Saturday, March 5, 2016

How to Obtain Fire Safety Inspection Certificate

A Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC) is a certificate being issued by the local fire department. It is required for issuance of occupancy permit and business permit.

For example, if you have a business in Makati or your newly built building in Makati is ready for occupancy, you have to secure Fire Safety Inspection Certificate from the Makati City Fire Station before your building can be occupied or before you can open a business. For existing business wherein you already have your FSIC, you still have to secure a new FSIC for renewal of business. FSIC is valid for a year.

Requirements for Issuance of FSIC:

  1. Endorsement from the Building Official or Business Permit Licensing Office
  2. Photocopy of Building Permit and Assessment of Occupancy Permit Fee/Assessment of Business Permit Fee/BPLO Assessment/Tax Bill for Business Permit, as the case maybe
  3. Copy of Fire Insurance Policy (if any)
  4. Copy of Latest Fire Safety Inspection Certificate immediately preceding the current application (if any)

When to Apply:
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the local office of the Bureau of Fire Protection
Local office means the municipal or city fire station.

Fee for Fire Safety Inspection Certificate:
10% of all fees charged by the Building Official or by the Local Government Unit or other government agencies concerned in granting pertinent permits or licenses

Steps in Obtaining Fire Safety Inspection Certificate:

  1. Secure FSIC Application Form with the list of requirements from the Customer Relations Officer of the local BFP office.
  2. Submit duly accomplished application form with the complete requirements to the Customer Relations Officer.
  3. Wait for the Release of Order of Payment.
  4. Pay the Fire Code Fee to Government Servicing Bank or BFP Collecting Officer.
  5. Present machine validated Order of Payment or Official Receipt as basis for issuance of claim stub. (From step 5 to step 6, it will take about five days because the local fire department will still conduct fire safety inspection of the building or establishment.)
  6. Present claim stub to the Customer Relations Officer to claim Fire Safety Inspection Certificate.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 4 of 4)

Overloading - the use of one or more electrical appliances or devices which draw or consume electrical current beyond the designed capacity of the existing electrical system.

Owner - any person who holds the legal right of possession or title to a building or real property.

Oxidizing Material - a material that readily yields oxygen in quantities sufficient to stimulate or support combustion.

Pressurized or Forced Draft Burning Equipment - type of burner where the fuel is subjected to pressure prior to discharge into the combustion chamber and/or which includes fans or other provisions for the introduction of air at above normal atmospheric pressure into the same combustion chamber.

Public Assembly Building - any building or structure where fifty (50) or more people congregate, gather, or assemble for any purpose.

Public Way - any street, alley or other strip of land unobstructed from the ground to the sky, deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated for public use.

Pyrophoric - descriptive of any substance that  ignites spontaneously when exposed to air.

Refining - a process where impurities and/or deleterious materials are removed from a mixture in order to produce a pure element of compound. It shall also refer to partial distillation and electrolysis.

Self-closing Doors - automatic closing doors that are designed to confine smoke and heat and delay the spread of fire.

Smelting - melting or fusing of metallic ores or compounds so as to separate impurities from pure metals.

Sprinkler System - an integrated network of hydraulically designed piping installed in a building, structure or area with outlets arranged in a systematic pattern which automatically discharges water when activated by heat or combustion products from fire.

Standpipe System - a system of vertical pipes in a building to which fire hoses can be attached on each floor, including a system by which water is made available to those outlets as needed.

Vestibule - a passage hall or antechamber between the outer doors and the interior parts of a house or building.

Vertical Shaft - an enclosed vertical space of passage that extends from floor to floor, as well as from the base to the top of the building.

Source: RA 9514

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 3 of 4)

Flash Point - the minimum temperature at which any material gives off vapor in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air.

Forcing - a process where a piece of metal is heated prior to changing its shape or dimensions.

Fulminate - a kind of stable explosive compound which explodes by percussion.

Hazardous Operations or Process - any act of manufacturing, fabrication, conversion, etc., that uses or produces materials which are likely to cause fires or explosions.

Horizontal Exit - passageway from one building to another or through or around a wall in approximately the same floor level.

Hose Box - a box or cabinet where fire hoses, valves and other equipment are stored and arranged for fire fighting.

Hose Reel - a cylindrical device turning on an axis around which a fire hose is wound and connected.

Hypergolic Fuel - a rocket or liquid propellant which consist of combinations of fuels and oxidizers which ignite spontaneously on contact with each other.

Industrial Baking and Drying - the industrial process of subjecting materials to heat for the purpose of removing solvents or moisture from the same, and/or to fuse certain chemical salts to form a uniform glazing on the surface of materials being treated.

Jumper - a piece of metal or an electrical conductor used to bypass a safety device in an electrical system.

Occupancy - the purpose for which a building or portion thereof is used or intended to be used.

Occupant - any person actually occupying and using a building or portions thereof by virtue of a lease contract with the owner or administrator or by permission or sufferance of the latter.

Organic Peroxide - a strong oxidizing organic compound which releases oxygen readily. It causes fire when in contact with combustible materials especially under conditions of high temperature.

Source: RA 9514

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 2 of 4)

Electric Arc - an extremely hot luminous bridge formed by passage of an electric current across a space between two conductors or terminals due to the incandescence of the conducting vapor.

Ember - a hot piece or lump that remains after a material has partially burned, and is still oxidizing without the manifestation of flames.

Finishes - materials used as final coating of a surface for ornamental or protective purposes

Fire - the active principle of burning, characterized by the heat and light of combustion.

Fire Trap - a building unsafe in case of fire because it will burn easily or because it lacks adequate exits or fire escapes.

Fire Alarm - any visual or audible signal produced by a device or system to warn the occupants of the building or fire fighting elements of the presence or danger of fire to enable them to undertake immediate action to save life and property and to suppress the fire.

Fire Door - a fire-resistive door prescribed for openings in fire separation walls or partitions.

Fire Hazard - any condition or act which increases or may cause an increase in probability of the occurrence of fire, or which may obstruct, delay, hinder or interfere with fire fighting operations and the safeguarding of life and property.

Fire Lane - the portion of a roadway or public-way that should be kept opened and unobstructed at all times for the expedient operation of fire fighting units.

Fire Protective and Fire Safety Device - any device intended for the protection of buildings or persons, to include, but not limited to, built-in protection system such as sprinklers and other automatic extinguishing system, detectors for heat, smoke and combustion products and other warning system components, personal protective equipment such as fire blankets, helmets, fire suits, gloves and other garments that may be put on or worn by persons to protect themselves during fire.

Fire Safety Constructions - refers to design and installation of walls, barriers, doors, windows, vents, means of egress etc., integral to and incorporated into a building or structure in order to minimize danger to life from fire, smoke, fumes or panic before the building is evacuated. These features are also designed to achieve, among others, safe and rapid evacuation of people through means of egress on construction which are sealed from smoke or fire, the confinement of fire or smoke in the room or floor of origin and delay their spread to other parts of the building by means of smoke sealed and fire-resistant doors, walls and floors. It shall also mean to include the treatment of building components or contents with flame-retardant chemicals. 

Source: RA 9514

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 1 of 4)

Under Republic Act No. 9514, otherwise known as the "Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008," there are over 50 terms on fire safety defined. Most of the definitions from the old Fire Code (PD 1185) were carried over in the new Fire Code. The definition of terms is placed under Section 3 of the code. Here are the most important definition of terms:

  • Abatement - any act that would remove or neutralize a fire hazard.
  • Administrator - any person who acts as agent of the owner and manages the use of a building for him.
  • Blasting Agent - any material of mixture consisting of a fuel and oxidizer used to set off explosives.
  • Cellulose Nitrate or Nitro Cellulose - a highly combustible and explosive compound produced by the reaction of nitric acid with a cellulose material.
  • Cellulose Nitrate Plastic (Pyroxylin) - any plastic substance, materials or compound having cellulose nitrate (nitro cellulose) as base.
  • Combustible Flammable or Inflammable - descriptive of materials that are easily set on fire.
  • Combustible Fiber - any readily ignitable and free burning fiber such as cotton, oakum, rags, waste cloth, waste paper, kapok, hay, straw, Spanish moss, excelsior and other similar materials commonly used in commerce.
  • Combustible Liquid - any liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Corrosive Liquid - any liquid which causes fire when in contact with organic matter or with certain chemicals.
  • Curtain Board - a vertical panel of non-combustible or fire-resistive materials attached to and extending below the bottom chord of the roof trusses, to divide the underside of the roof into separate compartments so that heat and smoke will be directed upwards to a roof vent.
  • Cryogenic - descriptive of any material which by its nature or as a result of its reaction with other elements produces a rapid drop in temperature of the immediate surroundings.
  • Damper - a normally open device installed inside air duct system which automatically closes to restrict the passage of smoke or fire.
  • Distillation - the process of first raising the temperature in separating the more volatile from the less volatile parts and then cooling and condensing the resulting vapor so as to produce a nearly purified substance.
  • Duct System - a continuous passageway for the transmission of air.
  • Dust - a finely powdered substance which, when mixed with air in the proper proportion and ignited, will cause an explosion.

What is the Fire Code?

The Fire Code of the Philippines is a law that governs all fire safety requirements in the land. It is provided under Republic Act No. 9514, otherwise known as the "Revised Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008." President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo approved the new Fire Code in December 19, 2008. The new law is entitled, "An Act Establishing a Comprehensive Fire Code of the Philippines, Repealing Presidential Decree No. 1185, and for Other Purposes." Prior to this the Fire Code of the Philippines was Presidential Decree No. 1185 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos in August 26, 1977. 

The Fire Code is being implemented by none other than the Bureau of Fire Protection, a line agency under the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The basic law, RA 9514, can be downloaded online. On the other hand, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Fire Code, a book of 532 pages can be downloaded from the website of the Bureau of Fire Protection. As of the moment, only BFP has a copy of the Fire Code book - a manual that includes the basic law and its IRR. It is not available in bookstores.

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