How to Prepare For Fire Safety Inspections
Fire safety inspections are an important part of maintaining a safe and secure commercial property. These inspections are conducted by certified fire safety inspectors to ensure that your property is in compliance with local, state, and federal fire codes. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to prepare your building for these inspections and to take necessary steps to address any potential hazards.
In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive checklist of items to prepare for a fire safety inspection. From paperwork to proof of services and inspections, we will guide you through the process of getting your property ready for a successful inspection.
Prepare Your Paperwork
Collect and organize paperwork showing any steps your business takes to address fire protection and any previous inspection violations. This demonstrates that your business is committed to meeting requirements.
Collect Proof of Services and Inspections
Keep track of services and inspections that licensed professionals have performed on your systems, such as:
- Serviced fire alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Sprinkler systems, and
- Fire pumps
Make Appointments for Outstanding Maintenance
Contact some trained professionals to help with the maintenance of your fire protection systems. This will not only help you pass inspections but also will protect your people and property.
Not sure if your commercial property needs servicing? Read on to learn how often fire protection systems should be serviced.
Take Precautions Against Special Hazards
Special hazards are areas that require special hazard fire equipment and fire alarms.
Building owners should note that special hazards are not specific fire hazards that occur as a result of certain situations or triggers, such as a flammable liquid being too close to a heat source.
Instead, special hazards can be things like gasoline pumps, computer server rooms, or storage areas that may contain flammable or combustible chemicals.
Read on to learn more about solutions to special hazards.
To prepare for a fire safety inspection, building owners should make it a priority to avoid clutter. Why? Clutter can quickly become combustible waste and serve as fuel for fires.
Combustible waste can take many forms, including:
- Trash (i.e. cardboard boxes, paper, cartons, etc.)
- Plant matter
- Yard trimmings
- Fallen trees
- Wood, and
Fire laws prohibit the accumulation of these items anywhere except intended disposal locations.
Lastly, property owners should make an active effort to keep their hallways free from obstructions.
Properly Store Combustible Waste
It can be difficult to keep combustible materials off your property at all times. Instead, we suggest prioritizing safe storage for these materials to prepare for an inspection.
For example, property owners can:
- Use lids on containers 40 gallons or greater
- Keep containers exceeding a capacity of 40.5 cubic feet outdoors and over five feet away from construction work
- Keep storage containers away from the building, and
- Ensure storage containers near facilities don’t contain oily rags or other unsafe materials without proper container identifications
This will help keep any staff working on the property safe as well as help prepare the space for inspection.
Ensure Efficient Entry for the Fire Department
According to national codes, all buildings must offer firefighters safe and immediate access.
Complying with this code should be simple. Most businesses comply with this code by mounting fire department lock boxes on the outside of their building.
This way, in the event of an emergency, the fire department can open the lock boxes with a master key and enter the building.
Make Sure the Fire Department Has Access to Water
Building owners should clearly mark all fire hydrants and ensure they are available for use. Additionally, fire hydrants must have three feet of clear space on all sides to allow firefighters access.
Further, to prepare for inspection, building owners can check the fire department connection (FDC) that allows firefighters to supply water to a sprinkler system. This system should also be marked and accessible.
Need Help Preparing For Inspection?
Ensure your building is safe and up to fire protection code compliance by partnering with a company that specializes in fire protection. With over 300 NFPA codes and standards, the rules can get complicated quickly– especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Luckily, we do. At Fortis, we provide world-class fire protection services nationwide. Learn more about our services, here.