Common Fire Code Violations by Businesses

by RyanD on June 26, 2013


When running a business there are so many details to cover that it’s easy to overlook some of the most basic elements, such as fire safety. Without even realizing it, many businesses violate aspects of the fire code which can be dangerous for the people in the business, or result in a fine if the fire inspector should stop by. Here are some ways to prevent common fire code violations.
Post the Address or Suite Number
The business’s address or suite number needs to be visible from the street in front of the property. This allows emergency vehicles to find the location quickly. The numbers must be legible, and this means no fancy scripts. There must be some type of reflective surface-either the numbers themselves can be reflective, or the numbers must be placed on a reflective contrasting background.

Illuminate the Exit Signs
In the past, exit signs only needed a standard light. Now, they need to be self-illuminated in case of a power outage. Place self-illuminated exit signs at all emergency exit locations, and make sure they’re easy to see from all angles.

Keep Passageways and Exit Doors Cleared
On a busy day when deliveries are piling up and everyone is occupied with other tasks, it’s tempting to just leave deliveries in front of the exit doors or in passageways blocking the building’s exits. It’s easy to think that you can just take care of it later, but in case of a fire these packages could potentially prevent people from escaping the building. Even on the craziest days, take the time to move the boxes or packages away from the exits and out of exit routes.

Close the Fire Doors
Again, on the days when you’re short-staffed or overwhelmed with other responsibilities, it’s easy to prop open the fire door to provide quick access for you and your employees. Fire doors have a specific purpose because they can help contain heat and smoke during a fire. If they’re left open, a fire could spread much more quickly. Fire doors must be kept closed at all times, and if they must be held open, they can only be held open by an approved object or device. All fire doors also need to have a proper self-closing device.

Keep the Hydrants Clear
When the parking lot is jammed, the deliveries are lining up, and three people call in sick, it’s tempting to park in front of the fire hydrant or to tell the delivery driver to park there for a moment. Avoid the temptation, because the fire hydrant needs to have three feet of clearance on all sides, and there is no parking allowed within ten feet of a hydrant. Since multiple businesses may share a hydrant, remember that you’re not only protecting your business’s safety but also the safety of your neighbors.
Avoid Extension Cords
Extension cords are a quick and easy way to power devices in the business, but extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis. It’s a violation of the fire code to run extension cords through walls, ceilings, or floors. Extension cords also should not be used under doors or carpeting. Contact an electrician to add necessary outlets to your building, but don’t rely exclusively on extension cords because they can create a fire hazard.



This article was written together with Robert Tritter, an aspiring lawyer who hopes to one day be influential in the legal industry. They write this on behalf of Tara Energy, your number one choice for all your business energy needs. With great expertise in the industry to help make sure that you’re up to code, it’s easy to see why they’re number one. Check out their site today and see what they can do for you!




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