Fire Inspection Preparation: What You Need To Know
Is your building ready for a fire inspection? At any time, a fire marshal could arrive to inspect your building. It is essential that you make sure your building remains up to code at all times. Do you know how to do this? Are you well-versed in fire inspection preparation? If not, you can easily learn what you need to do to be ready. Your building will remain safe from fires and you will meet the inspection from the fire marshall with flying colors!
Fire Department Accessibility
When it comes to Chicago fire safety laws, your building needs to be easily accessible to the fire department in case of a fire. The street address needs to be clearly marked and visible from the road so that the fire department can find your address if needed.
Any fire hydrants located on the property need to be clearly visible as well and are not blocked by any structure or landscaping. With a fire hydrant, a minimum of three feet of space must be left clear on all sides. Fire lanes of your building will also need to remain clear of obstruction.
Inside the Building
For the interior of your building, there are steps you can take to ensure the property meets Chicago fire safety codes. Exit doors need to open easily by one individual. If the doors are locked, the door should not require any special keys or tools to function. Walkways, paths or stairways will need to remain clear of obstructions or debris.
Any emergency lights and exit signs of the property need to be clearly lit and working at all times. Check to make sure the lighting and signs will work during normal mode as well as during an emergency. Since these units utilize a battery backup system to provide illumination in the case of a power outage, each must be tested on an annual basis. This testing helps to ensure that the unit will function correctly if a loss of electrical power occurs. An overview of the required annual testing can be found here: https://connectedfire.com/index.php/emergency-lighting-exit-signs.
Fire extinguishers need to be located on site as well and be in working order. In case of an emergency, access to the fire extinguisher must be simple and clearly marked. It is important to ensure that your property has the required number and type of fire extinguishers required by code. Fire code will also dictate the required location where these extinguishers must be installed.
Extinguishers must also be maintained and serviced by a licensed fire extinguisher technician on an annual basis. You can review the maintenance requirements for extinguishers here: https://connectedfire.com/index.php/fire-extinguishers.
Any sprinkler systems should also be checked on a regular basis to ensure proper operation. With such systems, the water needs to be able to function so that if a fire were to break out, the system can assist correctly.
common cause of the fire in a building is faulty electrical equipment. Be sure to have your electrical system inspected on a regular basis. Make sure cover plates are in place on circuit breaker panels and junction boxes. Any openings in circuit breaker boxes should be covered with a plug to contain any arcs or sparks if they were to occur.
Avoid using extension cords in place of permanent wiring. If you need new outlets in the building, be sure to have an electrician provide the work for you.
Overall, it is important to be prepared when it comes to Chicago fire safety. Having the right precautions in place will ensure you pass any fire inspection but also provides peace of mind to those in the building as they know they are safe from fire.