In the wake of several devastating fires in large commercial and multi-unit residential buildings, safety officials are increasing their focus on fire safety. One way that they are doing this is by cracking down on building owners and managers who violate fire safety codes.
Fines for violating fire codes can be steep, so it’s important to be familiar with the most commonly seen violations and how to avoid them. In this blog post let’s discuss some common reasons for fire safety violations and fines.
1. Not Having a Functional Fire Alarm
One of the most common reasons for fire safety violations is not having a functional fire alarm. This can include not having enough alarms, having outdated alarms, or not having adequate coverage.
Not having a functional fire alarm can result in hefty fines, so it’s important to make sure that your building meets all the requirements to be in compliance with the fire code.
2. Not Having an Operational Fire Sprinkler System
Another common reason for fire safety violations is not having an operational fire sprinkler system.
This can include lack of coverage, lack of maintenance, or worn-out/missing nozzles. Again, it’s important to make sure that your building meets all the requirements to be in compliance with the fire code.
3. Not Having a Functional Fire Extinguisher
Not having a functional fire extinguisher is another common reason for fire safety violations and hefty fines.
This can include lack of coverage, lack of maintenance, or worn-out/missing nozzles and pins (to prevent theft).
Make sure that your building has a sufficient number of working fire extinguishers, and that they are properly maintained.
4. Improperly Secured Exit Doors
Another common reason for fire safety violations is improperly secured exit doors.
This can include not having self-closing or automatic-closing doors, not having proper signage or locks that can be opened by a simple push or pull.
Make sure to check all exits before an alarm sounds, and properly label all doors with signs to indicate which exit is appropriate for each type of emergency (e.g., fire, flooding).
5. Not Having Properly Aligned Extinguisher Signs
Another common reason for fire safety violations is improperly aligned extinguisher signs.
This can include not having signs that are perpendicular to the floor, not having proper signage, or having outdated signage.
Make sure that your extinguisher signs are properly aligned and up-to-date.
6. Electrical Hazards
Another common reason for fire safety violations is electrical hazards.
This can include overloaded circuitry, improper wiring, and frayed cords.
Make sure that your building meets all the requirements to be in compliance with the fire code, and have a qualified electrician inspect your electrical system on a regular basis.
7. Storage of Flammable Materials
Another common reason for fire safety violations is the storage of flammable materials.
This can include storing flammable materials such as gasoline and paint thinner in an unauthorized area or having too much stored at one time (more than is reasonably needed for your business).
Make sure that all storage areas are authorized by the fire code, and that you’re only keeping what you need.
8. Unauthorized Smoking Areas
Not having a smoking area that is authorized by the fire code is another common reason for fire safety violations.
This can include smoking in unauthorized areas, or having too many people smoking in a small area.
Make sure to designate an authorized smoking area and keep it well-ventilated to prevent sparks from igniting any flammable materials.
9. Tampering with Fire Safety Equipment
Tampering with fire safety equipment is another common reason for fire safety violations.
This can include disabling or improperly using fire alarms, fire sprinklers, or fire extinguishers.
It’s important to make sure that all your fire safety equipment is in proper working order, and report any issues immediately.
10. Not Having Proper Fire Drill Procedures
Not having proper fire drill procedures is another common reason for violations.
This can include not testing or rehearsing your plan, not posting information around the building, and not training staff.
Make sure to practice your fire drills regularly (and record them) to prevent any confusion during an actual emergency.
11. Not having formal training of how to use the right Fire Extinguisher.
Using the right fire extinguisher during a hazard is very important.
Make sure that each member of your staff (and volunteers) knows how to use and access all of your fire safety equipment.
Operating on a “trial and error” basis increases the risk for injury or even death in some cases, so make sure everyone has had proper training on how to operate each type of fire extinguisher.
Getting your employees trained by an approved fire safety training provider will help you fight and avoid fire hazards efficiently and help to avoid fines.
Fire safety violations can lead to hefty fines and even the closure of your business. Make sure to be aware of all the common reasons for violations, and take steps to prevent them from happening in your building.
Have a qualified fire safety professional inspect your building regularly to ensure compliance with all the latest fire codes. If you are interested in getting trained in fire safety, check out our courses page.
Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful in understanding some of the most common reasons for fire safety violations. For more information on fire safety, check out our website or contact us today.