Every structure, whether residential or business, is at risk for the possibility of a fire breaking out. With this risk comes the potential of property damages, injuries, and loss of lives. Property loss from fires in 2020 alone stood at US$32.43 billion. And around 48 people deaths and 32 injuries are reported daily due to home fires.
For fire protection purposes, inspections are regularly conducted to detect fire hazards and risks in the facility so that these can be addressed by homeowners or employers. Fire inspection also ensures that local, state, and federal regulations or fire codes are adhered to.
What do Fire Inspectors look for during inspections?
During an inspection, fire inspectors usually look for the safety systems that are in place. These consist of checking if there are fire alarm systems, if the fire alarm works, and if there are fire extinguishers in strategic places within the facility.
Fire inspectors will also check for passive fire protection systems such as lighted exit signs, working exit doors, clar evacuation plans, and if there are measures that prevent a fire from spreading in a structure.
In addition to safety systems, fire inspectors also look for fire hazards in the facility, including the possible starting points for fires. They will also check if responders will have access to the facility in case of a fire.
And if you fail to satisfy fire inspectors or pass the safety standards, you’ll be fined, or worse, jailed for a misdemeanor. Not exactly appealing to you, right?
What are the most common fire safety violations?
Some of the most common fire safety violations reported by inspectors are (but not limited to) the following:
- Broken or empty fire extinguishers
- Non-functioning fire alarms and detectors
- Blocked passageways and exit doors
- Non-visible emergency exits
- Extension cords that are too full
- Wrong storage of flammable materials
- Bad ventilation
- Non-functional sprinkler valves
How do you avoid the most common fire safety violations?
If you’re a landlord or a business owner, you do not need to wait for fire inspectors to point out common fire safety violations. Be proactive! Do the following so that you won’t get fined or penalized.
Regular check-ups and testing of fire protective equipment
To ensure that fire extinguishers, fire alarms and smoke detectors work especially when a fire breaks out, a regular check-up or testing should be conducted. We do not want to find ourselves in the middle of a fire only to learn that the fire extinguisher is broken, or that the fire alarms failed to go off and warn people that there is a fire.
Free up movement of people during evacuation
Your exit doors are there for a purpose: to allow people to move freely out of an establishment during emergencies, including fires. Imagine a rush of people quickly heading out during an evacuation and trying to see what hinders them from doing so. Go around your facility and make sure that these emergency exit doors are not blocked by office furniture, deliveries, supplies, or worse, locked. Make sure also that those doors are easy to open.
Ensure the visibility of exit signs at all times
When a throng of people needs to get out of a building immediately, they only have seconds to look for cues or signs that will point them in the direction of where the exit doors are. Make sure that the exit signs are visible, that they will light up during a fire, and that exits are clearly marked to facilitate quick decision-making.
Reduce any electrical hazards
Make sure that the use of extension cords is temporary in nature. They are not meant to permanently be the solution to electrical plugging issues. Also, make sure that your appliances, gadgets, and anything that requires electricity is properly plugged into the main outlets.
Identify the different sources of heat
Any activity within a structure that requires heat or fire such as cooking or heating must be identified. Regularly check areas where cooking or heating takes place and make sure that the area is clean and is not cluttered.
And when cooking is ongoing, always attend to the chore at hand. It is not uncommon for people to go get something while cooking, only to forget that they’re cooking in the first place. This is a fire risk that must be avoided.
Put flammable materials in an area that is safe
It is important that flammable materials in a structure are identified, especially the highly flammable ones. If these materials are necessary for work operations, keep storage at the minimum volume to keep the business in operations.
But if they need to be stockpiled, make sure that the materials are not located near any exit doors to ensure the safety of people immediately evacuating from a building. Also ensure that they are not stored near open fires or areas where heat comes from.
Keep an emergency safety officer in your establishment at all times
Having emergency officers in your workplace is a good safety measure to take. These emergency officers can be trained to operate a fire extinguisher, sound the fire alarm, lead the way when people are evacuating, and call emergency numbers when needed. They can also act as internal inspectors to make sure that fire codes and standards are adhered to.
Adhere to fire safety measures with Fire Alarm Testing Inc.
Homeowners or business owners in the Bay Area can stay several steps ahead in making their residence or place of business safe from fires. They can do this by having a certain level of awareness of fire codes, standards, or regulations to ensure that their homes or workplaces meet the requirements for fire safety and readiness. This is also to prepare for the required inspections.
Fire safety inspection are an important way to ensure safety at home and in places of business. It creates a safer place for residents, employees, or customers. It also ensures job security in businesses as 4 out of 5 businesses fail to get back into operations after a fire.
The services that Bay Area fire inspection experts provide in fire-proofing your home or business is a valuable proposition for anyone who is serious about minimizing fire risks and hazards. Our highly trained and expert technicians at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. conduct fire inspections in the Bay Area including fire alarm monitoring. We will make sure that you are ready in the event of a fire. Foremost for us is to help minimize the risk of fires breaking out for you, your home, and your workplace.
Fire Alarm Testing Inc. is a California based fire inspection company that takes great pride in the reputation that we have built in testing and monitoring fire alarm systems. We take our work and the services that we provide very seriously, as lives and properties are at stake. Our main goal at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. is to always ensure the well-being of our community and your safety.
Talk to us, and see how we can best serve and protect you. We look forward to working with you and keeping you safe and sound from fires.