What is the goal of an onsite inspection?
What are you trying to achieve when you do an inspection on-site?
When the fire marshal, AHJ, code official shows up at your business or facility to conduct a periodic on-site inspection, what are they trying to achieve? What is the goal? The short answer is compliance, compliance leading to fire protection and life safety.
Though they have the role of an enforcer, they are not there to catch you, discipline you, or punish you. They don't want to see you fail; they want to see you succeed. They are there to ensure that your facility is compliant with current fire protection and life safety codes and standards.
The objectives are life safety and fire prevention. So the AHJ will be checking those components that contribute to both of these objectives.
They are looking at egress paths, exit and emergency lighting, all of those things that ensure people that are in your facility can get out easily and quickly if there is any emergency.
They are looking at fire protection components, checking your systems, fire sprinklers and fire alarms, making sure these systems are have been inspected, are maintained properly and that any deficiencies have been repaired or are being repaired.
They are looking at general housekeeping and storage of materials.
They will check your passive fire protection components, such fire doors, fire-rated opening protectives, ensure fire rated penetrations have not been compromised.
One of the most important parts of a periodic inspection for compliance is to confirm that what was originally approved and permitted for the occupancy and use of the property is still the same. For example, if the building was approved and permitted as a business occupancy they want to be sure that hasn't changed. If the space is now being utilized as a daycare or an assembly, or something else, those changes in occupancy use have an impact of fire protection and life safety, and they are going to require different types of construction, fire protection systems, and egress components.
The fire official is a partner in the success of the business. One single fire or life safety incident, no matter how big or small, can have devastating consequences. These consequences can lead to trauma, loss of reputation in the community, loss customers, loss of employees, loss of income, or ultimately, complete shutdown of the business.
What is the goal of a periodic on-site inspection? Compliance leading to life safety and fire protection in the interest of business success.
I'm Aaron Johnson, this is MeyerFire University.
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