Showing posts with label Fire Code. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fire Code. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Knowing Fire Code is Essential to the Proper Installation and Maintenance of Fire Extinguishers

ESC of Greater Ohio works hard to get and keep your business. One of our big sellers is fire extinguishers and it’s certainly one area that you need to know about. If you have fire extinguishers in your business, you must follow fire code or risk the wrath of a local city or county fire inspector or a State of Ohio Fire Marshal.

From a service and maintenance standpoint, here’s the meat: 

  • NFPA 10, Section 4-3.1, requires that fire extinguishers be inspected when initially installed and thereafter at approximately 30-day intervals. 
  • Section 4-4.1 on maintenance says that fire extinguishers should be maintained at intervals of not more than 1 year, at the time of hydrostatic test, or when specifically indicated by an inspection. 
  • In addition, Section 4-4.3 requires that stored-pressure fire extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test shall be emptied and subjected to the applicable maintenance procedures every six years.
This is only part of the story you need to know about. Just as important is the type of fire extinguishers you buy and where you install them throughout your facility. Here’s a short list of all the major types of portable fire extinguishers and what they are designed to do, meaning the types of fires they are engineered to fight:
  • Class A: Fires that involve wood, cloth, rubber, paper, and some types of plastics.
  • Class B: Fires that involve gasoline, oil, paint, natural and propane gases, and flammable liquids, gases, and greases.
  • Class C: Fires that involve all the materials found in Class A and B fires, but with the introduction of an electrical appliances, wiring, or other electrically energized objects in the vicinity of the fire.
  • Class D: Fires that involve combustible metals, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
For additional information on fire extinguishers and the fire code that regulates their installation and on-going service, go to: http://bit.ly/1QBV0y4, or call 614-754-1393, or send an email to electronicsystemsconsultants@gmail.com. We’re ESC, we have your back!

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Whose Responsibility is it to Notify Me About Fire Alarm Inspections?

It's natural for our clients to have questions about the sophisticated electronic systems they use on an everyday basis. I believe it's the responsibility of Electronic Systems Consultants to help answer those questions and to provide help in whatever way possible, even when it was one of our competitors that installed these systems.

The following question concerns the point of responsibility where it involves routine fire alarm inspections. If you should have a question of your own, send it to ESC at electronicsystemsconsultants@gmail.com or use our Contact Us page.

Question:

As a business owner, several years ago the city fathers forced us to install a new fire alarm system even though we had gone more than two decades without one. We’ve never had a fire and nothing bad has ever happened. Yesterday a fire inspector came to our offices and did an inspection, which they have never done before. I’m told that I’m out of compliance because no one has been inspecting the system.

I know your company did not install my system, but whose responsibility is it to do this, mine or the alarm company that installed it in the first place? The original sales guy did not tell me that we would have to do this and then they didn’t call to let me know when it was time. I guess I got a little upset and the fire inspector has cited us and he’ll fine us as well if we don’t get this done in 30 days.

Well, it’s been over 30 days, and perhaps I’m a little to blame because it slipped my mind and I called the alarm company about two or three weeks after the citation. Shouldn’t the alarm company who put this thing in pay the fine because they didn’t warn us in the first place?

Answer:

Thank you for contacting Electronic Systems Consultants about your fire alarm inspection issue. The bottom line to your question is simply this, if you are the property owner, then it’s your obligation to see that your fire alarm system is fully code compliant on a regular basis, and there are specific requirements for this. Code in general requires a visual inspection twice a year and a functional test once a year. In general, this means that your fire alarm company will have to visit your facility twice a year.

In Section 14.2.3.1 of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, 2013 Edition, it says, “The property or building or system owner or the owner’s designated representative shall be responsible for inspection, testing, and maintenance of the system and for alterations or additions to this system.”

No matter what you do to escape responsibility for this fine, the city you are in will most likely send you the bill as the attitude in government is invariably “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” You might appeal to a higher authority within city government to forgive the fine, throwing yourself on their mercy, so to speak, but in general, they do not have to do that, and they will not fine the alarm company that installed it in the first place. In all fairness to the alarm company, in your original installation contract it probably had an option for yearly inspections, which you did not choose to accept.

So far we’ve looked at your situation as though you are the property owner. If you are merely a tenant, it may very well fall upon the landlord who owns the building(s) to take care of these inspections and maintenance issues. Check the terms of your lease to see if this is the case. If not, you need to contract with the fire alarm company right away so they can place your inspections on their calendar so you can avoid a repeat of the same situation next year and every year thereafter.

To read the entire section of NFPA 72 that pertains to fire testing and inspection from a party of responsibility standpoint, click here.

John Larkin, ESC Senior Partner

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

White Paper: ‘Means of Egress’ Summary of NFPA Code Requirements

As most of you are involved in facility management know, fire code figures heavily in the area of access control. Unless you follow fire code, not only will your project be in jeopardy, but you may be subject to fines and penalties. In Ohio, commercial businesses and government institutions are subject to the Ohio Basic Building Code, which is based in National Fire Code (NFC), published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the various codes published by the International Code Council (ICC).

In an effort to assure your continued success, Electronic Systems Consultants LLC is offering a white paper on the implementation and fire code considerations concerning access control systems. This white paper, entitled ‘Means of Egress’ Summary of NFPA Code Requirements (A practical ‘How To’ guide to installing code compliant access control systems utilizing magnetic locks), is the product of Camden Door Controls in conjunction with Al Colombo, ESC's social media/web director. This paper is NFPA 72, 2010, compliant, which is the code of choice at this time in Ohio.

Please fill out the form below to receive your copy of this valuable resource. You will be added to our mailing list for periodic updates via email.

John Larkin, Senior Partner

Use this handy form to receive your own copy of Means of Egress Summary of NFPA Code Requirements. You will receive an email with directions on how to download this document.

Or send an email to 101ways@tpromo2.com with "egress white paper" in the subject line. Thank you.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Fire Code and Fire Alarm Testing and Inspections

It's natural for our customers to have questions about the sophisticated electronic systems they use everyday and I consider it the responsibility of Electronic Systems Consultants to answer them for you. The following question concerns fire alarm testing and inspections. If you have questions of your own, please send them to ESC using our Contact Us page.

Question:
We have a fire alarm system and the local fire inspector says we have to have it inspected. Can we inspect it ourselves? What's involved in doing an inspection?

Answer:
No, you cannot perform your own fire alarm inspection, unless you have an employee on staff that has a State of Ohio fire alarm license.
"Personnel, either individually or through their affiliation with an organization that is registered, licensed, or certified by a state or local authority, shall be recognized as qualified and experi4endced in the inspection, testintg, and maintenance of systgems address within the scope of this code." (NFPA 72, Section 10.5.3)
Per the fire code, all fire alarm systems must have an annual inspection of the system to ensure all field devices (smoke, heat and duct-type smoke detectors, manual pull stations, and audible/visual notification devices) are in good working order and can respond in case of emergencies.

An inspection also must be performed on the fire alarm panel to ensure all wiring is in good working condition and back-up batteries are ready to support the fire alarm system in case of loss of primary power. All of these inspections must be done by a state certified technician that holds a state alarm license to perform inspection, testing, and maintenance.

You can find additional information on our website on the ESC Inspection Services page. If you have additional questions, please call the office at 614-754-1393 or feel free to contact me at any time using the Contact Us page. I and the ESC staff are at your disposal.

John Larkin, Senior Partner
Electronic Systems Consultants

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