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Fire Marshall Fire Code Inspection Checklist

Fire Marshall Fire Code Inspection Checklist

You must be prepared for routine inspections by your local fire marshal because they are a necessary aspect of conducting business. Since these visits are unannounced, the best way to keep prepared is to run through the fire marshal inspection checklist yourself, to verify that your business is in complete compliance with the fire code at all times.

This can protect your employees, your property, or even your livelihood while also preventing costly fines or even the temporary closure of your company due to code breaches.

Even though you might not give it much attention, a fire can be disastrous for any kind of company. More than 40% of firms that experience a serious fire shut down permanently.

Checklist Item #1: Clear Paths of Egress

The avenues of egress at your property will be extensively examined by the fire marshal to see whether they are restricted in any manner. It will enhance the possibility that everyone can escape a fire safely if there are several exits, which is required by fire code. Nevertheless, these exits are of little use if your staff or customers can't get to them or can't open them once they do.

The fire marshal will verify the following:

  1. There is a passage to each exit door that is at least 36 inches wide.
  2. Exits with doors that are unlocked and easy to open.
  3. If your building has fire doors, make sure they can close without being blocked.

Checklist Item #2: Emergency Exit Lights

The exit routes must not only be empty of obstacles, but they must also be labeled. Your business might lose power during a fire and the amount of smoke could make it difficult to see.

Because of this, every exit sign needs backup batteries so that, in the case of a fire or power outage, it will be possible to see it clearly for at least 90 minutes. To further boost available light and improve exit visibility, several of these units also include emergency lights on top. The fire marshal will conduct a test to ensure that the batteries in each of these lamps are operational.

Checklist Item #3: Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers let you put out a minor fire before it spreads, protecting your company from extensive damage and preventing harm to your employees or clients. Due to these factors, the fire marshal will inspect these units closely to ensure that they are in compliance. They'll make sure that:

  1. The minimal quantity of extinguishers required is present; in a typical office setting, you must have an extinguisher 75 feet or less from any point in your building.
  2. The extinguishers are the right kind to deal with the fire risks that are present in your place of business.
  3. These are the required dimensions; extinguishers must have a minimum size rating of 2A-10BC.
  4. Your extinguishers have received servicing within the previous 12 months, there have been all necessary inspections, and the service tag is current.
  5. Extinguishers are all firmly fastened on the wall or housed in cabinets that have been certified.
  6. Equipment is not in any manner blocked.
  7. The top of any extinguisher which is 40 pounds or lighter is not higher than 5 feet from the floor. The top of extinguishers weighing more than 40 pounds shouldn't be more than 3.5 feet from the ground. There must be at least 4 inches between the bottom of each extinguisher and the ground.

All of these are subject to small changes depending on your location.

Checklist Item #4: Fire Alarm Panels

The fire alarm panel is in charge of managing the fire alarm system installed at your site. The fire marshal will examine the fire alarm panel to ensure that the yearly mandated maintenance and inspection of the fire alarm system by qualified personnel has taken place and has been recorded.

Make sure your inspection tags are current and that your panel's warning lights are off if you don't want to get a ticket. If there is currently a fire marshal on site, it is preferable to just correct the issue before they arrive since a warning light would result in an immediate citation.

Checklist Item #5: Fire Sprinklers

The fire marshal will give your building's fire sprinkler system a thorough inspection if it is installed.

Be aware that the fire marshal will examine for:

  • Sufficient space around each sprinkler deflector
  • No storage of boxes or other goods at an improper height
  • No placement of big furniture pieces or shelving units next to sprinkler heads

According to NFPA 25, in order to comply with requirements, there must typically be at least 18 inches of clearance around each sprinkler deflector. The fire marshal will also verify that the mandatory annual examination of your fire sprinklers was completed by trained professionals and documented.

Checklist Item #6: Fire Sprinkler System Water Supply

Not only must the sprinkler deflectors have the appropriate clearance for this system to work properly, but the water must also flow as it should when called upon to put out a fire.

The critical sprinkler system water supply components will be examined by the fire marshal to make sure they are in good operating order. The valves, hose connections, and fire department connections fall within this category. In addition, the fire marshal will search for any indications of leaks, physical harm, corrosion, or obstruction due to foreign objects or paint.

Checklist Item #7: Proper Storage of Combustible Liquids

Combustible substances and liquids pose a unique fire risk and must be handled carefully. They pose a serious risk to your facilities, including the possibility of an explosion, and they will fuel any fire, therefore necessary precautions must always be taken. To reduce the chance of a fire and the resulting risk of property damage or personal injury, they should be kept in a fireproof cabinet.

Checklist Item #8: Maximum Occupancy Limits

This is the maximum number of people who could safely leave the building in time in the event of a fire. As a result, going above the allowed maximum occupancy level is dangerous, and doing so will result in a penalty. There are unique occupancy standards for various building types utilized for various purposes (business, healthcare, gathering, education, etc.), which you must satisfy in order to pass your inspection.

Checklist Item #9: Overloading Electrical Sockets & Using Extension Cords Correctly

Overloading any electrical connections is a blatant violation of the fire code and is related to the overpopulation of your establishment. By utilizing numerous power strips in the same area or inappropriate multi-plug adapters, you may not plug too many things into a single socket.

A fire marshal's inspection will also result in a citation if you connect two or more extension cords together to increase the reach of the electricity in your establishment. Extension cables cannot be used in place of permanent wiring.

Checklist Item #10: Electrical Panels

The electrical panels in your building must always be open and accessible since accessing them may be necessary for routine upkeep, any improvements, or to install more wire throughout the facility. Also, given that electrical panels have live electricity flowing through them, any materials that might catch fire should be kept sufficiently distant from the panel, such as cardboard boxes. For enough working space and to reduce the risk of a fire, you must typically provide 3 feet of clearance in front of the panel.

In most cases, a fire marshal will give the business time to fix any issues if they are found during an inspection. If issues aren’t fixed, this can result in fines for the business.

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