No matter what your business is, be it a restaurant, law firm, health clinic, manufacturing plant, gallery, or even a museum, every business owner has one fear in common: Fire. All of the time, effort, and money spent building your business mean nothing when it all literally goes up in flames. The U.S. Fire Administration reported that in 2019 there were 1,291,500 fires, resulting in 3,704 deaths, 16,600 injuries, and $14.8 billion in losses. As a business owner, your world revolves around keeping your business and its employees safe and secure from all manners of harm, including fire. The best way to protect your business from fire is by installing a fire suppression system. Of course, merely installing the fire suppression system is not enough. Regular maintenance and fire inspections are required to ensure your system is operating properly and prepared to deploy, saving your business from potentially catastrophic damage.
Importance of Routine Fire Inspections
Spending the money for a modern fire suppression system is an excellent first step in ensuring your business is protected against any fire hazard, and having your system inspected and maintained by a certified technician may be the difference between life and death for you, your business, and your employees. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2019, 7 of the top 10 costliest fires were in commercial locations. No good comes from a malfunctioning fire suppression system. You can ensure you are doing everything in your power to protect your business and your employees by doing routine fire inspections. Routine inspections will alert you to any issues with faulty fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, or sprinkler systems. Certified technicians will be able to identify any issues with fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and smoke alarms and make the necessary repairs, ensuring each preventative step of your fire suppression system is functioning optimally.
Beyond the need to protect yourself, your business, and your employees from the dangers of fire, the conducting of routine fire inspections is also a requirement under federal law and also a requirement under many local laws and ordinances. Further, many insurance companies require regular fire inspection reports. Having an updated fire suppression system may also allow you to capitalize on a lower insurance premium. In the event a fire does occur, keeping records of the inspection reports may work towards limiting your liability should any injuries or deaths occur as a result of the fire.
How Often Do You Need Inspections and Maintenance?
Now that we agree that fire inspections are the right move, we need to determine the frequency at which these inspections and the routine maintenance should occur. Many states and municipalities, as well as federal agencies, have differing requirements for fire inspections. Consulting with certified technicians from an experienced inspection and maintenance company will help you navigate the vast sea of legalese to ensure you are in full compliance with all governing laws. Other factors that control the frequency of fire inspections include the model of your fire suppression system and the age of that system.
As a general rule of thumb, your entire system should have a full, comprehensive inspection annually. However, certain parts of the fire inspection systems require a watchful eye and more frequent maintenance. A monthly inspection by business owners and/or their employees of the fire extinguishers to check for cracks in seals. A quarterly inspection and maintenance of the sprinkler system is helpful to ensure the backflow is working properly as well as all of the gauges, pressure systems, and control valves. Kitchen fire suppression systems and magnetic door locks should have semi-annual inspections. Every three years it is recommended that business owners conduct an audibility test for the alarm system. A reputable fire inspection and maintenance company will be able to walk you through the requirements and maintain a log of all inspections, immediately scheduling the next inspection taking the onus off of you to keep track of everything.
What Fire Inspections Does A Total Solution Offer?
A Total Solution is your one-stop-shop for all of your fire inspection and fire suppression system maintenance needs. Certified technicians understand the needs of the business owner and will evaluate and review the systems in place, making recommendations based on your budget. ATS offers a wide variety of fire inspection services covering all aspects of various fire suppression systems.
Backflow Inspections are important for fire sprinkler systems to ensure your potable water remains potable. If the backflow fails, your drinking water may become contaminated and cause an emergency situation. Often times backflow issues are not quickly noticed, which is why inspections are necessary to ensure your drinking water is safe. If preserving your drinking water is not reason enough, backflow inspections are required annually under the NFPA.
Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Inspections are vital. Many times the fire alarm provides the first notice that a fire is present, and the sprinkler system provides critical defense against the fire. Ensuring that the alarm and the sprinklers will work when you need them and are code compliant may be the difference between a minor issue and a loss of life.
Fire Pump Inspections help ensure the proper amount of water is being distributed to the sprinkler systems. A broken fire pump will not be able to send enough water throughout the entire sprinkler system.
Fire Hydrant Inspections are a federal requirement. They must to be ready to go when they are needed. A Total Solution will conduct residual fire flow tests for new construction, fire flow testing for pressure, review hydrant operability and reliability, and inspect all parts for wear and tear.
Fire Extinguisher Inspections and fire extinguisher maintenance will help safeguard your business. Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense against many fires. Many small fires are able to be managed with a fire extinguisher before any devastating loss occurs.
Kitchen Hood Fire Suppression Inspections are required by the state of Florida and most insurance companies to ensure the system is working optimally and to remain in compliance with state regulations. Technicians from A Total Solution will ensure your system is thoroughly inspected and modified to meet any new regulations or insurance amendments or addendums.
Don’t let your business go up in smoke! A Total Solution is here to ensure your fire suppression system is working at optimal levels. Contact us now for a free business fire protection assessment.