Making sure you have a dependable and reliable fire protection system in your building is a meaningful investment, not just for what it does; but perhaps more importantly: for what it says. While it’s there to protect people, what it says to your employees is that their security and safety are worth it.
People count on you to make sure that the appropriate systems are in place in case of an emergency. That being said – fire protection systems don’t just exist on their own. They need to be inspected and maintained and if they’re not taken care of, they can malfunction.
Depending on your business – this can also be quite costly as you may have some issues making sure your suppression system is up to code. And violate those codes enough and hefty fines could come along with them.
Today, we’re here to discuss some of the common fire code violations we find in businesses and what you as the owner – can do about them. Let’s jump right in!
Dirty Smoke Detectors and Ductwork
You should always keep your eyes peeled to make sure your smoke detectors aren’t collecting dust and that they’re cleaned and tested regularly. Particularly in large buildings, there are extensive air handling systems that have smoke detectors installed inside. Lots of air passes through these systems and because of that, the filters fill up fast. They’ll need to be changed regularly.
Blocked Exits and Pull Stations
Employees should have a clear idea of not only where exits and pull stations are; but also have a clear path to them as well. Having clear exits is a bedrock of essential workplace fire safety. No one should have to move anything in order to escape. Especially in situations where there isn’t much time; every second counts and any potential obstruction could cost someone injury or even death. Make sure your exits are clear.
Second, make sure the pathway to things like pull stations are cleared. These exist so people can give each other early warning about potential or actual fires. Make sure no one’s seated in front of them or that there isn’t anything in the way of getting to them freely.
Air Diffusers Too Close to Smoke Detectors
Sometimes HVAC pros can make the mistake of putting air diffusers too close to smoke detectors in your building. When they get too close, they cause excessive dust and dirt build-up on a smoke detector’s sensors. This is a less dangerous problem but you’ll still get dinged for it.
What this excess grime does is increase the likelihood of a false fire alarm. Make sure you keep your fire alarms and air diffusers at a safe distance.
Hopefully, these tips will help make it a little easier the next time an inspector comes through. In the meantime, review your fire protection system layout and your fire safety plan with your local fire professional.
If you want more information on this or any other fire or life safety topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.