Preparing for Fire Marshal Visits

There’s no telling when the fire marshal might stop by to take a good look at your business. Are you ready and up to code in every way? We know it’s easy to get complacent as more time passes between inspections, but we’re here to help. In one way or another, we deal with fire safety every minute of every day, and in fact we often host fire marshal training at our corporate training center.

Make sure you’re meeting the following standards to ensure that when the fire marshal does come by, he or she doesn’t leave you with a stack of code violations.

  1. Clear paths of egress: No door that customers and employees may use to exit can be blocked (allow three feet of clearance) or have any other impediment to getting out easily, like a locked deadbolt.
  2. Functioning exit and emergency lights: If you’re lights are out, you’re going to get dinged. Test them by depressing the “Push to test” button, which shows you whether the bulbs and batteries are in good shape.
  3. Properly used extension cords: Be reserved in your use of power strips and extension cords. No extension cords may be used as permanent wiring or run through ceilings and walls. Too many—or doubling them up by plugging one power strip or extension cord into another—is also a violation.
  4. Knox Boxes: You are required to have a key box mounted outside your building and near an entrance, and it needs to contain a key for every suite in your facility. Only the fire department can access the keys.
  5. Adequate sprinkler clearance: Make sure that shelves and storage areas aren’t stacked so high that the objects on them will get in the way of your sprinkler system’s performance.
  6. Occupant load: There’s a limit to how many people safely fit into your building, and you can’t exceed it. Three hundred people crammed into a space designed for 250 is going to get noticed during an inspection.
  7. Easily accessible electrical panels: Take a look around your mechanical/electrical rooms to make sure that you can get to the panel easily.
  8. Flammable and combustible liquids: These can’t be stored in the open. Make sure any such chemicals in your facility are safely stowed in a fireproof cabinet.
  9. Fire extinguishers and fire alarm panels: Stay up to date on your inspections, because the fire marshal will be looking at all the inspection tags on your extinguishers and panels. Even if your inspection is current, having any kind of warning light on your panel will be noted as a code violation.
  10. Fire protection water supply: Are all of your sprinkler control devices accessible and undamaged? The fire marshal will inspect your valves, post-indicator valves, and other control devices.

It’s a good idea to take a look around your facility regularly to ensure everything is ship-shape. Boxes end up in front of doors, and batteries run out. Staying up to code requires regular vigilance. And we can help. Make sure you’re on target with your inspection schedule, and feel free to ask your Koorsen associate for more details or tips for steering clear of code violations. Koorsen also offers free on-site hazard analysis for your convenience. Click here to schedule yours today.

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Koorsen Fire & Security was founded in 1946 and is a third-generation, family owned business. Over the years, Koorsen has become one of the largest and most respected fire and security companies in the United States with over 20 locations and nearly 700 associates. Koorsen Fire & Security is well-known for having the best training in the industry, and is insured and certified to design, install, program, service and repair virtually all fire and security products for any size business. Contact us to schedule your free on-site hazard analysis.

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