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How To Schedule A Fire Inspection: A 101 Fire Safety Guide For Building Owners

As a building owner, you have a commitment to ensuring the welfare of your property and its occupants. Scheduling and conducting regular inspections is a great way to guarantee fire safety and protection from expected fire emergencies, adhere to fire safety regulations, and secure coverage from insurance companies.

A Fire inspection is a preliminary step toward ensuring fire safety. Conducted by qualified fire safety inspectors; it examines buildings or establishments and their fire protection systems to prevent potential fire hazards, save lives and properties, and prevent the loss of personal belongings.

Here What We Cover

Why Are Fire Inspections A Fundamental Step Towards Fire Safety?

Fire inspections have many benefits, but they are mainly beneficial because they provide the assurance that your environment is safe and in regulatory compliance.

First and foremost, a fire inspection process protects against accidental fires caused by a lack of proper and thorough safety management. This can increase the risk of a fire occurrence and stimulate its spread to other areas, incurring more damage to property and lives.

Fire safety inspections help protect the lives of the building’s occupants, visitors, employees, and the surrounding areas. They also save the property and assets of the building’s owner and occupants from destruction. The inspection process can help ensure that the building has enough protection systems and units to control the spread of fire and extinguish it effectively.

Regular checks help ensure that emergency escapes are properly maintained and not restricted to hinder an emergency. They also ensure that the building has ample ventilation for the smooth passage of toxic gases and smoke. Fire safety inspections ensure compliance with NFPA standards and the insurance company requirements to obtain adequate fire insurance coverage.

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Obligatory Checklist For Fire Inspections

Fire inspections of new construction often begin with a preliminary assessment of the establishment and surrounding areas. To schedule a New Construction Fire Inspection, you must have a valid Fire or Building and Safety permit. You will also need to have your permit number or the address of your inspection site handy, which might be required when scheduling your inspection over the phone.

A fire marshal examines the building plans, past inspection documents or reports, and maintenance records. The inspection is then scheduled according to the codes and regulations of the location, building type, use, and potential hazards.

During a systematic fire prevention and safety inspection, the fire marshal will examine all fire safety and fire protection systems for damage, wear and tear, proper placement, and functionality. Fire prevention equipment, including sprinkler systems, alarms, suppression systems, extinguishers, etc., is meticulously checked to ensure that tools will not malfunction in case of a severe fire.

Apart from tools and equipment, ventilation and emergency pathways are checked to avoid blockages of toxic gas and smoke and ensure proper fire egress for the building site’s occupants and staff.

 

The checklist also covers mandatory discussions with the owner and the building occupants about fire safety and emergency plans, which can be beneficial in an emergency. Building staff are provided training on operating fire protection tools to help them combat any sudden fire-related emergencies.

After the entire process, the fire marshal provides an inspection report based on their examination and presents their findings to the owners. The report highlights any deficiency, malfunctioning equipment, or violation of codes and regulations. Building owners must make the necessary changes and schedule a reinspection from the fire marshal’s office to collect the inspection certificate.

How To Schedule A Fire Inspection For Your Property?

To schedule a fire inspection for your establishment, there are no predefined steps. From a general view point of scheduling an inspection process, you can follow either of the steps below:

  • Visit your local fire department website – Your local fire department website will have all the necessary details you are looking for. Look for the fire inspection tab that talks about the process. Or, there may be a form available for you to fill out. The form may contain blanks where you can fill out the necessary information about your property and the inspection you want to conduct. The department may contact you after the submission of the form.

  • Contact your local fire marshal’s office – if no relevant information is available on the website, try contacting your local fire department and enquire about the fire inspection process for your property. make sure to clear out all your queries and the preparatory steps before the inspection process.

How Often Does The Fire Marshal Conduct Inspections?

According to the fire code and regulations, fire inspections are usually conducted annually. However, that schedule can depend on and change according to the establishment type, location, use, and potential fire causes owing to the presence of flammable and volatile items in the building.

 

NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, states not only the essential activities that need to be completed and ticked off the list but also the frequency at which water-based fire protection system checks should be conducted. The frequencies mentioned also provide the minimum and maximum times between the events, allowing owners to choose their preferred time.

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Where To Find The Fire Safety Inspection Checklist For Your Area?

Contact your area’s fire inspection and request a checklist document by submitting a request to your local fire marshal’s office. These checklists are according to the local or state code standards and will help you prepare for the fire inspection process of your building.

How To Prepare For An Inspection For Your Fire Protection Systems?

Before you contact a fire marshal to perform a fire safety inspection for your building, you must keep your fire systems ready for the fire marshal to examine.

The following steps can help you ensure that you’re fire protection units are ready for inspection:

Step 1

Inspect your fire safety equipment thoroughly for corrosion or leaks. Test your fire alarms, smoke detectors, and sprinkler systems to ensure they function correctly. Check your sprinkler heads for blockage and devoid of residue materials. Check the fire extinguishers and make sure they are easily accessible during emergencies.

Another common violation that many business owners are unaware of is the issue of private hydrants. The fire hydrant in front of your business must always be free from obstruction.

Step 2

Check your emergency lighting and review your emergency escape routes, ensuring they are free from obstructions that can hinder you in an emergency. Also, remember to check your storehouse for proper storage of volatile components, which your fire marshal can point out.

Step 3

In case of deficiencies, make the necessary repairs and replacements to avoid scheduling a laborious reinspection appointment with the city fire marshal on another date, which you might need to pay extra for.

Step 4

Keep your documents handy, such as your past inspection records, testing reports, installation records, building permits, or other necessary documents. Keep them ready for ease of access during the fire inspection.

Also, make sure the construction permit, job card, and approved plans are readily accessible on the job site to avoid scheduling a reinspection, which can cause considerable delay in getting your inspection certification.

Takeaway!

Scheduling fire inspections is vital for ensuring the safety of the building and for adhering to regulatory compliance. They don’t just protect you from accidental fires but also aid in endangering lives, property, and assets.

So, make sure you assess your protection systems and keep your safety equipment in check before calling and scheduling an appointment with your fire marshal for a regular safety inspection.

How To Schedule A Fire Inspection: A 101 Fire Safety Guide For Building Owners

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