Common Fire Code Violations, and an Inspection Checklist to Promote More Consistent Fire Safety Inspections

Fire codes were defined to protect businesses from severe fire incidences and to minimize the severity of fire damages incase fire occurs. Most of these codes focus on fire prevent and quick or immediate fire intervention. Despite of their importance businesses commonly violate some of these codes, increasing their risk of businesses being destroyed by fire incidence or even causing serious injuries and/fatalities among their workers or customers.

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Some of the most commonly violated fire codes include obstructed exits and passageways, lack of emergency lighting, non-illuminated exit signs, damaged or missing fire extinguishers, damaged or missing smoke detectors, skipping fire alarm and fire sprinkler inspections, lack of suitable device to ensure that fire doors is self-closing and in other cases leaving wedged opened fire door. Another major violation is the use of extension cables as permanent cables either by attaching them to permanent fixtures or by connecting them to each other.  The fire code demands extension cables be only used on temporal basis. Another common violation is the use of riser room as a store, creating obstruction. Another common violation is invisible exit signs as a result of poor illumination and poor positioning of the exit sign. The final common violation is not covering outlet electrical cables.

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  1. fire exit Passage
    • The exit passage needs to be clear with no any form of obstruction at all times.
    • The exit passage need to be effectively illuminated at all time to ease people’s movement in case of an accident
  2. fire exit sign
    • Exit passage sign should be put on a visible position, where it is easy for all people including new customers to see it.
    • Exist sign position should also be effectively illuminated
  3. Fire exit door
    • should contain the tool to aid in making it self-closure
    • should not be left open for easy passage but no ajar
    • Should effectively illuminated
    • should lead to a clear outside pathway to a safe place
  4. Fire Extinguishers
    • The type of fire extinguisher should match the anticipated type of fire
    • The size of fire extinguisher should match the anticipated square size area it needs to cover in fire extinguishing
    • The fire extinguisher should always be places in a strategic position that is easy to access in case of the fire
    • It should always be put in its position to ensure it is available in case of emergency
    • It should be well maintained
  5. Smoke detector
    • Should be well maintained and always functional
    • should be serviced after every fire incidence
    • should be inspected regularly
  6. Fire Alarm
  7. Fire sprinkler
    • Should be maintain after every fire incident
    • Should be inspected regularly as per the schedule to ensure that it is functioning effectively and inspection record and report developed
  8. Use of extension cable
    • Extension cables should only be used on a temporal basis only
    • Extension cables should not be tied to each other
    • Should not be directly inserted in a permanent source
  9. Riser Room
    • Nothing should be stored in the riser room. It should be bare to enhance easy movement
  10. Electrical cable outlet
    • Electrical cable outlets which include circuit breaker panel, junction boxes or any other form of outlet box need to be always covered

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