What Happens During the Fire Code Inspection Process?
Every year, commercial buildings must receive inspection and testing in their facilities to make sure it meets the codes and standards of the Life Safety Code. This code is defined by the NFPA, in their Life Safety Code, or the NFPA 101. But if you’re unsure of what a life safety inspection actually is, it will be hard to prepare for. What sorts of inspections are performed? What do inspection reports look like, and what do they entail? Here are the things you can expect from a fire and life safety inspection.
What is a Life Safety Inspection For?
First and foremost, an LSI is performed to ensure the safety of a building’s occupants. The inspections look at a building’s construction, its fire protection systems, and its operational features that provide safety from fire, smoke, and general panic during emergencies. A building passes an inspection when it meets all of the code requirements of NFPA 101.
The NFPA 101 is a code that is agreed upon by consensus and is revised every 3 years. The rules and regulations vary from state to state. Check with your local fire marshall for what your building needs to comply with and who you must call on to perform your building’s inspection.
What Does a Life Safety Inspection Look at?
While we can’t tell you specific requirements for every state, we can tell you some of the basic things that a fire marshall or fire inspection company will look at. Here are some of the usual suspects that must meet inspection requirements:
- Safety Systems: This will include your sprinkler systems as well as your emergency lighting, fire alarm systems, heat detectors, etc.
- Safety Devices: This means your fire extinguishers, your sprinkler heads, and other fire prevention devices
- Building Safety Requirements: This is the area that will house the most variations from place to place. This may include which way double-doors open in emergency route hallways, or if there is any clutter preventing access to smoke detectors or fire extinguishers, and a host of other variables.
What Happens After the Inspection?
After your official inspection is complete you will receive an inspection report. This will detail any shortcomings the building may have in regards to NFPA 101. These issues will have to be fixed before a specified date. Then you will receive another inspection to ensure that the building meets all of the fire and life safety codes.
Meeting these codes makes a building safer for its occupants, its visitors, and its owners. 40% of buildings that suffer a fire do not reopen their doors. This is because in addition to obvious rebuilding there are so many additional costs. This includes fixing smoke damage, repairing structural integrity, reinstituting fire and life safety systems, and so much more.
How to Get the Best Life Safety Inspection Possible
One of the best ways to ensure your building is safe from fire is to hire a professional fire inspector that has the best tools available. One of the best tools you can look for is an inspector who uses Inspect Point software. An inspector using Inspect Point software has access to the latest full issue of NFPA 101 at their fingertips. They’ll never miss any minute detail when following an inspection through the Inspect Point program.
If you want the best possible fire and life safety inspection, ask your fire inspector if they’re using Inspect Point software.
Prepare for your Next Life Safety Inspection
Hopefully, this article gives you some valuable insight into your next life safety inspection. Know what to have prepared and what to look out for. When you have an inspection at your building, you’re not just following the law. You’re also making the lives of your employees, clients, and yourself better. So face your next inspection with no fear, and make sure to ask if your inspector is using Inspect Point technology!