Business property owners understand the tediousness of an annual fire inspection. It’s just another state-mandated task for them to check off their to-do list. But a yearly fire inspection is a necessary part of a business, and here are the reasons why.
A Fire Inspection Ensures Your Fire Suppression System Works
What use is an expensive fire suppression system if it doesn’t work at the only moment we need it? The building burns down, and the costs are piling up. Add to that the fact that the business has to go to a standstill.
All because the fire suppression system didn’t activate at the only time you needed to.
A fire inspection doesn’t just spot violations and problems you have to spend money on to fix. A fire inspection makes sure that when it matters, your assets are protected. A fire inspection is preventative maintenance.
The fire inspector will scrutinize the individual parts of the fire suppression system and look for compromises. Essentially, an inspection spots potential problems before they blow a hole in your property and your wallet. With the help of annual fire inspections, you can save up because it’s less expensive to repair or replace broken parts than a burnt wall.
A Fire Inspection Maintains Your Building’s Compliance with Fire Codes
Every local area has its fire codes. Fire codes set the minimum standard for protecting the building and its occupants from the threat of fire. A fire inspector ensures that the facility adheres to the local fire codes to the tiniest detail.
The inspector will look for details such as how the emergency lights and exit signs function, how clear the paths to and from exits are, or check whether your fire alarms are up to code and tagged. There are a lot more details a fire inspector will look for – these are just a few examples.
Failure to comply with the local fire codes has consequences. Consequences differ from state to state, but they commonly include fines. But as mentioned before, a fire inspection can catch a potential problem before it explodes in your face; a regular fire inspection can even save you from violating fire codes.
Regular Fire Inspections Predict the Buildings Chances of a Fire
Fire inspectors know various fire suppression systems. And they know which systems work best for which types of facilities. A fire inspector can recommend better maintenance systems and plan for emergencies.
Regular Fire Inspection is a Law
Legally-speaking, fire inspection is needed yearly. The National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires businesses to have annual fire inspections. Your local building department, the fire department, and sometimes even your insurance carrier require regular fire inspections.
Insurance: Stronger Claims, Lower Premiums, and Limited Liability
This point is not a necessity, but it is a huge benefit. Insurance companies offer discounts to businesses for adequately maintained and regularly inspected fire protection systems. Plus, adhering to fire codes strictly limits your liability for any potential damages or injuries inflicted by fire on occupants of the building. And lastly, if you can’t prove that the building is regularly inspected for fire hazards, your insurance claim may be rejected.
Fire Inspections Prevent the Loss of Money
Uncontrolled fires are costly; they damage and hurt businesses and people. Around 80% of small businesses in the United States that had to close due to fire don’t reopen. The businesses that reopen will take years before financially recovering.
Businesses that reopen suffer the loss of customers because they had to remain closed for weeks. Plus, these businesses have to purchase new equipment and materials if they lost a few to the fire. And they have to pay for repairs to the facility.
Even with insurance, a fire can set a business back financially – sometimes without the hope of recovery. A fire inspection may require you to spend a few bucks, but it is less taxing financially in the long run.
What to Expect in a Fire Inspection
As already mentioned above, a fire inspector looks for a lot of details in a building. To better help you pass a fire inspection, here is a list of what a fire inspection entails.
Clear Path of Egress
Egress refers to the three exit elements necessary for the safety of the occupants. The three elements are exit access, exit, and exit discharge.
Exit access refers to the area that leads to the fire exit. Exit is the door or opening leading out of the building. The exit discharge is the safe area on the outside of the building.
The fire inspector will examine all three elements of egress. They should be known by all occupants, visible, accessible, and free of any obstacles. The fire inspector will make sure that all occupants can quickly exit the building in case of a fire.
Working Fire Sprinklers
The fire inspector will look at fire sprinklers and determine if they are compromised in any way. They will look for rust or corrosions on the sprinkler heads and other causes for concern. The fire inspector will write a report detailing every documented issue.
The building owner is responsible for rectifying all problems.
Fire inspections include examining whether the fire alarms are working impeccably. The inspector tests and calibrates the alarm sensors, such as flame and smoke detectors.
Fire inspections include examining fire extinguishers. The inspector will look for rust or damage to the equipment. The gauge on the head of the fire extinguishers must be green to indicate maximum operational efficiency.
If there’s a problem with the extinguishers, the inspector should let you know, and you should rectify it.
You Need a Fire Inspection
Fire inspection is needed – there should be no doubt about it. Common sense dictates that you have to take preventative measures to protect your business and your assets.Protek Fire Systems is fully certified and capable of inspecting for fire hazards according to the code of the NFPA. Contact us via email at [email protected] or give us a call at (801) 718-1055 for a dependable fire inspection.