10 Common Fire Code Violations
The importance of adhering to fire code recommendations can never be underestimated. As well as making sure that those using a home or a workplace are safe, fire code recommendations should also be in position to make sure that insurance policies on a building are not compromised.
There are a number of common fire code violations that can all be easily avoided.
1. Blocked Passageways and Exit Doors
As obvious as it seems, one of the most frequent violations of fire codes stem from leaving access routes blocked. This is particularly common in busy workplaces where deliveries are left unattended in passageways that provide a means of exit in the event of a fire.
Cages, boxes, and trolleys are also regularly left in front of emergency exit doors and trying to negotiate around them in an emergency can have potentially life-threatening consequences.
A standard sign is no longer sufficient as a means of highlighting emergency exit points. All exit lights should be illuminated and placed in positions where they are easy to notice should an emergency occur.
3. Fire Extinguishers
All fire extinguishers in a building or place of work should be regularly refilled and maintained by certified agents. Even the single use of a water fire extinguisher will require its replenishment. This is one of the most common fire code violations of all.
4. Fire Alarms
All alarm systems must undergo an annual inspection and suitable records of action must be kept. These tests can include, but are not limited to, alarm boxes, batteries, and sound devices.
5. Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors provide another common fire code violation. Homeowners and businesses are obliged to keep all smoke detectors maintained and in full working order.
6. Fire Doors
Fire doors serve a distinct purpose in the event of a fire and can help to contain heat and smoke. Leaving fire doors wedged open to promote easy access or exit points to a building is prohibited. They may only be held open by an approved device and should be kept closed at all other times.
7. Self-Closing Devices
All fire doors must be fitted with a suitable self-closing device and these must be regularly maintained to ensure they are in good working order.
8. Extension Cables
Perhaps the biggest fire code violation of all is the use of extension cables. These can only be used on a temporary basis and must not be installed for permanent use.
Extension cables must not be connected into each other and should never be attached to permanent fixtures or pass through holes in walls.
9. Covered Electrical Outlets
Any significant electrical outlet must remain covered. This applies to junction boxes, circuit breaker panels, and any type of outlet box.
Electrical control boxes of any type must have a clearance diameter of at least 36 inches. Placing furniture, equipment or any other obstruction in access areas to electrical sources is another common fire code violation that can be easily remedied with due care and attention.