Essential Fire Safety Compliance: Audits and Certifications

Fire safety is more than just a reactive response to hazards. It’s about taking proactive steps to manage our environment and habits to prevent them from occurring. The American government has established numerous rules and guidelines, making fire safety compliance mandatory for every citizen. This article will delve into compliance, fire-compliant audits, the audit procedure, and audit certifications, highlighting potential risks and consequences of non-compliance.

Why Compliance Is Important

According to the CTIF (International Association of Fire and Rescue Services) Center for World Fire Statistics, an alarming average total of 1,353,500 fires occurred on American soil, causing nearly 15,000 fatal injuries and 4,000 unfortunate deaths due to fire.

People are losing their lives and property over fire hazards that could’ve been prevented if the proper precautions were taken beforehand. It is impossible to be 100% protected from any fire danger, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared with the correct prerequisites to prevent it from becoming a problem.

Judicial law mandates compliance with the rules and regulations of fire authoritative figures like the NFPA, OSHA, and the U.S. Fire Administration. The reasoning behind making these guidelines actual laws is to take the safety of every single person in the country seriously.

These standards must be followed because they are a clear guide to maintaining safe spaces within any environment and making sure that even if a fire is possible, there is a way to prevent it from becoming a significant problem; there is a system in place that indicates an emergency. There is a proper route for escape and safety if the fire goes out of control.

Audits For Fire Safety

A fire safety audit, a crucial tool in ensuring compliance, is an overall examination and rating of a building or environment and the level at which this premises has effectively implemented the rules and regulations of fire safety. These audits can only be done by certified fire officials who know what to do and what to look for during an overall system inspection.

The overall objective of an audit is to analyze the current health of fire protection systems, check for any fire hazards that could cause an accident, ensure that organizational rules and regulations are being followed, test the effectiveness of prevention tools, and finally make any suggestions to improve upon what already exists in the system.

Here are a few guidelines of what a fire safety audit represents and how to conduct one correctly,

Define Your Aim and Target

  1. Define what the objectives of the fire audit are. Ensure that these objectives encompass all that needs to be inspected and tested within the premises. This should also include the final requirements for the audit result score.


  2. The scope of the audit should be decided and planned before it begins. This would include preparing a sketch of the area and highlighting the regions the audit will consist of. Then, a more detailed definition of which buildings and systems will be targeted during the inspection process.

Get The Data You Need

  1. Before you proceed to an audit, you must have all the information about the premises, whether it is building plans, emergency system information, manufacturer information, previous inspection details, current fire regulations, or even the number of protection devices like fire alarms and extinguishers.
  2. Every local area follows its own set of rules and regulations. These are minor modifications of NFPA guidelines due to different environments and conditions that may not allow the exact implementation of the codes. The area’s AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) can provide and verify this information.

Form A Team of Experts

  1. An audit is not a one-person job. The leading audit officer needs a team of specialists in the fire who know what to do during an audit. The officer needs to put together a team before inspecting the premises.
  2. The team needs to be informed beforehand of all the information about the premises. They then need to be designated their responsibilities during the audit so that each team member can work efficiently without wasting time.

A Thorough Physical Inspection

  1. The audit inspector and their team need to assess every component of a building or premises and document it effectively for the reference of other team members. They are responsible for doing this physically on the premises.
  2. This process can include inspecting components like fire safety systems, potential fire hazards, fire safety equipment, emergency exit lighting, exit doors, exit routes, and environmental barriers to immediate safety.

Inspecting Fire Prevention and Protection Systems

  1. Checking fire protection systems for proper and immediate functionality requirements can involve testing the system with specific methods and tools to ensure it works fine and will operate exactly as needed in an actual fire emergency. It can also include assessing the accessibility, usability, quick reachability, effectiveness, and efficiency of these systems.
  2. As crucial as an inspection is, auditors also need to rate the level of maintenance of the current systems they are inspecting and provide precise instructions on how the systems can be maintained better and more efficiently.

Check How Ready They Are

  1. Auditors must also review how prepared people are if an emergency occurs in real-time, checking their evacuation plans, emergency response teams, records of sample fire drills they’ve conducted, and efficient egress paths. The preparation would also be different for various environments, such as industrial areas, residential areas, government property, private property, factories with hazardous materials, etc. Ensure every type is ready with the suitable materials for their specific property.
  2. This process assesses the framework of their emergency plans and the people. They need to be tested on the safety procedures that must be followed during an emergency, the location of emergency fire exits, the usage of safety equipment, and the protocols to follow.

Inspect Regular Cleaning and Storage of Materials

  1. Citizens on their premises must ensure that they regularly maintain the environment around them, promoting cleanliness and inadvertently preventing any extra hazardous materials from still existing. Hence, a regular cleaning schedule must be implemented and checked for during an audit.
  2. Along with cleaning, properly storing hazardous materials used in different environments for business operations is also essential. The main components to note during an audit are flammable materials or any chemical substances that could influence a hazard.

Verify Regular Record-Keeping

  1. The audit team needs to inspect all the fire safety equipment within the premises they are auditing. The equipment must be appropriately inventory managed, and every piece must have documentation and regular inspection tags for evidence of maintenance and testing.
  2. Similar to the documentation for every fire protection device, every building component must have proper documentation for its inspection and verification by an authorized fire inspector or technician. These technicians must have the appropriate certifications to inspect the premises; similarly, even the auditor must have this certification to verify a property.

The Final Audit Report

  1. Any deficiencies or hazards discovered during the premises audit must be documented and included in the final report. Next, non-compliant environmental features should be listed along with the regulations they are violating.
  2. The Audit Report summarizes all the facts and information gathered during the audit. The auditor must also provide feedback to every team member. For any fallacies and deficiencies, a section of corrective measures must be presented so that the premises are improved and bright within the laws and regulations that must be followed.

Implementation and Follow-Ups

  1. After presenting the deficiencies and implementations that must be done, auditors need to ensure that suitable measures have been implemented with verification. This can also include more inspections that can follow up on these updates.
  2. Audits need to be conducted regularly, and the auditor is responsible for fixing the next periodic date on which they need to perform a checkup on the premises and the interlinking materials. This can help maintain compliance, which can change through amendments and new legislation of the American government.

After reading this article, I hope you better understand fire safety audits and their importance for ensuring compliance for your property and organization. If you need more information about fire alarm systems, their compatibility, and the total expected robustness you need for your business, look at another one of our blogs for a more detailed and comprehensive study on fire alarms.

While auditing can help the protection system overall, conducting these inspections and tests and preparing for an audit now and then is laborious and time-consuming. ZenFire can help you optimize this critical task. We have a library of 500+ ready-to-use checklists that are instantly available for download and usage. Take advantage of these resources and finish your inspections in no time!

If you’re interested in how ZenFire can help you and your technicians with your whole business, take a free demo on us and see what we can do for you.

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