In the interest of safety, what are some common fire code/safety issues most talked about in public buildings?
Well, if you were to ask inspectors, who typically look over common areas, stairways, closets, utility rooms and more, you’d get an earful.
Oftentimes, it all comes down to storage, as in, “How are things being stored?” Simple, ordinary combustibles should not be stored under or around electrical panels and sprinkler systems– but they often are. Did you know that items should be stored more than 18 inches from fire sprinkler heads? If that rule isn’t followed, and things get piled high, up to the ceiling in a room, what good are those sprinklers going to do if they’re essentially blocked from fully doing their job? Keep this in mind, too: if a fire does break out, it’s usually one or two sprinkler heads that will end up controlling it. But what if the fire breaks out in the one spot in a room where the sprinkler heads are blocked by improperly stored items? Don’t let that happen!
How about things that get placed in corridors and hallways that don’t really belong there? Have you ever visited a building where the hallways were blocked by all sorts of things, like cabinets, desks, tables, chairs and garbage? If a fire breaks out, how are people supposed to rush out of a building that has blocked hallways full of “stuff?” If you take a tape measure and can’t find at least 44 wide inches of open space to walk through in a typical hallway, that’s not good. Basically, it’s best to keep corridors and hallways clear and unobstructed in the interest of safety.
Certain doors are fire doors– meant to serve as fire barriers. Unfortunately, some people prop or wedge them open such that they couldn’t properly function if there was a fire.
Other problems you’ll find in most buildings include improperly stored flammable fluids/liquids, extension cords being used as permanent wiring (not cool!), and non-compliant upholstered furniture.