You’ve probably reached this page at 11:17 pm, in a cold sweat because your insurance inspector and/or the fire marshal will be at your place of business at 9:00 AM tomorrow morning. You’ve come to the right place! We can help. If you truly are in a hurry – see the checklist at the bottom.
First of all, we’re sorry you’re in such a tight spot. You’re not the only one. Our secretary can attest that many of our calls come from panicked office managers or business owners. Though they’re a hassle, the fire marshal inspections are designed to keep you and your customers safe. Let’s review what the fire marshal will be looking for:
Do you have enough to meet the National Fire Protection Association’s fire hazard rating for your business? Are they placed with appropriate spacing and easily accessible? Have they been serviced in the past year and clearly marked with a state contractor’s tags? Fear not, if you have been using a fire protection company like All Florida Fire – your service technician generally calls to schedule the annual service. However, the responsibility does fall on the business owner to have the service performed by a company.
Does your building have them? Are they working? Have they been certified this year?
Are you using extension cords in a permanent manner? Do you have any exposed or damaged wiring?
Emergency Exit Lights
Are they all in working condition? Do any light bulbs need to be replaced? Do they work when the power to the building is turned off?
Fire Alarm Panels and Sprinklers
Is your building equipped with these? If so, they will be required to be maintained by a licensed state contractor annually. All Florida Fire currently does not service fire alarm panels or fire sprinklers.
Clear Entrances/Exits (Egresses)
Are the exits able to be used by persons in the business? Do they have signs that indicate they are to be locked at all times? Do the exit doors work? Are they free of obstacles or impediments to opening/closing them? Is your building properly marked from the street?
Now that you’ve seen the checklist, you can mentally review the items you’ll need to take care of. If you are not a fire safety specialist; you may need additional help. All Florida Fire can help you with exit lights, portable fire extinguishers, and fire suppression systems. If you are in a jam, we do have emergency call pricing and can send a technician right away to help ensure these items are up to date. If you need service for your building’s fire alarms or sprinklers, we can recommend local companies who perform these services.
Want an easier inspection next year? Here are some recommendations to avoid stress. After your inspections – immediately resolve any deficiencies. These are items that the fire marshal or insurance inspector will follow up on. If you do not address them, your business could be shut down! Then, mark your calendars for the following year. If you need suppression system service, you’ll want to mark your calendar about 5 months in the future to schedule service. If you only have portable extinguishers, you’ll need to mark it for 11 months in the future.
Keeping a checklist of items to keep in good condition is certainly a start, marking your calendar for the upcoming year will save you a headache. It will also help you avoid calling a fire safety protection service and paying top dollar for emergency service. Give yourself a cushion in case scheduling breaks down or you get sick. You can even train your office manager and delegate these tasks.
Fire Inspection Checklist:
o The building is properly marked with large and easy to read numbering from the street.
o All fire extinguishers have a current state contractor’s tag
o Grab your fire extinguisher(s) and read the company’s label. It should the following information:
§ Which services have been performed
§ Month/year of service performed
§ Technician name/certification number
§ Name/address/phone number of company performing servicing
o Are your emergency/exit lights working?
o Do they need batteries or electrical repair?
o Does the entire light fixture need to be replaced?
o Has your fire alarm panel been serviced in the past year?
o Have your sprinklers been serviced in the past year?
o Is your commercial kitchen equipment protected by a suppression system and a Class K fire extinguisher?
o Has the suppression system been serviced in the past six months?
o Have your fire extinguishers been serviced in the past twelve months or after being discharged?
o Do you have secure handrails on your stairs and ramps?
o Do these entrances and stairs/ramps meet minimum widths of 30 inches?
o When you bought interior furnishings – did they meet minimum fire spread safety requirements?