Ways to Prepare for Fire Code Inspections
Is your building ready for a fire inspection? The fire marshal could drop by unannounced at any time, so it is important that you make sure your building is up to code at all times. But what does “up to code” really mean? After all, fire codes can be complicated and while many items are common sense, there are a few that are a little trickier. That’s where this checklist comes in! Keep on top of all the items on this checklist and your building will stay safe from fires – and fire marshal fines!
Preparing for Fire Code Inspections: Fire Department Considerations
One of the key things the fire marshal will check when he or she inspects your building is how accessible it is to the fire department should they have to come. When preparing for fire safety inspections, you should make sure that:
- Your street address is clearly marked on the front of your building and is easily visible from the road.
- You have a key vault that will allow the fire department to access your building if a fire starts during non business hours (this pertains mostly to buildings that have a fire alarm monitoring system).
- If you have fire hydrants on your property, they are easily visible and not blocked by landscaping or any other structures. Remember: you need to keep at least three feet of clearance space on all sides of the hydrant.
- The fire lanes in front of your building kept clear of any and all obstructions.
Preparing for Fire Code Inspections: Inside Your Building
Once you’ve made sure your building is fully accessible for firefighters, focus on preparing the interior for fire safety inspections. To keep the inside of your building up to code, you’ll need to:
- Make sure your exit doors can be opened easily by one person. If the doors are locked (which they really shouldn’t be), make sure they require no specialized knowledge, keys or tools to operate.
- Keep all aisles, walkways, stairways and paths leading to exits clear of debris and obstructions.
- Make sure your emergency lights and exit signs work properly in both normal and emergency power modes.
- Make sure your fire extinguishers are properly charged and easily accessible in case of an emergency.
- Make sure you are up to date with your Maryland fire sprinkler inspections
Preparing for Fire Code Inspections: Electrical Equipment
One of the most important parts of preparing for a fire safety inspection is making sure your building’s electrical equipment is safe. Faulty electrical equipment is one of the most common reasons that fires start in buildings, so when preparing for fire safety inspections, make sure you:
- Keep electrical outlets, junction boxes and circuit breaker panels covered with cover plates.
- If you have any openings in circuit breaker boxes, make sure they are covered by an appropriate plug to contain any sparks or arcs within the box that can potentially ignite nearby combustibles. This will also help prevent people from coming into contact with live electrical wires.
- Never use electrical extension cords as a substitute for permanent wiring. If you need an outlet where you don’t have one, call an electrician to install a one or move whatever you’re trying to plug in closer to the existing outlet.
- Never, under any circumstances, staple an extension cord (or any power cord) to furniture or a wall.
If you keep track of all the things listed above, preparing for a fire safety inspection will be no problem. For more tips on how to prepare for a fire safety inspection, stay tuned to see the special considerations you need to make for your fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers!
If you’ve gone through this list and you think you have some problem areas in your building, don’t wait – call Guardian Fire Protection today! We can come through your building and point out any areas that aren’t up to code so you can stay safe and avoid fines!
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