There are several things that building owners can do to prepare for a commercial fire safety inspection. Understanding which fire and life safety codes apply to your building and location as well as communicating with your local fire department are just a couple of things to help you prepare to pass your fire inspection. Working with a reputable fire and life safety system company is another way to help prepare yourself.
Know the Fire Safety Codes and Ordinances Applicable in Your Area
Fire safety codes and ordinances will highlight the types of fire safety equipment that must be in place in your building for your location and will dictate the building requirements that must be adhered to. Building owners must be aware of international fire and safety codes such as those detailed in the International Building Code (IBC) as well as all national fire codes issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA 101 is applicable to all commercial properties with varying regulations enforced on a local level. Different local jurisdictions enforce their own building codes such as the Chicago Building Code. Additional codes and regulations also apply such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Form a Relationship with Your Local Emergency Rescue and Fire Departments
Rescue teams and fire departments do their best to help civilians in emergency situations, and they benefit greatly from knowing the floorplans of your building. Fire department personnel cannot possibly know specific things about your buildings and property unless you share with them. Building owners should provide their local fire department the floorplans of their building and property layout, along with any security alarm access codes. These documents will provide emergency rescue teams with the best method of entering your building to quickly and safely respond to an emergency.
A fire and life safety consulting firm can help you with providing necessary information about your commercial building fire alarm including the fire alarm system design. The make and model of your commercial fire alarm panel is also beneficial to communicate to emergency crews. Information that should be provided includes locations for the following:
- Exterior windows and doors
- All emergency exits
- Fire alarm pull stations
- Fire extinguishers
- Meeting area for all personnel
Your building safety manager should have procedures in place to quickly provide an attendance list of everyone that should be present in the building at the time of emergency.
Communicate Emergency Exit Plans to All Employees
Make sure that all emergency evacuation plans are current, posted throughout each facility and communicated to all personnel. Your egress plan should include a map of the facility with evacuation paths indicated. Occupants should have a clear visual representation of how to exit the building safely even if no fire drills have been conducted.
According to a fact sheet on Emergency Exit Routes by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most workplaces are required to have at least 2 exit routes. More than two exit routes may be required depending on the size and layout of the building and the number of employees. Make sure that all exit routes such as hallways are never blocked with clutter and are clear for evacuation.
Partner with an Experienced Fire and Life Safety Company
High Rise Security Systems, HRSS, is an experienced fire and life safety company providing comprehensive services to businesses in and around Chicago, IL. We offer complete commercial fire alarm system design, testing and maintenance to help companies prepare for fire safety inspections. Our team is vastly experienced with all applicable fire and life safety codes, helping companies to maintain compliance and pass fire safety inspections.
HRSS provides comprehensive fire and life safety services to commercial properties in and around Chicago. We offer UL listed equipment, maintenance, testing and inspections along with fire alarm system design. Contact us with any questions on fire safety compliance and how to prepare for a fire safety inspection.