance with Item 15 of the Russian Federation Fire Safety Regulations (PPB 01-03) approved by Russian Ministry of Emergencies Order No. 313 dated 18 June, 2003, registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice on 27 June, 2003 (registration number 4838), every company's executive document must "determine the procedures and time for fire prevention briefing and teaching minimum fire safety technical requirements, and appoint appropriate persons in charge."
At the same time, all issues connected with organization and carrying out fire safety training of company personnel are fully regulated by the fire safety standards for Fire Safety Training of Company Employees, approved by Russian Ministry of Emergencies Order No. 645 dated 12 December, 2007 (registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice on 21 January, 2008, registration number 10938). Some of their provisions include (excerpts):
- Item 4. The main forms of occupational fire safety training include fire safety drills and teaching minimum fire safety technical requirements (hereinafter -minimum fire safety technical requirements);
- Item 9. According to the types and time, fire prevention briefing can be of several types: introductory briefing, initial workplace briefing, refresher briefing, extraordinary briefing and pre-job briefing;
- Item 32. Teaching the minimum fire safety technical requirements to company directors, specialists and employees not involved in fire/explosion hazard production, is carried out within one month after employment and is repeated at least every three years after the last training; whereas company directors, specialists and employees involved in fire/explosion hazard production, should take training once per year;
- Item 35. Teaching of minimum fire safety technical requirements may be organised both on an on- and off-job basis;
- Item 37. Off-job training should be organised in companies licensed for fire control activities;
- Item 40. Teaching of minimum fire safety technical requirements based on special training programmes in the company rests with the head of this company or a person appointed by order of a duly trained company fire safety officer;
- Item 43. In order to assess knowledge of the fire safety requirements by the company staff who have taken minimum fire safety requirements training on an on-job basis, company heads should issue an order on setting up a qualification commission including at least three people duly trained and examined in the sphere of fire safety;
- Item 51. Special training programmes should be developed and approved by company management (company owners);
- Item 54. Every category of trainees should have its own special training programmes based on the specifics of the professional activities, job performance and provisions of sectorial documentations.
Responsibility for Violation of Fire Safety Requirements
Article 1 of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009) defines the term fire safety requirements as special social and (or) technical conditions set forth by the Russian Federation legislation, regulatory documentation or an authorized government body for the sake of ensuring fire safety. At the same time, violation of fire safety requirements implies non-fulfilment or improper fulfilment of the fire safety requirements.
According to Item 2 of the Russian Federation Fire Safety Regulations (PPB 01-03) approved by Russian Ministry of Emergencies Order No. 313 dated 18 June, 2003, registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice on 27 June, 2003 (registration number 4838), "companies, company officials and persons who violate fire safety requirements shall incur responsibility under the Russian Federation legislation."
In accordance with Article 38 of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009):
"The following persons have the responsibility under applicable legislation for violation of the fire safety requirements:
- property owners;
- heads of federal executive agencies;
- heads of local government administrations;
- persons authorized to own, make use of or dispose of property, including company directors;
- persons duly put in charge of ensuring fire safety;
- officials within the scope of their competence.
Responsibility for violation of the fire safety requirements specified for flats (rooms) in state, municipal and departmental residential properties shall rest with principal tenants or lessors, unless otherwise provided by appropriate agreements.
Persons mentioned in Part I of this Article and others may be brought to disciplinary, administrative or criminal responsibility under the applicable law for violation of the safety requirements and other forms of breaching the fire safety regulations."
As provided by Article 219 of Russian Federation Criminal Code No. 63-FZ in force as of 13 June, 1996 (current version applicable in 2009):
"1. Violation of the fire safety regulations by a person responsible for adhering thereto, if it recklessly leads to gross harm to human health, - shall be fined in the amount of eighty thousand roubles or an equivalent of six wage packets earned within up to six months, or otherwise punished by way of custodial restraint for a term of up to three years or imprisonment for a term of up to three years with possible forfeit of the right to hold certain positions or perform certain activities for a term of up to three years.
2. Similar offence which recklessly involves a loss of life shall be punished by way of custodial restraint for a term of up to five years or imprisonment for a term of up to five years with possible forfeit of the right to hold certain positions or perform certain activities for a term of up to three years.
3. Acts stipulated by Part I of this Article which recklessly involve a loss of two or more lives -
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of up to seven years with possible forfeit of the right to hold certain positions or perform certain activities for a term of up to three years."
Violations of the fire safety regulations which do not entail the consequences stipulated by Article 219 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code are within administrative responsibility incurred by receiving a caution or imposition of an administrative penalty or administrative suspension of activities for a term of up to ninety days (Article 20.4 of Russian Code of Administrative Offences No. 195-FZ of 30 December, 2001, current version).
In accordance with Item 6 of the Provision on State Fire Supervision, approved by Russian Government Resolution No. 820 dated 21 December, 2004 (as amended by Russian Government Resolution No. 629 dated 19 December, 2005), control of such administrative violations as violations of the fire safety requirements rests with state fire supervision authorities (SFSA) under the Federal Fire Prevention Service (FFPS) of the Russian MChS.
Furthermore, part I of Article 1.6 of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences provides that: "A person brought to administrative responsibility cannot be subject to an administrative penalty and legal proceedings on administrative violations unless it is based on and done in accordance with the law."
It should be mentioned that the law sets forth a legal process of administrative suspension of activities of incorporated entities and self-employed entrepreneurs. Under Part I of Article 3.12 of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative
Offences, activities may be suspended following the court decision only in case of a risk to life or health of people, should a less severe administrative punishment fail to ensure the purpose of the administrative penalty.
Conclusion: the Russian Federation laws which cover fire safety issues make human life and health safety a top priority, which means that ensuring fire safety implies creation of fire-safe conditions for people and, less importantly, for property.
Therefore property cannot be regulated technically, and it may be subject to justifiable risk.
Procedures for Staffs Actions in Case of Fire.
In accordance with Article 1 of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 February, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009), fire is uncontrollable process of combustion causing damage to property and posing risk to life and health of people and public and state interests.
The reason why fire does not depend on the burning area is that its main damage effects are smoke and toxic combustion products (which cause intoxication). For instance, burning of such a popular material as polyvinylchloride (PVC) widely used for insulation of electric wires and cables, results in release of hydrocarbon monoxide as well as hydrochloric acid, chlorine and even choking gas (chemical weapon). Carbon monoxide (CO) evolved during thermal decomposition of any organic material is thought to be the most hazardous volatile component of combustion products. When inhaled with air, carbon monoxide gets into the bloodstream where it mixes with hemoglobin and forms the stable compound 'carboxyhemoglobin'. Even small quantities of carbon monoxide in the air cause fast concentration of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood, which affects the mechanism of oxygen transfer from the lungs to the tissues causing oxygen starvation and fast asphyxiation.
In accordance with Item 109 of the Russian Federation Fire Safety Regulations (PPB 01-03) approved by Russian Ministry of Emergencies Order No. 313 dated 18 June, 2003, registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice on 27 June, 2003 (registration number 4838), everyone who detects a fire or signs of combustion (smoke, smell of burning, rise of temperature and others) must:
- immediately call out a fire-fighting service (for which they have to give the address of the facility, the seat of fire and their name);
- possibly take precautions to evacuate the people, put out the fire and save property.
The necessity to call out a fire brigade at the occurrence of the signs of fire (smoke and smell of burning) is somewhat problematic. People without juridical knowledge are afraid of potential responsibility for making a false alarm. As a result, precious time from the moment of detection of fire to the time of reporting fire to the '01' control centre gets wasted. Often, while people try to find the source of fumigation, fire continues to propagate and becomes an irresistible force (fire can be invisibly propagating in the process communications, ventilation systems, in between walls and behind false ceilings).
In accordance with Article 19.13 of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences, penalties are imposed only on persons who knowingly make a false alarm by calling out specialised services (fire-fighting units, the police, ambulance, etc.) from hooligan or other motives.
Those who call out a fire brigade in case of suspected fire (smoke, smell of burning and the like) may be considered only to be fulfilling their civil duty before the society and the state. Responsibility under the law covers only false alarms as opposed to those made from good motives. Besides, an obvious sign and proof that a call is not an intended false alarm is the fact that the caller has to leave their name, position and contact telephone number.
Persons entitled to own, make use of and dispose of property, company directors and officials and persons put in charge of fire safety must, upon arrival to the scene of fire:
- report fire to a fire-fighting service and notify the management and on-site duty officers;
- if human life is a risk, immediately organise rescue using all resources available;
- check actuation of automatic fire prevention systems (fire alarms, fire extinguishers and smoke protection systems);
- cut off power if necessary (except for fire prevention systems), shut down all conveying units, assemblies and mechanisms; close off raw supply lines, gas, steam and water utilities; shut down ventilation systems in the affected premise and adjacent premises, and undertake other precautions to prevent propagation of fire and fumigation of the building;
- stop all work inside the building (if the production process allows), except for fire suppression activities;
- evacuate all staff members who are not taking an active part into a safe area;
- undertake general management of fire-extinguishing operations (according to the specific features of the facility) until arrival of a fire brigade;
- make sure that workers who take part in fire-extinguishing activities comply with safety requirements;
- simultaneously organise evacuation and protection of tangible properties;
- meet the fire brigade and assist them in choosing the shortest access way to the seat of fire;
- inform fire-fighting units engaged in fire suppression and associated rescue operations of any dangerous (explosion-hazardous), explosive and aggressive toxic substances processed or stored on-site, to ensure safety of their personnel (Item 110 of PPB 01-03).
On arrival of a fire brigade, the company director (or deputy director) must inform the man in charge of the situation on the design and technological features of the facility and adjacent buildings and structures and the amount and combustible properties of substances, materials and articles handled and stored on-site, and provide other information vital for successful fire suppression, and engage all on-site resources in taking necessary steps to put out the fire and prevent its propagation (Item 111 of PPB 01 -03).
As set forth by Article 22 of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994 (current version applicable in 2009), all fire-fighting units must leave at call and perform fire-extinguishing and rescue operations in populated localities and industrial estates.
Fire-extinguishing and rescue operations are performed free-of-charge, unless otherwise provided by the Russian Federation legislation.
Telephone networks of all populated localities have the '01' phone number to report cases of fire and emergency situations.
No one has the right to interfere with the fire control manager's actions or abolish his orders during fire suppression.
Firemen and other people taking part in extinguishing fire or containing an accident, a disaster or other emergency, who act in the conditions of urgent necessity and (or) justifiable risk, are relieved from the obligation to compensate for the damage done.
In accordance with Article 4 of Federal Fire Safety Law No. 69-FZ in effect as of 21 December, 1994, fire-fighting services include:
- state fire departments;
- municipal fire-fighting services;
- departmental fire-fighting services;
- private fire-fighting services;
- voluntary fire-fighting services.
Key tasks of a fire-fighting service include: fire prevention;
rescue of people and property in the event of fire; fire-fighting and rescue operations.
Fire-fighting services cannot be engaged in prevention and response to social-and-political and ethnic conflicts and mass riots.
According to specialists, there are three main types of fire extinguishers depending on the type of fire-extinguishing agent used: dry powder extinguishers, mechanical foam fire extinguishers and carbon dioxide fire extinguishers.
Mechanical foam fire extinguishers are a secure way of suppressing fire; however, they cannot be used on running electrical equipment and burning electric wires without cutting them off first.
Carbon dioxide extinguishers are used for extinguishing various burning substances and materials which do not produce smoldering and charring, and electrical installations, wires and cables with under 1000 V voltage.
Filling of carbon dioxide extinguishers is under high pressure, therefore their casing (cylinders) is fitted with bursting disks and up to 75% of them are filled with carbon dioxide.
To activate a portable carbon dioxide fire extinguisher (OU-2, OU-5 and the like) one should:
- take it by the handle and bring to the object alight;
- aim the nozzle at the source of fire and pull the trigger which controls the flow and makes it possible to batch carbon dioxide.
When using carbon dioxide fire extinguishers, the hand which holds the nozzle should be protected because once released, carbon monoxide forms snowy foam with a temperature of up to 80° C below zero.
When using carbon dioxide fire extinguishers it should be remembered that large quantities of carbon monoxide compared to the size of the room may cause intoxication, therefore small rooms should be aired after using carbon monoxide extinguishers.
Dry powder fire extinguishers are used for putting out fire in solid, liquid and gaseous substances (depending on the make of powder applied) as well as electrical installations with under 1 kV (1000 V) voltage.
To activate a portable dry powder fire extinguisher (OP-2, OP-5 and OP-10) you should:
- bring the fire extinguisher to near the source of fire. Remember, that walking through a cloud of powder may be difficult due to inhalation and visual problems it may cause, therefore dry powder fire extinguishers should not be used on evacuation routes until evacuation of people is finished;
- pull out the pin, pull the trigger and aim the powder stream onto a source of fire.
To end the spraying simply release the trigger. When activated, extinguishers should be kept strictly in the upright position without turning them over.
Fire hydrants of the internal fire mains are used for extinguishing deenergized equipment.
Operation of a fire hydrant requires two people who would stretch out the fire hose taking due account of its length - 20 metres. To activate a fire hydrant, the first one unfolds the fire hose and aims its mouth at the source of fire; meanwhile the second one opens the water supply tap and makes sure the fire hose is not creased or caught on something.
To avoid electrocution, do not try extinguishing burning electrical installations which are still energised.
Water must not be used for extinguishing of combustible liquids and magnesium and aluminium alloys, as water will only encourage further combustion.
In accordance with Article 17 of Federal Law No. 128-FZ On Licensing Certain Types of Activities in effect as of 8 August, 2001, Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 625 On Licensing Fire Prevention Activities in
force on 25 October, 2006 (to replace Resolution No. 373 dated 31 May, 2002) determines the following types of fire prevention activities subject to licensing by the Civil Defence, Emergency and Disaster Control Ministry of Russian Federation:
- organising and performing fire prevention activities; organising and performing activities aimed at rescue of people and property, and fire control;
- performing activities involving installation, repair and maintenance of
active and passive fire safety systems (fire-fighting systems, fire and security-and-fire alarms, fire water supply systems, smoke removal systems, fire warning and evacuation systems, emergency fire-fighting equipment, fire curtains and fire partition fillers) and their components, as well as pipe work and furnace work and fire-proofing of materials, items and building structures.
List of most essential regulatory documents which contain mandatory requirements and recommendations regarding fire safety:
PPB 01-03 Russian Federation Fire Safety Regulations (Appendixes 1 to 4)
PPB 101-89 Fire Safety Regulations for Comprehensive Schools, Vocational Schools, Boarding Schools, Orphanages, Pre-school, Out-of-school and Other Education Institutions
VPPB 01-02-95* Fire Safety Rules for Energy Companies RD 153-34.0-03.301-00
GOST R 12.2.143-02 Photoluminescence Evacuation Systems GOST R 12.4.026-01 Signalling Colours, Safety Signs and Signalling Markings
Fire Safety Standards (NPB) "Occupational Fire Safety Training" approved by Russian Ministry of Emergencies Order No. 645 dated 12 December, 2007, registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice on 21 January, 2008, registration number 10938
NPB 88-2001*. Fire-fighting Equipment and Alarms. Design Standards and Regulations (updated version of NPB 88-2001)
NPB 104-2003. Alarm and People Evacuation Control Systems for Indoor Fires
NPB 105-2003. Rating of Premises, Buildings and Outside Installations According to Their Fire/Explosion Resistance
NPB 110-2003. List of Buildings, Structures, Premises and Equipment to Have Automatic Fire-fighting Equipment and Automatic Fire Alarm Systems
NPB 151-2000. Fire Hose Cabinets. Technical Requirements to Fire Safety. Test Methods (amended)
NPB 160-97. Signalling Colours. Fire Safety Signs. Types and Sizes. General Technical Requirements.
NPB 166-97. Fire-fighting Equipment. Fire Extinguishers. Operational Requirements
NPB 245-2001. External Stationary Fire Escapes and Roof Edge Railings. General Technical Requirements and Test Methods
NPB 302-2001. Fire-fighting Equipment. Filter Self-rescuers for Respiratory Organs and Eyes Used during Evacuation in Case of Fire. General Technical Requirements and Test Methods
SNiP (Construction Rules and Regulations) 21-01-97** Fire Safety of Buildings and Structures.
SNiP 31-05-2003. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDINGS
SNiP 31-03-2001. Industrial Buildings.
SNiP 31-04-2001. Storage Buildings.
SNiP 23-05-95. Natural and Artificial Lighting.
SNiP 31-02-2001. One-room Residential Buildings.
MDS (Guideline Documents in Construction) 21-1.98. Guidebook for SNiP 21-01-97. Prevention of Fire Propagation.
PUE (Electrical Safety Code) including requirements of Issue 7 of the PUE, approved by Russian Ministry of Energy Order No. 204 dated 08 July, 2002
PTEEP (Operational Regulations for Consumer Electrical Installations), approved by Russian Ministry of Energy Order No. 6 dated 13 January, 2003.
Vikentiy Sergeevich Lozhkin, winner of the competition "Best Public Fire Safety Training Materials " within the framework of the 5th and 6th International Specialised Exhibitions "Fire Safety in the XXI Century ", Tushino Work Training Centre
The most acute problems of implementation of the Federal Law "Technical enactment about fire safety requirements”
6 October, 2009, at 13.00 the Internet interview of the Deputy Head of the Supervisory Activities Department of the Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief of the Russian Federation Giletich Anatoliy Nikolaevich took place in the IA "Garant”
What new requirements in the field of fire safety have appeared in connection with the coming into power of the Federal Law "Technical enactment about fire safety requirements”? What difficulties arise in implementation of the new Law? The rules and ways of filing Fire Safety declaration. How is the system of independent risk evaluation in the field of Fire Safety introduced? What are the threats of security protection expenditures reduction in the modern social and economic conditions?
Hostess: The first question. Tell us please, what have the first months of the work of the Federal Law "Technical enactment about fire safety requirements” shown? Can you already draw any conclusions? What fields have been affected by the Technical enactment most?
Giletich A.N.: Good afternoon, dear Internet website visitors. I am very glad that so man people are interested in the fire safety legislation, the implementation of new enactments, including the Federal Law №123 "Technical enactment about fire safety requirements”. The adoption of this law is an important step in the field of technical enactment and practically all the problems of fire safety. Media monitoring, held by the Ministry shows that the society in general is positive about the Technical enactment implementation. Since May of this year the practice of redundant fire safety requirements has been cancelled. The regulations’ inclosures are based on modern scientific-technical knowledge in the field of providing fire safety and are aimed mainly at pan-European standards.
The Technical enactment practically has no new technical requirements and does not tighten the previous standards, with the exception of norms, regulating fire safety in child care centers, social safety net facilities, health care institutions and other socially important facilities or facilities with mass people stay. This is the call of the times.
However, the character of many enactments has changed. Earlier, these were departmental regulatory enactments. Today they have a legislative character. That is the reason of intense interest to these documents. But the Technical enactment does not mean to make the previous regulations more complicated. I believe, every head of any organization, official responsible for fire safety is able to make sense out of them and follow them.
One of the innovations is the declaring as the form of conformity assessment. This requirement of the Technical enactment is used in all the developed countries. Now it has been introduced in Russia. Within a year since the introduction of the "Technical enactment about fire safety requirements” i.e. till May 1, 2010 every owner of a facility must send in notification requirement a fire safety declaration to the State Fire Supervision Body of his/her subject of the Russian Federation.
Fire risk calculations have earlier been used for fire safety evaluation of different facilities. This regulation, introduced by Technical enactment is not often applied and is used for unique facilities. For buildings and constructions which cannot be designed according to the existent norms, for new plants, new industries, which are not specified in this Technical enactment or other regulations, which manage today’s fire safety sphere. Single citizens’ opinion about the similar fire risk evaluation system is erroneous. This is what I can say about the first results of the Technical enactment. During the 6 months of its operation there have been no appeals about the application of its regulations. Technical enactment does not prevent the economic development, does not create any barriers for entrepreneurs, but reduces them. This was noted during the meeting of the representatives of small and medium-sized businesses with the President of the Russian Federation, where no comments against this Law were made.
Hostess: So, you suppose, no articles of the Technical enactment need any major correction?
Giletich A.N.: No document is a dogma. Taking into consideration our society development, the introduction of new technologies, any document sooner or later will need a change, including the Technical enactment which we are discussing now. The only document that cannot be changed is the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
As far as the Technical enactment is concerned, at the moment it is probably better to give the property owner more choice. We are going to prepare a statement to introduce the changes and corrections. Of course, all of them will go through the public discussions: they will be placed at the EMERCOM of Russia website, Fire Safety Research Institute, discussed during the Board for relieving extra administrative barriers for small and medium-sized businesses, which operates as part of EMERCOM of Russia.
Hostess: Thank you, Anatoly Nikolaevich. I would like you to say once again about the meaning of the Fire Safety Declaration and what this document must include: fire risk evaluation, possible damage evaluation of the third party or anything else?
Giletich A.N.: The main aim of declaring of fire safety requirements is preparation of the property owner to start up the object in fire-safe conditions. Declaration is not a scientific work. This is the minimum of requirements the owner of property must consider and follow according to the Technical enactment. He should pay attention to whether he has got a standard emergency exit, whether the fire alarm is properly arranged and is operating, whether the employees, working in this building or institution are ready to evacuate independently in case of a fire and so on.
If the building was erected before the coming into force of the Technical enactment, the requirements of the regulations present at that time must be followed. If the building is not reconstructed, we use the old base. This is the correct approach. We used to have a great number of regulatory enactments—more than 2000. They were probably doubling each other and there existed mutually exclusive statements. However, they are still up to date for the buildings that had been built before. Later, the buildings are going to be reconstructed or rebuilt, therefore undergo the norms and regulations of the present Technical enactment. Is it bad, that we have tightened the requirements for the firefighting distances to the facilities with mass presence of people, socially-important facilities, and so on?
Hostess: Tell us, please, if the owner has to present the documents to the third parties that he calculated the amount of possible damage? What methods should he take into consideration?
Giletich A.N.: At the moment, there are two methods to evaluate the fire risks. They have been based on the practical experience, including foreign experience. The first one is "The Method to define the computed value of fire risks in industrial facilities” Order EMERCOM of Russia №404 dated 10 July 2009. The second is "The Method to define the computed value of fire risks in the buildings, structures of different level of national fire danger” Order EMERCOM of Russia №372 dated 30 June 2009.
Both these methods have been registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and have the status of the regulatory enactment. As I have already said, the method of fire risk evaluation is used very rarely. Mainly when implementing the technical decisions which are not subject to the requirements of the Technical enactment, the set of rules and other regulatory enactments. It is also worthy of note that fire risk evaluation is a very serious research and not every organization can perform such calculations.
Hostess: Thank you. Will the order of EMERCOM of Russia which consolidated the list of products due to compulsory certification in the field of fire safety be recalled?
Giletich A.N.: The Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №241 dated 17 March 2009 which consolidated the list of products due to confirmation of conformity to the requirements of the Federal Law №123 "Technical enactment about fire safety requirements” requires the confirmation of compulsory certification or a declaration about the confirmation when let to the customs area of the Russian Federation.
In fact, this Decree confirmed the list of products due to compulsory certification. Taking into consideration the fact that the status of the Federal Law is higher than the status of the Order, it should be followed. However, the Order cannot be recalled, as the equipment and products in the majority of cases were produced in accordance with it. We do not use this Order but we cannot recall it not to create the legal vacuum.
Later, the monitoring of all the problems will be held. And when the requirements of the Order will be no longer acute, it will be recalled. At present, The Decree of the Government №241 which regulates these questions must be followed.
Hostess: Thank you. Do the regulations of the Technical enactment include the facilities, the construction of which has not been finished yet or the designing of which began before May 2009?
Giletich A.N.: This is a very important and up to date question. We held a number of conferences in Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg. 16 October a conference is scheduled in Moscow where, together with the Government of Moscow, the Ministry of Industry, we are planning to discuss the problems of the implementation of Technical enactment. There are constant questions concerning construction works and design. According to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Civil Legislation the Law has no retroaction. This means the decisions made earlier must be fulfilled. If the design plan of the facility was confirmed in accordance with the old norms it is legal. And the facility will be built following the old plan. If there is a reconstruction inside the facility, the regulations of the new Technical enactment must be followed. But it has nothing to do with the problems of construction, reconstruction, infrastructure change outside the facility. All the documents confirmed before the official introduction of the Technical enactment must be fulfilled according to the norms true at that time.
Hostess: Is the coordination with the public prosecutions department necessary when the fire safety declaration is checked by the supervisory bodies?
Giletich A.N.: When the owner is filling out a fire safety application, he must send it to the local Fire Supervisory Body in notification requirement. According to the law, he must work out the declaration within a year. Believe me, it is not a big job. The supervisory body must accept the declaration and attach it to the supervisory file of the facility that he has. Then, as part of the scheduled inspection, once in two or three years, depending on the purpose of the facility, the correspondence of the declaration with the factual state of the facility is evaluated. The declaration is not discussed with anybody or confirmed by anybody. There is no such rule for specially certified organizations to fill out such declaration. This is the exclusive right of the property owner.
Hostess: What sublegislative regulatory enactments were created during the period of its action? Which spheres do they concern the most?
Giletich A.N.: There were seven regulatory enactments worked out at the level of the Government of the Russian Federation during the period of development of the Technical enactment: the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №771 dated 22 October, 2009 "About the Changes to the State Fire Supervisory Enactment”; the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №163 dated 24 February, 2009 "About Accreditation of the Bodies for Research Laboratories, Centers Certification, which conduct the compliance confirmation”; the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №272 "About the rules of fire risk evaluation calculations”; the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №304 dated 10 March, 2009 which regulates "national standards, containing rules and methods of research and measurement, including the rules of sample selection, necessary to use while executing the Technical enactment”; the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №304 dated 8 April, 2009 "About the confirmation of the rules of evaluation of conformity assessment of the facilities of product defence with the fire safety requirements by means of independent fire risk evaluation” or simply about the independent fire risk evaluation; the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №373 dated 30 April 2009 "About the body to accredit the certification bodies and research laboratories, centers which conduct the conformity assessment of the products to the Technical enactment requirements”. These are regulatory enactments passed at the level of the Government of the Russian Federation.
Furthermore, there is a range of regulatory enactments at the level of EMEROM of Russia, in particular, the Order EMERCOM o Russia "About the form and order of filling out a fire safety declaration”. 12 sets of rules have been developed, that regulate the main requirements to the main types of products, buildings, constructions—the things that must be followed in everyday life. 91 national standards have been worked out. In the future there will be more such standards. But one should not be afraid of that. New types of products appear and require the development of national standards from the point of view of fire safety. The issuing of national standards and sets of regulations is the prerogative of the Federal agency for technical regulation and metrology which looks after such problems.
The whole procedure of document issuance is public, their projects are placed at the corresponding websites in the Internet, discussed during the meetings with the participation of representatives of business, publicity.
Hostess: Anatoly Nikolaevich, could you give any statistics, what is the dynamic of fires in Russia, mainly in social objects?
Giletich A.N.: During the recent six years there is a tendency in our country of fire and deaths of people reduction. The number of fires falls by 4-5% every year. Special attention is devoted to the children’s institutions and socially important facilities. The situation is severely controlled there. The President of the Russian Federation has set the task to bring the facilities with mass presence of people in order. Much work has been done. Therefore, since February of the current year there have been no serious fires with people’s deaths in those places. If there had been any small fires, modern automation and warning systems managed to eliminate it in time and to evacuate people.
Hostess: Let’s hope such tendency will remain.
Giletich A.N.: We are doing our best. Moreover, the Federal Target program "Fire Safety in the Russian Federation” was approved which implies additional means to create new technologies to prevent and to extinguish fires, to purchase new equipment, to build new fire stations. I am sure this program will help to reduce the number of fires, thus we will have safe Russia and not a "burning” one.
Hostess: Can the company, while filling out a fire safety declaration, make the fire risk calculations itself, without the engagement of the third-party accredited company?
Giletich A.N.: I say once again that fire risk evaluation is a very serious calculation work and requires a highly-qualified professional. Therefore, the accredited company is necessary here. But the fire-risk evaluation procedure is needed very seldom. I would recommend conducting fire-risk evaluation works to the specialists. I do not recommend doing it yourself. As for the fire safety declaration, the company can do it on its own, without the help of any third-party companies. You must only study the requirements of the regulatory enactments to your facility.
Hostess: The next question is from Novozhilova Svetlana, the head of the "Rodnichok” orphanage. I am quoting: "I was told that our orphanage needs a fire safety declaration to be worked out and in this declaration fire risks must be calculated. Is it true? The orphanage is a one-storied wooden building; the square of it is about 200 square meters. There are 62 children between the ages of 3 to 18”.
Giletich A.N.: The building of your orphanage can be classified to the Ф1.1 according to functional fire safety responsibility. That is to say in this case the fire safety declaration must be worked out. There is no need to make fire risks calculations.
The declaration must outline the fire safety norms required for the children in such institution. You must have a fire alarm, the information system, safe emergency exits. The documents, according to which your facility was designed, must be looked up. The fire safety inspector will help you to find out which building norms and regulations were used for the construction of the orphanage. Filling out the fire safety declaration will enable you to evaluate the fire safety of your institution professionally and to take measures to improve it.
Hostess: Is it necessary to fill out a fire safety declaration for the wooden houses of the health center?
Giletich A.N.: If it comes within the purview of the article 64 of the Technical enactment, the declaration must be filled out.
Hostess: According to the article 97 of the Federal Law "Technical enactment about fire safety requirements” dated 22 July 2008 №123 ФЗ the working out of the regulatory enactment to define the number and place of location of fire safety units on the territory of the industrial facility. According to the present norms of Fire Regulations 201-96 "Fire safety of companies. General requirements” the fire units of the company must consist of more than 1000 people with the total number of workers—21 000 people. This is an unachievable requirement and that is why it is not followed in our country. This means the State Fire Supervision Inspector (paid by the State) is responsible for 200 and more facilities, while the company inspector (paid by the company) is responsible for only one. And this inspector has no legal responsibility for the fire safety at the facility. Therefore, there is a question: what criterion will be taken into consideration to develop the new document about the fire safety of companies and will the experience of Fire Regulations 201-96 "Fire safety of companies. General requirements” implementation be used? The question from Elena.
Giletich A.N.: I would like to say that Fire Regulations 201-96 "Fire safety of companies. General requirements” is recalled at the moment. As for the criterion based on which the fire service will be created, the work in this direction is being done. As soon as the project of the document is ready, it will be available for public discussion.