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How to Handle Annual Fire Inspections

The following is part of an ongoing series of thought leadership contributions from BuildIngReports' network of over 900 Service Members during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that facility management professionals, especially those with more downtime than normal, find them useful in advancing their knowledge during this time. Thank you to Guardian Security and Bob Vezzani for the contribution!

When annual fire inspection time rolls around – or, a property receives notification that the fire department wants to see an inspection completed on demand – it can be a stressful time for managers of a commercial property. To address this, here are some recommendations for businesses of all sizes.

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Building Owners Now Have Read-Only Access to SchedulingManager Calendars

Building Owner customers of Service Members with SchedulingManager, or the full ManagerSeries suite which includes SchedilingManager, can now view service appointments scheduled for their buildings in the BuildingReports portal. This latest update also impacts the BRMobile application for mobile devices. The list of specific changes and impacts are as follows:

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Single User Login for Building Owners

BuildingReports recently added a new feature for Building Owner users with multiple Building Owner accounts, allowing them to consolidate those accounts under one set of login credentials. This will give Building Owners convenient access to all of their inspection reports within one combined view, regardless of whether or not they work with one or multiple BuildingReports Service Members.

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Deadline for U.S. Federal Ban on Chinese Security Cameras Approaches

As August 13th draws closer, U.S. federal agencies are still attempting to comply with Congress’s ban passed last year which takes effect on that date. Recently, two prominent security camera manufacturers have been identified as having vulnerabilities that can allow unauthorized parties to gain administrative access over the devices. Other manufacturers and devices are also named in the US Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team advisory and subsequent legislation that effectively banned their use by Federal agencies on that date:

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INFOGRAPHIC: HVAC Industry Trends

Click on the infographic below to see how perceptions align and differ between service companies and facility management professionals, including the growing use of technology in service delivery and customer satisfaction.

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BUILDINGS Magazine: An FM's Guide to Fire Protection System Inspections

The following is an excerpt from the September issue of BUILDINGS. To read the full article by Justin Feit, click the link below.

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Louisiana State Fire Marshal Provides Guidance for Businesses Regarding Reopening After Historic Flood

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal released guidelines and requirements for businesses who plan to reopen following the historic flooding that impacted the region recently. An estimated 6.9 trillion gallons of water fell across the impacted area in early to mid-August.

The following guidelines as published earlier today are in effect through the end of November 2016:

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OSHA Penalties Skyrocket 80% with Changes Effective August 1, 2016

Effective August 1st (2016), companies with more than 250 employees can expect increased scrutiny and fines under OSHA's new enforcement and penalty policies. Area directors from OSHA can offer companies with fewer than 250 employees a fine reduction of 20%.

Under the new guidelines, fines for incidents increased by 80% to a maximum of $124,709 per citation. If multiple employees are involved - and the violation is deemed egregious by OSHA - the offending company can be cited for each employee at the full $124,709 per citation. The penalty for willful and/or repeat violations is now set at $12,470, and the timeframe for classifying a violation as willful or repeat was expanded by two years, from a 3-year period to 5 years.

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CMS Top 10 Life Safety Code Violations & the New Final Rule

Audits by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services accredited agencies can cause sleepless nights for those responsible for fire and life safety systems in healthcare occupancy types. Not only can the outcome lead to having to cut employees loose and steep fines, but because these audits results are reported publicly it can also have a negative impact from a public relations standpoint.

The fact is only 20% of facilities pass annually with zero discrepancies. To help facility management and maintenance better prepare for audits the CMS release a list of the top ten life safety discrepancies by the percentage of facilities cited. Keeping these in mind when preparing for an audit could help you become the one in five to pass your next audit rather than the exception.

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Are you prepared for your next fire inspection?

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.

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