The fire department is the entity that performs annual fire inspections. These inspections point out risks and hazards in the facility, which are noted at the end of a report to be remedied by employers. How this inspection is completed, when it is completed, and what it’s done for may vary depending on the city regulations, the local jurisdiction, and what the state requires. These inspections should not be taken lightly as lives are on the line. Because of this, it is recommended that some knowledge of the applicable codes, standards, and ordinances are understood, so employees are able to meet or exceed the inspection instead of having to go back and fix problems that could have been avoided in the first place.
Being prepared for these inspections is the main goal when trying to develop a positive working relationship with the fire inspector. Surprise visits do occur, similar to the surprise health inspections that happen in food-related establishments. In case of these surprise visits, it’s always good to be prepared and up to date on maintenance and fire protection initiatives. The things that the fire safety inspectors will most likely check are as follows:
- The inspector will check the safety systems that are in place. These include both the active and passive fire protection equipment.
- Active fire protection systems include sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and smoke alarms, etc.
- Passive fire protection systems include anything that prevents fires from spreading or assists with egress, for example, lighted exit signs as well as exit doors.
- The inspector will determine the fire hazards that exist within the building and ways that a fire may spark.
- The inspector will make sure that emergency responders have easy access to the facility in case of emergency.
Fire safety inspections are an important part of creating a safe place for work. There are several positives that come with completing inspections annually or whenever the local jurisdiction requires them to be completed, including:
- A safer place for the residents or employees.
- A safer building for visitors or customers.
- Job security. Up to 80% of facilities that have an accident related to fire will not re-open which results in the loss of jobs.
- A better resale value for the building since there will not be anything needing to be fixed as an extra cost upon selling it.
- Lower insurance costs may available for those who properly maintain and install fire protection systems.
Every 24 seconds there is a fire that a fire department somewhere in the United States must respond to. Even though the deaths related to fires has decreased significantly in comparison to forty or more years ago, the statistics are still quite frightening. Workplace fire safety is an extremely important topic that must be discussed in any and every facility since prevention always begins with preparedness and the right kind of knowledge.
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