4 common fire equipment deficiencies

30 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


It's a no-brainer that fire safety equipment is a monumental part of any building's safety program. They can be the difference between life and death in case an accident occurs. That's why most facilities have this equipment installed. However, a number of code violations are normally broken, and deficiencies in the equipment are disturbingly common. Here are some of the most common fire code violations. You need to ensure your organization doesn't suffer from any of them.

Extinguisher not meeting hazard type

Fire extinguishers are like clothes, with different types designed for different occasions. The hazards are different and can range from electrical fires to combustion of metals. That's why manufacturers have divided fire extinguishers into different classes to suit the different hazards. Having a fire extinguisher that doesn't properly meet the hazard level is a recipe for doom. You can't use extinguisher designed for ordinary fires to extinguish combusting metals like magnesium.

Painting sprinklers

Sprinklers have attained a pretty god reputation when it comes to saving lives. Chances of death are reduced by a whopping 80% when they are installed. However, one common mistake people make is painting them. The major reason for this is to improve their décor. But doing so prevents it from functioning optimally. If you're looking for beautiful sprinklers, then get painted ones directly from the manufacturer.

Exit signs and emergency lights internally inspection

Another major code that is broken involves the inspection of the exit signs and emergency lights. These components need to be tested by experts, but unfortunately, most organizations leave the job to the maintenance staff. This can take very many hours particularly if the organization is large, and the testing may not be exhaustive enough. Moreover, the test needs to assure that the battery can sustain its charge for up to 90 minutes when a fire or power blackout occurs.  

Untested alarm systems

The alarm systems need to be frequently tested to ensure it is properly functioning at all times. Additionally, the code requires the system to be tested only by qualified personnel. The maximum period between inspections should not exceed six months, but weekly checks need to be done by the user. Ensure the control panel is working as desired and alarm sounders are satisfactory. The inspector should have a look at the batteries, fire alarm devices and even the automatic transmission of signals to the ARC (alarm receiving centre).

Remember that a failing to comply with the codes not only puts your facility in jeopardy, it is also unlawful.