Fire Safety Inspection: What Is It and What should be included in a fire safety inspection checklist.

In this guide, you'll learn about what a fire safety inspection is, and what should be included on a fire safety inspection checklist.

Introduction 

When talking about public safety, Fire safety is also a critical part of public health and safety. To keep people safe from the dangers of fire, it is important to educate the masses about fire safety and the necessary precautions which should be taken in the event of a fire outbreak. Observations and surveys into the matter have revealed that most people avoid learning about fire safety and the dangers that come with it unless it doesn’t affect them in any direct way. Such lack of awareness has been responsible for some of the worst fire disasters in history. 

About Fire Safety

Fire safety is a critical issue that all people should be aware of. Negligence due to lack of awareness about the destructive nature of fire and the damage they can cause is more often than not spotted as the main reason for frequent fire outbreaks that turn violent and end up taking, lives, destroying property, and costing millions in property damage. 

According to fire loss and damage data provided by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Fire departments responded to around 1.37 million fire safety calls across the United States in the year 2021. 

On, Average, Fire departments in the US responded to fire outbreaks every 23 seconds in 2021, a structural, or house fire was reported every 93 seconds, fire deaths occurred every 3 hours, and fire-related injuries took place every 48 minutes. 

With the data, it’s clear that fire outbreaks can cause extensive damage to property, severe injuries, and, in some cases, unfortunate deaths. To stay safe in the event of a fire, it is highly important to understand the basics of fire safety.

What is a fire safety inspection?

The purpose of a fire safety inspection is to identify any potential fire hazards in a building and to recommend corrective action. 

A comprehensive fire inspection is conducted in-office establishments, buildings, and residential apartments to ensure proper precautions and measures. 

The inspection team headed by an experienced fire inspector will look to inspect the entire facility floor by floor to check for the necessary fire precaution and fire control systems items such as smoke detectors aka fire alarms, fire extinguishers, physical obstructions, and any potential fire hazards. 

Post-inspection, the inspector will conduct a thorough analysis of all the fire control system capabilities and once the analysis is concluded, the inspector will fill in the owner of the building or any other individual of relevant position with the details of the analysis conducted. 

For example, as per regulation, each floor should have at least three fire alarm systems, a minimum of four fire extinguishers, and automatic sprinklers. Each fire extinguisher should be placed between two separate rooms, near each bedroom, and it should be made sure via repeated self-inspections that the extinguishers remain properly functional. 

Some key essential aspects of a fire safety inspection include:

  • Fire detection and alarm systems: A properly functioning fire detection and alarm system are essential for early warning of a fire.
  • Smoke detectors: Smoke detectors should be installed at levels of the building and in each apartment
  • Emergency escape routes: Emergency escape routes should be marked and  easy to navigate in the event of a fire.
  • Fire extinguishers: It is important to have properly maintained and accessible fire extinguishers on every floor of the building.

Why conduct a fire safety inspection?

It’s been well covered and documented that Fire is a critical hazard that can cause extensive damage to property and loss of life. It is therefore essential that fire hazards are identified and mitigated through fire inspection and comprehensive standards of Fire safety. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a series of comprehensive fire standards which guide the identification and mitigation of fire hazards. These standards are widely adopted by local authorities and play an important role in ensuring public safety as well as the safety of the public property. 

One key standard is NFPA 1, which provides guidance on the establishment and maintenance of an effective fire protection program. This standard covers all aspects of fire protection, from emergency response to training requirements. It also includes specific requirements for inspecting buildings and identifying potential hazards.

Another key standard is NFPA 101, which stresses the minimum requirements for the responsible construction and utilization of buildings. This standard covers everything from emergency escape routes to sprinkler systems. It also includes specific requirements for fire safety inspections, which help identify potential hazards in buildings.

The importance of fire inspection and comprehensive fire standards cannot be overstated. By ensuring that these standards are implemented effectively, we can minimize the risk of fires occurring and causing damage or loss of life.

Fire Inspection Checklist

A safety inspection checklist is is an important tool for any business or organization that wants to ensure compliance with applicable fire safety codes and regulations. The checklist can help identify potential hazards and areas of noncompliance so that necessary corrections can be made. 

The following points will assist the consideration process while creating the perfect checklist:

- The type of building: Different types of buildings will require inspectors to create checklists keeping the building type in mind.

- The age of the building: If the building is over 2 decades old, then repeated inspection deadlines should be put in place. 

- The occupancy of the building: The maximum limit of occupancy depends upon the type of building. If the building is a residential type, the limit of occupancy shouldn’t normally exceed over 4 people. In case of a fire emergency, packed crowds lead to delays in access to emergency fire exits. 

- Any special features or hazards in the building: Any pre-existing hazards such as damaged fire systems, and dysfunctional fire extinguishers should always be replaced with newer, working models to ensure safety standards at all times. 

- Fire protection systems in place: Working fire protection systems are significant when it comes to controlling a fire outbreak, and keeping property damage expenses minimal.

- Location and condition of exits: Easily accessible fire exits significantly bring down chances of severe injuries and loss of life.

- Condition of furniture, fixtures, and equipment: Since furniture is mostly made up of wood, older furniture can act as essential fuel in case of fire. Hence, residential or office buildings should replace old furniture once they are past a certain period of use. 

The use of a fire safety inspection checklist is particularly important in large buildings or complexes where multiple areas need to be checked, such as assembly areas, storage facilities, kitchens, and laboratories. In addition, businesses that deal with flammable materials or processes should have a comprehensive fire safety inspection program in place. 

Conclusion 

Different responsible measures can be taken to spread awareness about fire safety in respective communities. One other important measure that can be developed when it comes to spreading awareness about a concerning topic such as this is promoting the use of a digital checklist application. This application can be developed with the help of essential online tools such as Zorp. A checklist app with Zorp could help you to be productive. You can create checklists for any task or project, and then check off items as you complete them. This will keep you away from unimportant distractions.