1-5 Life safety rope and equipment
Fire departments that use life safety ropes and equipment should make sure they are safe for use.
Inadequate life safety ropes can be hazardous when used in life safety activities.
Actions for employers
- have a comprehensive inspection and replacement program
- establish life safety rope and equipment retirement policies in accordance with manufacturer’s service life recommendations
- keep records that include a complete history of the use of all life safety ropes and related equipment
Reusing life safety rope
Manufacturers of life safety rope provide information to consider prior to reusing life safety rope. Manufacturer’s directions should be followed when inspecting, testing and maintaining all life safety ropes and related equipment.
At a minimum, the following criteria should be met before reusing life safety rope:
- no damage can be observed when visually inspecting the life safety rope
- has not been exposed to heat, direct flame impingement, or abrasion
- has not been subjected to any impact load
- has not been exposed to liquids, solids, gases, mists or vapours of any chemical or other material that can deteriorate rope
- passes inspection when inspected by a qualified person following the manufacturer’s inspection procedures both before and after each use
If any life safety rope does not meet all of the above conditions, or there is any doubt about serviceability, it should be immediately removed from service as a life safety rope.
Acquiring new life safety ropes and related equipment
When acquiring new life safety ropes or related equipment, employers should ensure that the equipment has been properly tested and certified for life safety purposes by a qualified agency in accordance with relevant standards. Examples of these standards can be found below.
Applicable regulations and acts
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- clause 25(1)(b) for maintaining equipment in good condition
For guidance on acquiring and maintaining new life safety ropes or related equipment, read NFPA 1983 – Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services
For guidance on acquiring new life safety ropes or related equipment, read ULC. S555 – Standard for fire and emergency service technical rescue ropes and water rescue throw ropes and associated equipment