How prepared are you for a fire inspection? Your local fire marshal can stop by to inspect your business anytime, so it is of grave importance to make sure your building is up to code at all times. But what exactly does “up to code” mean? After all, fire codes can be very complex and while many aspects of the inspection are ‘common sense’, there are some that can really offer trouble understanding.
Preparing for fire code inspections: The outside
One of the things the fire marshal will inspect upon his/her arrival is how accessible your building is to the fire department should they need to be called out for an emergency. 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 street.
- Have a key vault to store building keys in that will allow the fire marshal and fire department to access your building if a fire begins during non-business hours.
- Make sure any and every fire hydrant on your property are not blocked by landscaping or any other structure. Remember, you must maintain a three-foot clearance space on all sides of the hydrant.
- The fire lanes in front of your building MUST be kept clear of any and all obstructions.
Preparing for fire code inspections: The inside
Once you’ve made sure your building is fully accessible for fire crews on the outside of the building, direct your focus on preparing the interior of your building for fire safety inspections. To keep the inside of your building up to code, you will need to:
- Be sure that all exit doors can easily be opened by ONE person. If the doors are locked, make certain they do not require any special training, keys or equipment to open efficiently.
- Keep all aisles, walkways, stairways and paths leading to exits clear of debris and obstructions.
- Be certain your emergency lights and exits 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.
- Stay current with your fire extinguisher and suppression system inspections.
If you follow the tips provided, preparing for a fire safety inspection will be a cinch. If you’ve gone through this list and you are able to identify some areas in your facility that need improvement – don’t wait, call County Fire Protection today or visit us at www.county-fire.com. We will come out to your building to perform a FREE building fire and safety inspection to limit code violations and keep your employees safe.