Fire servicing, which includes inspecting your facility to ensure it is compliant with fire safety laws and maintaining fire safety equipment, is typically required by law for a commercial facility or office. While a fire inspector knows what to look for during their inspection, it's good for a business owner to understand some basics about fire servicing and their fire safety equipment, so they know they are compliant with laws and can go above and beyond those regulations to keep their facility safe. Note a few questions you might about fire servicing and then discuss these with a fire inspector if needed.
1. Can anybody service a fire extinguisher?
Typically a person needs to be licensed by a local fire marshal or have some other type of certification in order to properly service a fire extinguisher used at a commercial facility. If you're not sure of the local requirements for your business, you can typically call your local fire department or city clerk's office and ask what licensing is needed, and then check on this licensing when you arrange to have your fire extinguisher serviced by an outside company.
2. What are the differences in fire extinguishers?
When you buy a fire extinguisher for your commercial facility, you may see different grades or other designations, and these will tell you the type of fire that extinguisher can put out. You may be legally obligated to have a certain extinguisher in a kitchen or other such area, so check on these regulations.
Note that a clean material extinguisher will also use a type of material that is easier to clean than the foam that is put out by other extinguishers. This can be good for computer rooms or any area with sensitive equipment that will be difficult to clean if you should ever need to use your extinguisher.
3. Do business owners need to have hydrants tested?
Public hydrants are typically the responsibility of the city, even if they're located on your property. If you have a hydrant installed on your own for added safety, you are typically responsible for its overall maintenance and inspections. Depending on your local regulations, you may need to have this done as required by law, or may want to ask the hydrant company how often it should be inspected and tested.
4. Why do fire inspectors inspect grease traps?
In some areas, a fire inspection may include a look at a kitchen's grease trap. This is done to ensure it's being cleaned as it should; if you allow the grease traps to get too full, this may feed a fire in the kitchen and your sprinkler system may not be able to extinguish the flames. A health inspector may look at the grease traps but a fire inspection may also include these as well.
For more information, talk to a fire service.