Fire alarm inspections are required of businesses and commercial structures, such as hotels, offices, restaurants, and retail stores. In most cases, a local fire department performs fire safety inspections, however in some cases, security and fire alarm companies are qualified to carry out such inspections.
Some of the primary areas and components that inspectors check include:
- smoke and alarm systems in good working condition
- easily accessible exits with visible signage
- properly functioning windows and doors
- fire extinguishers in good working order
- appropriately covered electrical boxes and switches
- visible address on the outside of the building
- Before a Fire Alarm Inspection
Before you undergo a fire inspection, be sure that the address of the building is clearly visible from the street. You will also want to ensure that all exits are clear of obstacles like merchandise and storage. The exit signs are an important element to the inspection, so look to see that these signs are properly lit. Take the time to replace any broken or damaged cover plates on electric units or on exit signage. Avoid using door stops around fire exit doors, for this may hinder the ability to escape the premises. If there are automatically closing doors in the building, check to see that they're in good working order. Lastly, you'll want to address the amount of clearance between electrical panels and circuit breakers. Make sure that there is at least 30 inches of clearance between panels and breakers, and if panels are hidden, include a sign to indicate where they are located.
Fire Safety Violations
If a business or commercial entity is in violation of fire codes, the inspector will issue a report that requires correction of the violation(s). In addition, the business will be required to pay any fines associated with the violation. If the violation is severe and potentially life threatening, the correction may be required within a 24 hours time period. Other less severe violations may be allowed up to 30 to 40 days to fix. In most cases, fire inspections will typically result in preventable violations that business owners can address on their own. Fire inspections are not always scheduled with proper notice, so be sure to assess the building and ensure its compliance on a consistent basis.
Home Fire Inspections
Home fire inspections, although very important, often times go overlooked by most homeowners. In fact, over 75% of deaths from fire-related incidents occur in a home. For this reason, there's a high level of concern for proper residential fire safety amongst both families and local fire departments. There are ways to prevent domestic fires by conducting your own home fire inspection. Some of the areas you'll want to address include checking the condition smoke alarms, electrical cords, vents, and chimneys. Additionally, you'll also want to assess how appliances are being used around outlets as well as other potential hazards that could start a fire. Your local fire department should have guidelines to help pinpoint areas of risk throughout the home.
The Advantages of Fire Inspections
Many business owners find fire safety and alarm inspections to be a burden and a hassle. However, these individuals should take into consideration that almost 80 percent of all small businesses that encounter a large fire fail to re-open in the future, according to All Business. Investing in fire safety inspections on a regular basis can result in greater customer and employee confidence, lower insurance premiums, minimized physical and financial risks, and a better resale value on the building.
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Safe Side Security, Inc. provides Fire Alarm Inspection service for local & monitored fire alarm systems. We adhere to the inspection requirements as outlined in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines and provide comprehensive testing and maintenance of fire detection devices.