Did you know that the fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation every 24 seconds? The numbers of fires and fire deaths have decreased since the 1970s, largely due to advancements in fire technology and quickened response time. With this being said, it’s important that your fire protection systems remain up to inspection and testing standards provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Here at LSM, we are the Inspector Gadget for your fire protection systems. We find what’s not working and we help fix it. Here are a few things you need to know as you look to ensure your fire protection systems remain up to date with their inspection and testing.
What Items Need to be Inspected and Maintained? How Often?
Quarterly Inspection and Maintenance
There are a few fire protection systems that require quarterly regular inspections—mainly fire sprinkler systems. Fire sprinkler systems need to be inspected and maintained on a quarterly basis. This inspection and maintenance includes inspection of water flow devices, wolves, valve components, low air pressure alarms, and other components of your fire sprinklers.
Semi-Annual Inspection and Maintenance
Twice a year, your kitchen suppression systems need to be inspected (that is, if your facility has a kitchen). In addition, if your facility uses magnetic door locks, these must be inspected twice a year to ensure they remain operating correctly in the event the fire alarm is activated.
Annual Inspection and Maintenance
Most of your fire protection systems need to be inspected and maintained annually. These inspections will be your most comprehensive and intensive inspection periods for fire alarms, fire suppression, and bi-directional amplification systems.
In this annual inspection, over 20 components of your fire alarm systems will be tested and inspected. The major components include:
- Control panel and component inspections
- Fuse, LEDs, and power supply inspections
- Component battery replacement
- Pull station inspection
- Voice/alarm communication system inspection
Your fire sprinkler systems will also be inspected during this time. These inspections also include 20 major components of your sprinkler systems. The major components include:
- Main drain
- Antifreeze solutions
- Hose valves
- Pump system
- Drain test
Long-Term Inspection and Maintenance
There are a few components and systems that require long-term maintenance and inspection. Some of these components include fire alarm audibility testing, which should be performed every three years. In addition, fire extinguishers are scheduled for replacement every six years. Hood suppression systems in kitchens have multiple components that will need to be replaced every 12 years.
Fire Safety Inspection Requirements
Requirements for fire safety inspections vary state-by-state. Therefore, business owners and property managers need to be familiar with individual state fire codes, ordinances, and standards, and how to comply with these requirements. In general, some specific industries require more frequent fire safety inspections. These facilities include places of public assembly; including theaters, nightclubs, hotels, and hospitals. High-rises also need to adhere to strict fire code requirements, as these buildings have high occupancy and complex exit plans.
Are You Prepared For Your Fire Safety inspections?
Preparing for your fire inspections is essential—especially if you’re in the industries that are subject to unscheduled inspections. In order to prepare properly, you need to know how inspectors evaluate your building.
Let’s start with what inspectors are evaluating as a whole
As inspectors go through your building, they look for a few key things; including:
- The ways fire could start within your specific building.
- Safety systems in place, like smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems. They ensure these systems are regularly maintained and in good working order. You should expect to be asked to see documentation on the regular maintenance of these systems.
- Systems assisting in fire egress are working effectively, like lighted exit signs and exit doors.
- Lastly, inspectors ensure emergency personnel have easy, immediate access to the building.
Ready to Have Your Systems Inspected? Consider LSM
LifeSafety Management has been providing fire protection and life safety services in South Florida for over 20 years—we are your resident life safety experts. LifeSafety is your single-source provider for any of your fire protection needs: fire alarms, sprinklers, fire suppression systems, security systems, and beyond. We can start from the very beginning to design and install your systems, then maintain and repair your systems as needed.
Learn more about us and our solutions here.