Ensuring compliance with fire safety codes is a high priority for any business. Certain fire code violations occur more often than others, and are surprisingly easy to avoid by taking a few proactive measures.
Blocked Exit Routes and/or Doors
One of the most frequent violations involves having exit routes and doors blocked. It may seem like no big deal to use hallways or the space in front of emergency exits for storage; however, doing so could prove disastrous during a fire. It can be very tempting to leave things in places where they don’t belong, so you’ll need to be extremely diligent if you are to break that habit.
Improperly Charged Fire Extinguishers
People don’t often think about fire extinguishers until there is a need for them. Just because you have a fire extinguisher doesn’t mean it is in good working condition. Your fire extinguishers must be formally inspected at least annually (per NFPA fire code) to ensure they are fully charged and operable at all times.
Overloading Electrical Outlets
Overloading electrical outlets dramatically increases your risk of a fire. Overloading often happens when:
- More than one surge protector is plugged into a single outlet
- One surge protector is plugged into another
- Heavy-duty appliances are plugged in with ordinary extension cords rather than using heavy duty ones
During a fire, it’s not uncommon for a building to lose power. Heavy smoke may make it difficult for people to find exits, even when it is daylight outside. Emergency lighting designed to come on whenever the power goes out is a must, as are exit signs at all exterior doors. One of the most frequent violations involves emergency lighting that fails to operate or exit signs that do not provide adequate visibility. Your business could also be in violation if your exit signs are illuminated by an adjacent light which is not wired into a back-up power source to ensure it is continuously lit.
These common fire code violations are easy to address; however, there are numerous others that are more complex and may not be overly obvious. The best way to determine if you are in compliance is to contact us to schedule an inspection.