What Fire/Security Inspections Are Required for a Business? And Why Should You Be Compliant?
As a business in Florida, you’re expected to follow certain fire and security regulations. This is in the best interest of both you and your employees, and not complying can lead to fines or an unsafe building.
Fire and security inspections are essential for ensuring your business is up to date on safety measures and that there aren’t any unexpected complications.
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Fire/Security Inspections Required For a Business
New state laws have been made that require certain fire and security inspections for businesses. New and existing businesses are expected to comply, but learning about new regulations can be difficult if you aren’t sure where to look.
Recently, Florida businesses are expected to complete a visual inspection of all fire safety measures every six months.
With a visual inspection, you’ll need to look over a checklist of safety measures provided by the National Fire Protection Association. It is required that you hire a professional since many items on the list require expert knowledge on how fire safety measures work.
During the six-month inspection, an inspector will check if detectors are communicating and are mounted properly. They’ll also make sure that all notification systems are functioning.
Some of the most common violations during these inspections are often easy to avoid. To prevent your business from violating a part of the inspection, here are the most common violations found:
- Exceeding the maximum capacity limit
- Damaged, non-functional, or disabled fire alarms
- Blocked or locked fire exits
- Improper storage of flammable liquids or gases
- Use of open flames such as candles without a permit
- Inoperable emergency lighting
- Fire extinguishers aren’t up to standards
How and Why is it Important to Comply
If your business isn’t compliant with current fire safety regulations, you’ll face fines from the fire department. This can cause future problems and lead to significant hassles in the future, so it’s best to take the time and ensure your business is compliant with all inspections and regulations.
When it comes to making sure your business is compliant with fire codes, you’ll first have to do some research. If you don’t know what to do to be compliant, you don’t know where to start. You also don’t want to be caught by a surprise inspection, so it’s worthwhile to check your local fire department’s website or call the fire marshal and ask about inspections.
Be aware of any fire hazards you know already exist. If your fire alarms don’t work or your emergency exit lights aren’t reliable, be sure to fix this before the inspector arrives.
Here are some other things to look for that will prevent problems during the inspection:
- Clear and visible building address outside
- Unblocked exterior entrances and exits
- Fire extinguishers are easily accessible and have been inspected within the last 12 months.
- All exit doors are visible, functional, and easy to open
- No keys are needed to access exit doors
- Self-closing fire doors
- At least 30 inches of clear space around electrical panels
- Extension cords are only used as temporary fixes
- All fire exits have proper lighting
- Fire alarm tests are completed annually. Make sure you have documentation on hand for this as well.
- Carbon monoxide detectors are functional
Fire inspectors will look at many more aspects of your building, but if you’re limited on time, make sure you check and cover the points above. For more specific regulations, check your county’s fire codes.
Fire inspections can be stressful for a business, but they’re also very necessary. Skipping one is likely to cause more problems than it’s worth and result in heavy fines. Instead, run through the inspection list and hire a professional to make sure everything is in proper order before an inspector comes so that you know the inspection will go well.