The Top 5 Things That Should Be on a Fire Safety Inspection Checklist
Areas of Obstruction
In case of an emergency, all affected parties should be able to evacuate the building quickly without any unnecessary obstructions. A safety inspector should make sure to check that all stairways and hallways are sufficiently clear and accessible to make a safe evacuation possible. This means ensuring that emergency exits are unlocked and not blocked by furniture or other barriers that would otherwise limit accessibility.
Points of Entry
One of the key things that should be evaluated during fire safety inspections is the existence of accessible points of entry for emergency services. In order to effectively slow down the fire, qualified professionals must be positioned to access the building and its most vulnerable points quickly and effectively without any obstructions or delays.
Having safe and accessible exits available to those within the building is also important in promoting fire safety. Having more than one accessible exit allows people within the affected building to evacuate as effectively and rapidly as possible, regardless of their position within the complex. Each exit should also be equipped with working lighting to ensure clarity and visibility during an evacuation.
Emergency personnel must be able to access water sources, such as fire hydrants, when attempting to stop a fire from spreading. These water systems are an indispensable resource for first responders. There must be a fire hydrant at a minimum distance from any building to ensure easy access.
If there are storage areas for flammable materials located within the building, these regions should adhere to strict fire safety protocols. Keep in mind that there are specific standards for both the type and quantity of these hazardous materials. The units in which they are being stored must also be of a certain standard to pass fire safety inspections.
According to regulations laid out by the NFPA, there should be a distance of no more than 75 feet between fire extinguishers in any indoor setting. Due to these regulations, the number of extinguishers will greatly depend on the layout of the building being inspected. Attention to detail and knowledge of the building itself must remain a central part of the inspection.
The type of fire extinguisher must also be inspected and must correlate with the pre-ordained fire hazard level of the building. If fire extinguishers are not up to date or do not adhere to required standards, then maintenance appointments must be made by the fire safety inspector to ensure that all systems are functioning correctly.
The NFPA has set out several recommendations related to smoke detectors in any indoor space. A residential building should have a smoke detector in each bedroom as well as one on each floor of the building, including the basement. In commercial buildings, there should be smoke detectors located in each room, hallway, and stairway within the complex.
During a fire safety inspection, attention should also be given to how each smoke detector has been installed. These safety devices should be equipped with working batteries and be correctly positioned in each designated area according to relevant regulations. As with the inspection of fire extinguishers, relevant appointments must be made to fix any nonfunctioning smoke detectors.
Any building that surpasses 5,000 square feet and/or is over 55 feet high is required to have a sprinkler system in place. Such systems should be located throughout the structure, with exemptions for rooms in which water interacting with hazardous materials being stored there could constitute a fire hazard.
If the building in question does not adhere to these standards, the inspector must make every effort to address the problem and ensure it is fixed as soon as possible. Making these appointments may involve employing services from licensed contractors. If a problem is identified, there must also be steps put in place to make sure it is resolved.
Exits should be correctly labeled with signifiers indicating the direction in which each one is located. Buildings should also post signs encouraging people to use stairs rather than an elevator in case of an emergency. If people opt to take the elevator during an evacuation, they may risk getting trapped during a fire. For fire safety reasons, signs indicating the maximum occupancy of each room should also be included within the building.
Electrical panels must be visible and accessible so that they can be easily disabled in case of a fire. There must be no obstructions to these panels, and they must be clearly marked. The storage of other materials or goods in designated electrical units is prohibited for the safety of those in the building. The use of extension cords should also be inspected as they may pose a fire hazard if they are not used correctly.
Any thorough fire safety checklist must include an examination of wiring within the building to make sure it adheres to required standards that promote fire safety. Computers and other electrical appliances should also be checked to make sure they are equipped with circuit breakers or other safety components, to prevent electrical fires and ensure public safety. The job of a fire inspector is instrumental to people's safety and well-being.
That being said, they don't act alone. Without the help of licensed contractors and skilled service professionals, safety protocols would be much harder to follow and implement. In need of software solutions to make your services count? Contact ServiceBox today to receive the tools you need to make the most of your inspection.