Looking for an example of a fire marshal inspection checklist? Routine fire marshal inspections are a necessary part of running any business. Preparing for their arrival can help you avoid costly fines or temporarily closing your business due to code violations. This protection extends to your staff, property, and livelihood.
Here is an example of a fire marshal’s inspection checklist and fire safety requirements:
#1: Ways to Exit
The local fire marshal will examine your property’s egress routes and whether they are blocked or obstructed. Having multiple exits accessible in the event of a fire increases the likelihood that everyone may evacuate safely, which is required by the fire code. However, if your employees or consumers cannot access these exits or open them once they have opened them, they are useless.
To ensure your safety, fire inspectors will require you to have:
- A path at least 36 inches wide, leading to every exit door.
- Exit doors that can be opened quickly and are not locked.
- If there are any fire doors in the facility, be sure they close without obstruction and are not propped open with anything.
#2: Emergency lighting
All paths of egress must be not only transparent but also well-marked. If there is a fire, your facility could lose power, or visibility might become very low because of smoke. All exit signs must have backup batteries to stay lit for at least 90 minutes during a fire or power outage. Many of these units include emergency lights on top, which can be turned on at a moment’s notice to add more light and make exits even more apparent. The fire marshal will check that all the bulbs are functioning and that the batteries are in good working order.
#3: Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers enable any staff at your business to put out small fires independently. By stopping the fire before it has a chance to grow, you can avoid extensive damage to your property and injuries to yourself, your employees, or customers. Because of how important they are, the fire marshal will take special care during inspections to verify that:
- These are the minimum required numbers of extinguishers – in most office settings. You’re legally required to have a fire extinguisher within 75 feet of anywhere people might travel inside your facility.
- The fire extinguishers we provide are the correct type to combat any fire hazards in your business.
- The minimum size of your fire extinguisher must be in 2A-10BC.
- All your fire protection equipment has had its annual servicing within the last year. The necessary inspections have been completed, and the service tag is in its proper location.
- Secure all extinguishers on the wall or in an approved cabinet.
- There are no obstructions in the way of these units.
- Extinguishers weighing 40 pounds or less should have a top no higher than 5 feet from the floor. For those heavier than 40 pounds, the tops should be 3.5 feet from the floor at most. Also, there must be 4 inches of space between the bottom of each unit and the ground.
#4: Fire Alarm Systems
The panel is in charge of your facility’s fire alarm system. The fire marshal will inspect the fire alarm panel to verify that the required annual fire alarm maintenance and inspection by qualified staff has occurred and is documented. To prevent a citation, ensure your inspection tags are up to date, and no danger lights are lit on your panel. If one exists, a warning light will result in an automatic citation, so it’s best to repair the problem before the fire marshal arrives if one is already there.
#5: Sprinkler Systems
The fire marshal will carefully inspect your facility to see if it has a fire sprinkler system. Prepare for an examination by knowing that the fire marshal will verify that there is enough clearance around each sprinkler deflector during inspection preparations. It is crucial to keep the sprinkler system clean to operate correctly.
#6: Combustible Liquids: How to Keep Them From Collapsing
Anytime combustible materials or liquids are present, they create a heightened fire hazard and must be treated cautiously. Not only do these items provide fuel to any potential fire, but they also pose a significant risk to your facility in the form of explosion potential. Therefore, to minimize the risk of property damage or personal injury, it is always best practice to store them in a fireproof cabinet.
#7: Maximum Occupancy Requirements
The occupancy limit for a building ensures the safety of those inside in case of an emergency. If you exceed this number, you endanger lives and will be fined. Different constructions have different limits based on their use (businesses, schools, healthcare facilities, etc.), so ensure your structure meets the requirements during inspections.
#8: How to Safely Use Electrical Sockets and Electrical Cords
Overloading electrical sockets is a fire code violation linked to overcrowding of your facility. You can’t plug too many things into a single socket, whether you use several power strips in the same area or incorrect multi-plug adapters. It’s also against the law due to the fire inspection checklist to connect two or more extension cords to extend the reach of the electricity in your building. Extension cords are not allowed instead of permanent wiring.
#9: Panels, Electrical
To ensure that regular maintenance, upgrades, and additional wiring can be performed appropriately, electrical panels must be unobstructed and accessible at all times. Furthermore, since electrical panels have live currents running through them, any potentially flammable items (e.g., cardboard boxes) must be kept a safe distance away to avoid fire risk. In most cases, 3 feet of clearance is required before the panel to provide sufficient working space and lessen fire hazards.
It’s possible to overlook the required things while regularly going through the above fire marshal inspection checklists. In addition, fire codes are comprehensive, and changes are made frequently, making it challenging for you to keep up with the modifications and make necessary changes.