Keeping Your Commercial Building Fire Safe
For a business, nothing is more critical than fire protection systems.
For commercial buildings like hospitals, office space, dealerships, restaurants, and more, there is a lot at stake for employees, customers and clients. Knowing that all fire and safety system equipment will be functional in an actual emergency gives peace of mind to all stakeholders.
Regular safety inspections and system maintenance are critical to remain compliant and up to code.
Key Areas for Inspection and Maintenance
Three commercial building fire alarm and fire sprinkler inspections and maintenance are:
1. Fire Sprinkler Systems
You will want to have your fire sprinkler system thoroughly inspected once a year. During this inspection, your fire alarm system will be placed in “test” mode while all gauges are inspected and a main drain test is conducted to make sure there’s an adequate supply of water for the hydraulic design of your system.
Inspectors will look at all piping and sprinkler heads on the entire property to check for signs of corrosion that can result from leaks in the system. Sprinkler heads are checked for signs of paint or other obstructions that could affect the spray of the sprinklers.
Inspectors also will verify that the alarm is operating correctly to notify the fire panel that water is flowing.
2. Fire Alarm Systems
Your fire alarm system should be inspected at least once a year to make sure that all devices that are operated from it are in good working order. Inspectors also will make sure that the fire panel is communicating properly with the central controlling station.
Most modern alarm systems will alert you when it is time to have an inspection done or when maintenance is needed on part of the system. For example, the system will alert you when the system is dirty or when a battery is low in a duct detector.
3. Fire Sprinkler Backflow & Pump System
Through a sensor, a pump flow system can detect a drop in pressure when a sprinkler head is activated during a fire. This signals the fire pump to then automatically increase the pressure from the city supply of water to the sprinkler system to more efficiently put out the blaze.
These pump systems should be run no less than monthly and ideally on a weekly basis. Professionals should be thoroughly inspecting your backflow system at least once a year.
4. Fire Suppression System
Protecting your business’s sensitive equipment or other valuables from damage is critical, especially in an elevated heat scenario or fire. Elevated heat levels can damage your equipment or valuables long before wet sprinkler systems are triggered which can cause damage of their own. Fire suppression systems that use clean agents need to be rapidly responsive, cause little damage and downtime, and be safe for your employees and our environment.
Fire Marshal Inspections
Having your entire fire protection system inspected by professionals to help maintain your system is the smart thing to do. However, inspections by your local fire marshal aren’t just smart — they’re the law.
When you’re facing an inspection from the fire marshal, there’s a lot on the line to make sure your business isn’t disrupted for repairs or changes due to being out of code.
When the fire marshal visits, this is what they will be looking at:
- Main system
- Signage and lighting
- Hazardous materials
- Fire extinguishers
- Documentation of practiced fire drills
Why are system inspections so important?
The bottom line is that regular inspections and maintenance are the most cost-effective way to avoid major (and expensive!) problems with your system in the long run. These problems that arise will affect the way your system is designed to function and leave your employees and your business at a great, serious risk.
It’s important to have a fire protection company come in and do these inspections long before a fire marshal conducts theirs. Since 1990, FireTron, Inc. has served the Houston area in all their system protection needs.
Our specialists bring years of expertise to every inspection they make, bringing you peace of mind that the things that need to work in an emergency will work and your business and its employees will be safe and secure.
Contact our professionals today to discuss what we can do to protect the things that mean the most to you and your business.