10 Ways to Easily Fail Your Building Fire Inspection
So, it's that time of year again. The time when you wait until the last minute to rush and get things in order on the eve of the arrival of a certain someone. No, we're not talking about Santa Claus or (insert holiday figure here), we're referring to the Fire inspector! That one individual who will decide if you're up to code or if you'll need to shell out some cash for emergency lights, exit signs or other egress needs!
If you're reading this article then you're either worried about failing or have failed a previous inspection. Which means that you're also familiar with our list of the 10 Easy Ways to Fail a FIre Inspection.
1. Having an Unmarked or Non-visible Street Address on the Front of your Building
Imagine there being an emergency in your building and the authorities and aid couldn't find it because they can't make out if they have the right address! Now if your building were on fire...
2. Exit Door(s) are Difficult to Open from Inside
Now, going back to our fire analogy from the previous line. Imagine if one were to break out and your occupants had to hastily remember a secret password to exit, or worse, they couldn't unlock the door.
3. Stairways, Aisles, Pathways and/or Walkways are not Clear of Obstructions or Storage
One way to guarantee failure, is to store items in places that are designated egress pathways.
4. Emergency Lighting Units (such as emergency lights and exit signs) aren't Working Properly for Normal, Emergency or Both Modes
Imagine the previous situation (or the previous 2) but without emergency lighting.
5. Electrical Outlets, Circuit Breakers Panels and Junction Boxes that are Uncovered. Needs Appropriate Cover Plate and have Clear Access to Panels
It'll be difficult to locate these things during an emergency it they weren't properly designated. Also, there should be at least 30 inches of clear access in front (see number 3).
6. Using Extension Cords for Permanent Purposes
Did you know that extension cords are only approved for temporary use? If you do use them, they much be heavy duty, grounded and plugged into a permanent receptacle (small appliance).
7. Not Naving Fire Extinguishers Visible, Operable or Present
One way to make a routine fire inspection last longer than it should, if by having inoperable equipment. If one unit isn't working, this will prompt the inspector to test all of them.
Remember, your extinguishers must be annually serviced in the last 12 months.
8. Having an Unserviced Fire Sprinkler System
Must be serviced every 5 years by licensed fire protection official. This could be a liability both for fire inspection and insurance wise.
9. Commercial Cooking Operation Area that hasn't been Fire Suppression Serviced every Six Months
Having a commercial food preparation area that's not up to code would be very bad for business.
10. Hazardous Material (chemicals, gasses, solids) that aren't Safely Stored or are Stored without a Permit
Now we know that you wouldn't store any combustible materials by the doors or exit - would you?
All sarcasm aside, proper preparation for your annual fire inspection is not only mandatory to be in the good graces of the NFPA 101 and International Fire Codes, but it's also good for business.
So, be sure that you're up to code in enough time before THAT time.
Need more information? Or, do you need some materials to help pass your fire inspection, contact us anytime at (800) 480-0707 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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