Ways You Can Fail a Fire Inspection

Every business must have a fire inspection. To pass you must meet requirements set by regional fire codes. A few things can make or break the results of that fire inspection. Some are more obvious than others, but it is important to remember that these inspections are for the safety of everyone that enters your building. In this blog, we will discuss a few things to be aware of when getting ready for a fire inspection.

Building Accessibility

For the fire department to reach your building, it should be visibly marked with your address from the outside. If your building is not marked with a street address, you will have to fix that. The idea is for firefighters to find you easily in an emergency. Alternatively, in an emergency people need to get out. Exits are one of the key things fire marshals look for during fire inspections. Doors should easily be opened from the inside. Employees may need keys to get in, but they should not need to use them to get out. Everyone needs to be able to find the exits as quickly as possible in the event of a fire. Hallways and stairs should be easy to navigate and not overly crowded. Everything should have a place safely out of the way of high traffic areas.

Electrical Hazards

We have talked about ways to avoid electrical fires on our blog before, but did you know that your fire inspection addresses electrical components? It is not all about signs, exits, and sprinklers. Electricians in your area know what the electrical codes and standards are. Make sure you hire a licensed electrician to work on your building, and you should not have a problem. One big thing that can get you in trouble is using extension cords for long term use. These are only meant to be temporary, and they can short and cause an electrical fire if used on anything too high voltage or used longer than it should be.

Failure to Maintain Systems

Fire protection systems are complicated, and it can be hard to keep up with their regular required maintenance. However, they are essential to the safety of your employees, and they must meet fire safety codes. Fire safety equipment is rarely activated, so how do you know when
your equipment needs maintenance? Fire sprinkler systems require annual
inspections, and every five years you need an internal pipe inspection. This fire inspection can identify any deficiencies you may be experiencing. Same thing for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While these do not usually require a lot of maintenance, detectors and alarms should be checked at least once a year as well.

Not Enough Signage or Equipment

Like we mentioned earlier, the outside of the building needs the address marked, but signs need to be included inside the building as well. Exits should have illuminated signs, so they can be found even when the power is out. The location of the fire control panel should
be marked from the outside and easy to find. Locations of fire extinguishers
and other fire protection equipment should also have signs that make them easy
to find.

Depending on the size of your building, you need to have a certain amount of fire protection equipment in place. It is possible to not have enough fire extinguishers in your building. Sprinklers need to reach all areas of your building. If there is an area with limited or no access to your sprinkler system you will need to have that fixed.

There are a variety of ways that you can fail a fire inspection. Some situations may be unique to your business but be aware of some of the major things that can make or break your fire safety. Not only will you be ready for the next visit from the Fire Marshall, but you will also be more prepared in the event of a fire.

At Valley Fire Protection & Plumbing we can help you with your fire sprinklers. Give us a call and we can help you repair any deficiencies or engineer your fire protection system to meet fire safety codes.

Related Topics: Fire Inspection // Fire Protection
By: Tom Hartel
I acquired my expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped me become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on fire protection, fire sprinklers, special hazards, and plumbing systems. In this blog, I share my knowledge that will hopefully help you make better decisions for your projects.


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