Cintas highlights common fire code deficiencies that could put your
business at risk
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were
99,500 non-residential fires in businesses ranging from healthcare
facilities to hotels to multi-tenant office buildings, resulting in 65
deaths, 1,525 injuries and more than $2.5 million in losses in 2012.
Properly maintained fire protection equipment reduces the risk of loss,
but there are many things that can make equipment noncompliant or even
render it inoperable. To help organizations improve their fire
prevention programs and avoid unnecessary fines, Cintas today identified
five common fire code violations.
"It's not enough to have fire protection equipment in place," said John
Amann, Vice President, Cintas Fire Protection, "Periodic testing and
inspection of that equipment is necessary to ensure that it will
function in an emergency."
Cintas recommends conducting an assessment to ensure you're not
violating fire code in these common ways:
Painted Sprinkler Heads - Sprinkler heads should not be painted
(they're not meant to be pretty) or covered in any way. In addition to
regular inspections, sprinkler systems must be inspected internally
every five years to ensure they are free of buildup that would
restrict water flow.
Fire extinguishers that do not meet requirements for hazard type
- Different hazards require different types of extinguishers, and
using the wrong extinguisher can sometimes make the fire worse. The
type and number of fire extinguishers needed change with the use and
contents of a building. Make sure that you have the appropriate
extinguisher available based on the hazards present in your business.
Failures in emergency lighting and exit signs - Occupational
Safety and Health Association (OSHA) 1910.37 and NFPA 101 require
emergency lights and exit signs to be tested for 30 seconds monthly
and 90 minutes annually, along with other important but easy-to-miss
vitals a trained technician will know to check.
Alarm systems not tested at required intervals - Lives are at
stake when a fire occurs and an alarm system won't do its job if it's
not properly maintained. NFPA 72 outlines required testing intervals
for automatic fire alarm systems. Proper maintenance of a fire alarm
system will greatly improve the chances that it will detect a fire,
notify the building occupants, and alert first responders.
No inspection paperwork - If no paperwork exists, did the
inspection really take place? Work with a fire protection provider
that offers complete, easy to understand inspection reports. This will
help you to easily keep track of all completed inspections and quickly
reference them when needed.
"Ignoring fire protection equipment deficiencies increases the
likelihood of extensive damage, injury, or even death," added Amann,
"Partnering with an expert service provider is the best way to ensure
equipment is properly maintained and in compliance with fire codes."
For more information on Cintas' fire protection services for businesses
including testing, inspection and repair of all types of fire protection
equipment, please visit http://www.cintas.com/Fire
About Cintas Corporation:
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly
specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout
North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate
identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning
and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid,
safety, fire protection products and services and document management
services for more than 1 million businesses. Cintas is a publicly held
company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol
CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
Source: Cintas Corporation