Knowing what the fire marshal and your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is looking for regarding building fire safety regulations is vital. Regardless of what business or facility you own, you should do all you can to keep yourself, your team, the general public, and your valuable assets safe. Knowing common fire code violations in commercial establishments will help you pass fire safety inspections. Chesapeake Sprinkler is here to walk you through some common (but avoidable) building fire safety violations.
Door Regulations and Blocked Exits
It’s best practice to keep all doors and exits unblocked, meaning that deliveries shouldn’t sit in hallways and merchandise shouldn’t be in front of doorways. All exit doors, hallways, pathways, and stairways should be clear of merchandise and debris. It could be life-threatening even if you leave these items this way for only a few hours. If a fire emergency happens, you and your employees need to be able to evacuate without any hiccups.
Using Extension Cords Improperly
An extension cord is a temporary (but hazardous) fix to use multiple appliances simultaneously. Then, what happens is that this quick fix turns into a long-term solution. Avoid attaching extension cords directly to each other and permanent fixtures or passing them through holes in the wall. Add more outlets and remove extension cords to avoid the fire marshal showing up and fining you.
Poorly-Lit Exit Signs and Lighting
Flickering exit signs or exit signs that aren’t lighting up at all is a fire hazard. Blocked exit signs are also dangerous. People should know where to exit the building if a fire emergency occurs, and nothing should get in their way. You also want to ensure that you have emergency lights that remain lit for ninety minutes during power outages. Furthermore, you must have an annual inspection testing your exit signs and emergency lights, if not once a month.
Unsuitable Storage in Fire Pump and Riser Rooms
Every business has a place where they store their mops, brooms, and miscellaneous items. However, it’s best to refrain from storing these items in fire pump and riser rooms. A fire pump is a core part of a fire sprinkler’s water supply powered by electric, diesel, or steam. The riser room is the control center for a building’s fire sprinkler system.
Fire pump and riser rooms are not supposed to store anything besides fire protection equipment. If a fire emergency occurs, emergency personnel need to be able to access this room. Extra items could delay the time it takes to access the equipment.
An Improper Fire Sprinkler System
It’s best practice to update your fire sprinkler systems to match your design and hazard classification. Otherwise, there will be a code violation. If you decide to change buildings or repurpose a building, ensure that you consult a fire protection company to help you design and retrofit your fire sprinkler system to meet the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and AHJ standards.
You should also be aware of:
- Faulty smoke detectors
- Unmaintained fire alarms and fire protection systems
- Items hanging from fire sprinklers and pipings
- Keeping proper inspection and repair records
- Missing fire extinguishers
Contact Chesapeake Sprinkler today to ensure you have all you need to pass your fire safety inspections and avoid building fire safety violations.
Contact Chesapeake Sprinkler Company Today!
Chesapeake Sprinkler Company is a leading fire sprinkler contractor in the region, which is now a 100% employee-owned (ESOP) company. As a full-service fire protection company, we offer design, fabrication, installation, testing, maintenance, and inspection of fire protection systems—everything you need from your fire suppression specialist.
For more information, please email or call our Odenton location at 410-674-7041, our Ashburn location at 703-729-5150, or for service/maintenance Chesapeake Protection Services at 410-674-7577. Feel free to keep in touch through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!