If you are planning to rent a commercial building for your office, you may be concerned about whether or not the building will be approved for use by a fire protection engineer. Nevertheless, if the building is appropriately equipped, it should pass the inspection. Here are a few of the items that the inspector may assess:
There must be an appropriate number of unobstructed exits in case of a fire, and the exits must be labeled with adequate signage. The fire inspector will likely determine the number of exits needed based on the size of the building and the number of expected occupants.
Additionally, if the building you are renting has multiple floors and elevators are usually used for access, stairs must be in place for an emergency evacuation in case of a fire. A suitable outdoor fire escape may also be required.
The inspection may also include an assessment of the fire extinguishers in the building. Not only must there be enough extinguishers to cover the square footage of the building, but the devices must also be regularly inspected to ensure that they are operational. You may have to provide documentation to indicate the date that the extinguishers were last assessed.
Working Sprinkler System
Sprinkler systems often release water in response to a sensor-based trigger that reacts to the presence of a heat source. The sprinklers, which are normally located in the ceiling of a building, are strategically placed to release water over a certain number of square feet. The pipes of the system, which are usually hidden from view, typically lie beyond the ceiling tiles and are linked to the building's water source.
Working Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are sometimes powered by the electrical wiring of a building, but many are battery-operated. The engineer may also inspect these alarms to make certain that they are operable and are suitably powered. Once the battery of a smoke alarm is dead, the detection device can no longer emit a warning.
Fire alarms may also be assessed. Each time an alarm is pulled, it warns the occupants of the building of a fire emergency. These alarms, like the smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, must be regularly tested for functionality. Some alarms are only heard by people in or near a building, but others notify a local fire department.
To learn more about the items that may be reviewed during a fire inspection, schedule a consultation with a fire protection engineer in your area.