Fires destroy millions of dollars worth of properties and thousands of lives each year. Much of this loss could have been avoided by preventing the dangerous hazards that created them. Regular fire inspections uncover conditions that could lead to serious problems and also help uncover fire code violations that can lead to steep fines.
A fire marshal can come through a building at any time. You can hope that they don’t come, hope that your building is compliant, or know that it is compliant and avoid those fines.
Simple Ways to Stay Fire Code Compliant and Avoid Fines
One of the first things fire inspectors check is building accessibility. Here are some important aspects inaccessibility to consider.
- Ensure that your street address is clearly visible on the front of your building and easily visible from the road.
- If you use a fire alarm monitoring system or a fire sprinkler system, make sure that you have a key vault that will allow the fire department to access your building if a fire starts during non-business hours.
- If you have fire hydrants on your property, make sure they are easily visible and not obstructed by landscaping or any other structures and have three feet of clearance on all sides.
- Keep the fire lanes in front of your building clear of obstructions.
Here are some top considerations in avoiding fire code violations in building interiors:
- All walkways, hallways, stairways, and paths to exits are free from obstructions.
- Doors must be able to be opened by one person without aid, easily.
- If the doors are locked, they must not require complex knowledge, keys or tools to operate.
- Emergency lights and exit signs must work properly in both normal and emergency power modes.
- Fire extinguishers must remain properly charged and easily accessible in case of an emergency.
Electrical Considerations in Fire Code Compliance
Faulty or the misuse of electrical equipment is of the most common causes of fires in the commercial environment and of the areas of concern during fire inspections. Here are some simple ways you can avoid common code violations:
- Keep all electrical outlets, junction boxes, and circuit breaker panels covered with appropriate cover plates.
- If you have any openings in circuit breaker boxes
- Make sure openings in circuit breaker boxes are covered by an appropriate plug to contain any sparks of arcs.
- Avoid the use of electrical extension cords, especially in place of permanent wiring.
- Never, under any circumstances, staple an extension cord (or any power cord) to furniture or a wall.
Need help staying code compliant? Life Safety is a nationally recognized leader in fire and life safety systems. Call us today for more information. 800-263-1116