Nobody likes to receive a notice of violation from the fire marshal, especially when the violation should have been avoidable. These include violations, such as items blocking sprinklers, a wrench missing from your sprinkler cabinet, or missing inspection intervals. There are consequences resulting in code violations, but they differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Read on to learn precisely what you should do if you have a violation during a fire safety inspection!
Common Fire Code Violation Consequences
Some common fire code violation consequences:
- Cost: Violations may result in fines, and these fines become progressively higher with each passing day the issue goes unresolved or ignored with repeated violations.
- Severity Rankings: Some fire marshals use a severity ranking once violations are identified to determine compliance timelines. Certain violations require the implementation of a fire watch, which can be costly.
- A Compliance Schedule: Many notices of violations include a timeframe in which the violation must be remedied, usually 30 to 90 days. However, this might be expressed in qualitative terms such as “a reasonable timeframe”, which is open to interpretation.
What Happens Once the Fire Marshal has Finished the Inspection?
Once the inspection is completed, the fire marshal will review the inspection report and explain what you’ll need to do to remedy any identified issues. The written notice of violation should always:
- Clearly identify the violation
- Provide a citation of the relevant code or ordinance
- Describe any required corrections
After you confer with your fire marshal, they’ll ask you to sign the report and give you a copy to keep in your records.
Different Kinds of Violations Warrant Different Kinds of Responses
If there are violations of a technical nature, there are a few things to remember. Minor violations include:
- Exit signs not lighted properly
- Inadequate lighting for emergency lights
- Missing or damaged pull stations on fire alarm systems
- Missing fire extinguishers or extinguishers without inspection tags
Serious technical violations include:
- One or more components of a fire alarm or sprinkler system not meeting code, but the system is still operable
- Regular doors that must be replaced with fire doors
- Additional exits needed
Life-threatening violations are serious and require immediate action. If you have been cited for a severe fire system violation, you can expect another inspection in 48 to 72 hours and the implementation of a fire watch. Examples of severe violations often include:
- Chained or blocked exit doors
- Inoperable fire sprinklers or alarms
- Exposed or energized wiring posing a fire hazard
- Unproved heating appliances and appliances without correct ventilation
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.