By Sandi Scott
08/17/20 · Last Updated 08/17/20 · 3 minutes to read
When you think about annual fire inspections, it might simply be something you view as an annual requirement by the local fire marshal. However, annual fire inspections serve an important function for your business that goes beyond checking another item off of your to-do list.
Although it might not be something you think much about, fire inspections are critical to the health and safety of your team and your customers.
Why You Need Annual Fire Inspections
Here are just a few reasons why your annual fire inspection is so important:
1. Inspections ensure your fire detection system is running properly.
Annual fire inspections aren’t simply to spot problems but to also ensure your fire detection system is running at its optimum capacity.
Think about your annual fire inspection like getting the oil changed in your car. It’s something you need to do to ensure your system is running as it was designed. And, just like a car, regular maintenance can help extend the life of your fire detection system by spotting potential issues before they arise. After all, it’s way easier to repair or replace parts that aren’t operating well before they fail in a critical situation.
A good rule of thumb is that you can count on most systems to run well for at least five to seven years. But with proper maintenance, you might be able to get 10 years out of your fire detection system. That’s why it pays to keep it properly maintained.
2. Fire inspections predict building trends.
Fire inspections can offer helpful data about how your system is running. At ACT, for example, we barcode all of the fire detection devices in our clients’ buildings. And during the inspection, we can easily scan it to see if the device passed or failed.
Plus, through our reporting software, we can quickly provide performance data about the system and compare it to previous inspections. This reporting data allows us to see how the system has performed over time, which can aid in maintenance recommendations and also help your business in planning for emergencies.
3. Inspections keep your building in compliance with fire codes.
Local authorities, including the city of Nashville, require annual inspections of fire and life safety systems. These mandatory inspections are required by NFPA 72 code and are typically enforced at the local level.
Even though there are plenty of other benefits to annual fire inspections, it is also a requirement that ensures your building is in compliance with local fire codes. Staying on top of your inspections ensures your building remains in compliance with local and national fire codes.
What to Look for in a Nashville Fire Inspection Company
Now that you understand the importance of fire inspections, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a provider:
Who installed the fire alarm system?
Although any company can inspect your fire and life safety system, there is some benefit to having the installer of your system conduct your annual inspections. Your fire and life safety system provider will know the system well because they are the ones who designed it. However, any fire detection company can conduct inspections. For instance, at ACT, we routinely conduct fire inspections for both systems we designed and ones we didn’t.
What kind of experience do your inspectors have?
All fire inspectors in Tennessee must have a security license and fire codes certification from the state. But beyond that, there are no other requirements.
Fire detection systems and codes are incredibly complex. That’s why you should ask about your fire inspection company’s experience and the training that fire inspectors receive. For instance, at ACT our fire inspectors attend an inspector’s boot camp to receive additional training.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- What kind of training do your inspectors receive?
- How do inspectors stay on top of fire codes?
- Do you have experience with installing or making repairs to fire protection systems?
- How many systems have you inspected or installed?
The answers to these questions will give you confidence that you are choosing a skilled and reputable fire inspection company.
Can you access reports easily?
One of the common issues that facility and building managers face is the management of fire inspection reports. Working with a company that has an online portal to easily access reports and relevant paperwork can save you a ton of time and hassle. For instance, ACT’s fire inspection software makes it easy to review your report, approve repairs and have an audit trail of your inspections for the past five years.
Make Regular Fire Inspections a Priority
Don’t let annual fire inspections sit on the back burner. Staying on top of this important task is critical for keeping your building, team, and customers safe.
But, it doesn’t have to be a hassle either. That’s why it’s important to find the right partner to make the fire inspection process painless for you. If you want a better fire inspection process, contact us to see how we can deliver a simple, streamlined solution for your business.
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