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How To Prepare for a Fire Marshal Inspection

Man inspecting fire extinguisher

Fire marshal inspections are a fact of life whether you run a restaurant, are in charge of an industrial operation, or manage an office. The more time and energy you invest into preparing for the visit, the less time and resources you’ll be required to put in later.

These are some steps every business should take to ensure their inspection doesn’t trigger alarms and raise red flags.

Clear a Path

Start by clearing hallways and pathways. There should always be a clear path to exit doors and windows. It’s best to ensure there are multiple points of egress that staff, customers, patients, etc., can access in an emergency.

These paths must be at least 36″ wide and clearly marked and illuminated with emergency lighting. Always make sure exit doors are clear and are easily opened from the inside.

It’s also vital to confirm that all emergency pathway lights and exit signs are fully functional and have sufficient battery power to provide at least 90 minutes of operation in the event of power loss.

If any bulbs are burnt out, or batteries are non-functional, these should be replaced immediately.

Check Suppression Systems

Fire suppression is critical in buying your business time for first responders to arrive. This means you’ll need to verify that all fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems are properly charged and functional. These should also be clear of debris, inventory, etc., and properly serviced by a trained professional.

If you have fire sprinklers, confirm sufficient clearance around sprinkler heads and that inventory and equipment aren’t blocking the system. NFPA 25 requires maintaining at least 18″ clearance to remain compliant.

Because of their critical importance, fire marshals spend significant time inspecting these systems to ensure they comply with fire codes. The more time you spend inspecting them, the less time you’ll have to spend later on correcting any deficiencies.

Inspect Control Panels

Make sure your fire alarm panels are fully operational. These must be professionally inspected and serviced annually to comply with fire codes. Pay particular attention to any illuminated warning lights and fix these as soon as possible.

You’ll also want to review inspection tags and documentation that confirms the tests and services performed in the previous year.

Check Electrical Systems

Confirm that sockets and breakers are not overloaded, and make sure all breaker boxes and electrical panels are free of obstructions and easily accessible. You should also confirm that the appropriate extension cords, adapters, etc., are being used.

If you have any electrical issues, be sure a qualified electrician promptly and properly addresses them.

Hire a Professional

The best way to ensure you’re prepared for a fire marshal visit is to hire a professional to inspect your business before they arrive.

At Fire Pros, we can inspect your business, service your systems, and ensure your business passes the inspection with flying colors when the fire marshal arrives.

When you want protection you can depend on and service you can rely on, contact Fire Pros, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment.