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Top Tips: Preparing for a Commercial Fire Inspection

Annual fire inspections are performed to assess and mitigate fire and life safety hazards in buildings and are generally performed by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, or AHJ. For most business owners, the annual fire inspection can cause a lot of anxiety. It is, after all, a very serious process that fosters the safety of your employees and patrons, as well as the building itself, your assets, and the surrounding community. The best way to ease the anxiety is to familiarize yourself with fire codes and the process of an inspection.

Familiarize Yourself with the Relevant Requirements

Becoming familiar with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards relevant to your business is always a good idea. Use the Code Finder Tool to find the regulations relevant to your business and location.

Know the Most Common Violations

Know the most common fire inspection violations so that you can be sure to avoid them. Some of the more common infractions include having excess debris on the property, the improper storage of chemicals, and not having working fire protection devices.

Have Your Records Ready

Always keep plans and records regarding your fire sprinklers, suppression systems, and extinguishers in one place and ready. If inspection tags are missing, these records will help verify inspection information.

Update and Post Egress Plans

Every commercial building needs to have egress, or exit plans posted. Make sure that all passageways to emergency exits are clearly marked and free of obstructions.

Get Your Fire System Serviced Regularly

Work with knowledgeable fire and life safety system providers to ensure the working order of your systems.

Develop a Relationship with the AHJ

If you have questions about fire safety and compliance, do not hesitate to call the local AHJ. They can work with you to ensure that your building is compliant, help you understand the process, and make you aware of their requirements.
Need extra motivation to prepare for the annual fire inspection? Consider this: According to, up to 80 percent of all small businesses that experience a large fire never reopen. This affects the building/business owner and also results in the loss of jobs. Of the businesses that do reopen, many lose much of their customer base due to the prolonged absence of production or service.

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