Fire Protection:  The evaluation of fire protection as related to the International Fire Code and regional fire code.
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    The pictures above are from a hospital fire code inspection were there is an oxygen service in use for multiple services. 
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    The fire home picture is from an inspection of an NBA champ's home.

    Home Fire Safety Guide

    This checklist is designed to help homeowners determine areas of a home that need to be checked for fire safety concerns.  This check list does not represent all of the areas of a home that need the be checked or maintained.
    Table of Contents

     

    The United States has one of the highest fire death and injury rates in the world. In 1992, fire was the third leading cause of preventable deaths at home. Every year there are more than 400,000 home fires serious enough to be reported to local fire departments. According to the National Fire Protection Agency Fires account for roughly $4 billion in property losses annually, and the long-term damage to fire victims and their loved ones is incalculable.

    You can use this fire safety checklist to increase your awareness of how fires can occur. By spotting hazards and taking some simple precautions, most fires and fire-related injuries can be prevented.

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Sources of Fire

    Home heating equipment is associated with nearly a third of all home fires. Hundreds of injuries and deaths each year result from contact burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Wood Stoves

    Is your wood stove installed away from combustible walls?
    Does a non-combustible floor protector extend 18 inches beyond your wood stove on all sides, to reduce the chances of your floor igniting?
    Has your stove and its installation met fire and building codes?
    Has your chimney recently been inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep if necessary to avoid buildup of flammable creosote?
    Do you use and maintain fires in your stove only as recommended by the manufacturer?
    Do you burn only recommended fuels?

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Kerosene Heaters

    Purchase only kerosene heaters that bear the mark of an Independent testing laboratory.
    Do you know if your local and state codes and regulations allow the use of kerosene heaters? (Ask your fire marshal.)
    Do you know to burn kerosene only, and never to mix even the slightest bit of gasoline or any other fuel with kerosene in your heater?
    Are your fuel containers properly labeled to reduce the chance of mistaking gasoline for kerosene?
    Are you careful always to use K1 kerosene? Other grades contain more sulfur and will increase emissions, endangering your health.
    Are you careful never to fill the heater while it is operating or still hot? Refueling outdoors, when the device has cooled will prevent spillage which could ignite or ignition from the hot surface.
    Is your heater placed where it will not be knocked over or block an escape route in the event of a fire?
    Is the heater in a room which is well ventilated (an open door or window is enough) to prevent indoor air pollution?
    Do you carefully keep anything that can burn, such as fabrics and flammable liquids at least 3 feet away from an open flame?
    Do you know how to activate the manual shut-off switch if a flare-up occurs? Never try to move the heater or smother the flames with a rug or blanket.

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Gas-Fueled Space Heaters

    Did you follow the manufacturer's instructions for where and how to use unvented gas space heaters?
    Are you aware it is dangerous to use unvented gas space heaters in bathrooms and bedrooms?
    Do you follow the manufacturer's instructions for igniting the pilot light? Gas vapors can accumulate and ignite explosively.
    If matches are needed to light the pilot, do you strike the match before you turn on the gas, in order to prevent gas buildup?
    Do you keep all flammable and combustible materials at lest 3 feet away from gas-fueled appliances?
    Is there a propane gas cylinder stored in the body of your propane heater or anywhere in your house? This practice is very dangerous and generally prohibited in the United States.

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Cooking Equipment

    Do you keep constant watch on anything that is cooking?
    Are pot holders, plastic utensils, and dish towels hung or stored away from your cooking range? These items can catch fire.
    Do you enforce a "kid-free zone" three feet around your range?
    Do you roll up long, loose sleeves or fasten them with pins when you are cooking?
    Do you store candy or cookies somewhere other than above your range? This will reduce the temptation kids feel to climb on cooking equipment.
    Are you careful never to use a chair as a step stool in the kitchen, especially when your range is operating?

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Cigarette Lighters and Matches

    Do you keep lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet?
    Do you make sure that cigarette butts are cold before emptying ashtrays?
    Do you check furniture where smokers have been sitting for unintentionally dropped smoking materials? (Dropped cigarette butts can smolder for hours before igniting.)
    Are you careful to use deep sturdy ashtrays and to place them on sturdy surfaces where they are unlikely to be knocked over and to avoid placing them on the arms of chairs or sofas where they can be knocked off?

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Early Warning and Escape from Fires

    Even when you comply with every item on this checklist, you should have a plan for early warning and escape in case a fire happens.

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Smoke Detectors

    Do you have at least one working smoke detector on every floor of your home including the basement?
    Are your smoke detectors properly installed and maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions?
    Have you checked your smoke detectors' batteries lately?

    checkmark.jpg (5689 bytes)Escape Plan

    Does every member of your family know your plan for escape in the event of fire?
    Does everyone know at least two ways out of each room?
    Have you agreed on a meeting place in front of your home where you will gather to wait for the fire department?
    Does everyone know to get to get out first, then call for help from a neighbor's phone or call box?
    Does everyone understand that they should never, ever go back inside a burning building?
    Has your family practiced escaping through smoke by getting down on hands and knees and crawling to the nearest exit? (Make sure everyone understands that they should use the exit "free from smoke or flames if they can.)
    Does everyone in your family know how to stop, drop, and roll on the ground to smother flames if clothes catch fire?

    If you've attended to every item on this checklist, you should feel better about your family's ability to prevent home fires and to escape a fire if one should occur.

    For Further Information contact:
    National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA)
    One Batterymarch Park
    Quincy, MA 02269-9101
    http://www.nfpa.org

    FIRE PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS

    The fire safety aspects of building design are a major part of the building code and include classification of type of construction, tenant and occupancy fire separations, flame spread of interior finishes, exit design, exterior coverings and trim, opening protection, and alarms and fire suppression systems. The plans examiner is responsible to verify code compliance on the plans for these items and to assure that the plans communicate to both the building inspector and contractor exactly how any feature regulated by the code must be designed and installed. The building inspector must consequently spend a good portion of his or her time in communication with the plans examiner. This communication is enhanced if the plans examiner uses a standardized plan review form for each project and assures that the building inspector is given a copy of the form.

      FIRE RATED ASSEMBLIES

    General

    Fire resistance is defined as that property of a material or assembly which enables it to withstand fire or which provides protection from fire. As applied to individual elements of buildings, it is characterized by the ability to confine a fire, or to continue to perform a given structural function during a fire, or to do both. Fire endurance, or the time period during which a material or assembly continues to exhibit fire resistance, is usually measured by the methods specified and according to the criteria defined in the American Society for Testing and Materials' publication (ASTM El 19), titled "Standard Method of Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials." Similar test procedures have been adopted by other groups, such as the National Fire Protection Association in Standard No. NFPA 251, and Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., UL Standard 263. The standard is also recognized as an American National Standard, ANSI A2.1, by the American National Standards Institute.

    Over the years, a number of revisions to the standard fire-test procedure have been made. While they are basically consistent with the concepts in the earlier editions, the revisions are intended to provide suitable recognition for new types of assemblies and fire-protective materials. The time-temperature curve and the fundamental concept of time ratings of assemblies remain unchanged.

    Although the standard now requires that classification of results be stated to the nearest minute, building codes and most summaries of test results assign a fire-resistance rating to tested assemblies of one, one and one-half, two, three, and four hours. This time period may be less but never more than the interval between the start of the test and the time when a test end point is reached. Thus, if a given assembly reaches an end point at 3 hours, 36 minutes and another at 3 hours, 6 minutes, both would be classified as having a fire-resistance rating of three hours.

    The classification of a structural component or assembly by the Standard Fire Test includes the performance of the component or assembly during the period of fire exposure and does not imply suitability for use after fire exposure.

     Plans and Specifications

    It is the responsibility of the design architect to determine the location and design of fire resistive walls, floor-ceiling assemblies, roof ceiling assemblies, and the protection of openings located in these assemblies. The architect has the professional responsibility for the building, and his professional judgment may require fire resistive construction of a higher rating than the minimum required by code. Neither the building inspector nor the contractor has the authority to allow the reduction of these fire resistive ratings as judged necessary by the architect.

    The architect, however, does not have authority to provide less fire separation than required by the code. The plans examiner should verify that the minimum fire separations are as required by code and are indicated on the drawings.

    The architect should provide complete information for all fire rated assemblies including:

    a. Accredited testing agency's design specifications.

    b. Accredited testing agency's design number.

    c. Hourly rating of the assembly.

    d. Location and rating of opening protectives.

    With the above information the contractor is given the maximum area allowed for openings in the tested assembly and the type of opening protection required. The building inspector, having access to the same information, can then verify during construction that the fire rated assemblies are in accordance with the approved plans.

    FIRE RATED ASSEMBLIES

    General

    Fire resistance is defined as that property of a material or assembly which enables it to withstand fire or which provides protection from fire. As applied to individual elements of buildings, it is characterized by the ability to confine a fire, or to continue to perform a given structural function during a fire, or to do both. Fire endurance, or the time period during which a material or assembly continues to exhibit fire resistance, is usually measured by the methods specified and according to the criteria defined in the American Society for Testing and Materials' publication (ASTM El 19), titled "Standard Method of Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials." Similar test procedures have been adopted by other groups, such as the National Fire Protection Association in Standard No. NFPA 251, and Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., UL Standard 263. The standard is also recognized as an American National Standard, ANSI A2.1, by the American National Standards Institute.

    The Time-Temperature Curve

    Over the years, a number of revisions to the standard fire-test procedure have been made. While they are basically consistent with the concepts in the earlier editions, the revisions are intended to provide suitable recognition for new types of assemblies and fire-protective materials. The time-temperature curve and the fundamental concept of time ratings of assemblies remain unchanged.

    Although the standard now requires that classification of results be stated to the nearest minute, building codes and most summaries of test results assign a fire-resistance rating to tested assemblies of one, one and one-half, two, three, and four hours. This time period may be less but never more than the interval between the start of the test and the time when a test end point is reached. Thus, if a given assembly reaches an end point at 3 hours, 36 minutes and another at 3 hours, 6 minutes, both would be classified as having a fire-resistance rating of three hours.

    The classification of a structural component or assembly by the Standard Fire Test includes the performance of the component or assembly during the period of fire exposure and does not imply suitability for use after fire exposure.

    Plans and Specifications

    It is the responsibility of the design architect to determine the location and design of fire resistive walls, floor-ceiling assemblies, roof ceiling assemblies, and the protection of openings located in these assemblies. The architect has the professional responsibility for the building, and his professional judgement may require fire resistive construction of a higher rating than the minimum required by code. Neither the building inspector nor the contractor has the authority to allow the reduction of these fire resistive ratings as judged necessary by the architect.

    The architect, however, does not have authority to provide less fire separation than required by the code. The plans examiner should verify that the minimum fire separations are as required by code and are indicated on the drawings.

    The architect should provide complete information for all fire rated assemblies including:

    a. Accredited testing agency's design specifications.

    b. Accredited testing agency's design number.

    c. Hourly rating of the assembly.

    d. Location and rating of opening protectives.

    With the above information the contractor is given the maximum area allowed for openings in the tested assembly and the type of opening protection required. The building inspector, having access to the same information, can then verify during construction that the fire rated assemblies are in accordance with the approved plans.

    The building inspector should have access to the plan exam index and fire resistance check sheet (Figures B-2 and 8-3). These forms, when properly completed by the plans examiner, will assist the building inspector by directing him or her to where the information is located in either the plans or specifications, and indicate the required fire ratings and locations of fire dampers and fire doors.

     

    The accredited testing agency's design specification must be made available to the building inspector for him to inspect for proper installation in the field. A typical fire rated assembly and specification is shown in figure 8-4. The student should review the entire typical assembly to appreciate the detail required for a proper field inspection.

    Fire Doors: The standards for fire doors are ASTM E-1 52 and NRPA 80. Again the plans will indicate the label required, hourly rating hardware and temperature rise on the unexposed surface. The building inspector must verify each of these items in the field.

    Fire doors are designed for the protection against fire of openings in walls and partitions when installed in accordance with the installations in the National Fire Protection Association Standard for fire doors and windows, NFPA No. 80.

    The rating of 3, 1-1 /2-, 1-, 3/4- hours, 20 or 30 minutes indicates the duration of exposure to fire. The letter A, B, C, D or E following the hourly rating designates the location for which the assembly is designed, which is intended to agree with the NFPA Pamphlet No. 80. The temperature rise classifies the temperature developed on the unexposed face of the door at the end of 30 minutes of fire exposure, Those classification markings which do not show temperature rise are for doors which develop temperatures in excess of 6500 F. All doors with 1 /4 inch thick wired-glass lights in excess of 100 sq. in. are so rated. Doors with glass vision panels of 100 sq. in. or less carry the same rating as similar doors without glass vision panels.

    A door prepared at the factory for a glass vision panel or light includes the glazing members (frame) but normally does not include the glass itself. The labeled 1/4 in. thick wired-glass, see "Glazing for Fire Windows and Doors," is usually provided by other than the door manufacturer and installed at the time of the door installation.

    The protection of an opening depends not only upon the use of doors of the proper type, but also upon the use of listed frames and other listed accessories, as specified under the respective types of doors and the installation.

    While doors of the sliding or swinging steel-covered composite type, hollow-metal type, metal-clad (Kalamein) type, sheet-metal type, steel and metal-clad (freight elevator) type, steel (rolling) type, and tin-clad type exceeding the sizes recorded in the tabulations under their respective types have not been subjected to Standard fire tests, the laboratories are prepared to furnish a Certificate of Inspection for such oversized doors found to be in compliance, otherwise, with all requirements for design, materials and construction.

    Note that a label generally found on the edge of the door may have the proper hourly duration but may not be approved for the location. If the plans call for a 1 -1 /2 hour "B" labeled door, and a 3 hour "A" labeled door has been installed, the inspector should require a correction. The hourly rating and label may be correct but the temperature rise may not be correct. In that case also the inspector should require a correction.

    The inspector should assure that the door can be opened without excessive pressure and that the self-closing device does close and latch the door. Simply checking that a closure device exists is not sufficient. The inspector must verify that they do operate. Fire doors have failed to close because of alignment and carpet later installed being too thick for the under cut; consequently, the operation of door closures can only be completely checked at a final inspection when all building elements and finishes are in place.

     Fire Dampers

    Fire Damper Testing

    At present there is not an ASTM Standard for testing fire dampers. Codes generally reference UL Standard 555, which was written for fire damper assemblies rated for 3/4 hour, one hour, or 1 -1 /2 hours. UL Standard 555 does not.include dampers that are without ducts.

    Fire dampers without ducts or requiring a fire rating of more than three hours are tested in accordance with Standard ASTM E-1 52 or UL 1 O(b), which is the test standard for fire door assemblies. Fire dampers are also tested as part of an assembly in accordance with ASTM E-1 19.

    TYPES III, IV AND V CONSTRUCTION. Types III, IV and V construction have exterior walls of non-combustible materials, but the nature of the materials used in the structural elements varies with each.

    Type III is heavy timber framing, with the required fire-resistance attained by the sizes of the structural members (whether sawn solid or glued-laminated), and by the avoidance of concealed spaces under the floors or roof.

    Type IV has non-combustible materials used in all major interior structural elements. The use of non-combustible materials in the structure and enclosing surfaces obviously reduces the amount of fuel available in the event of fire and therefore reduces the potential fire hazard. Unprotected non-combustible members, while retaining much of their strength, may be so deformed in the event of fire that they become hazardous more rapidly. Even though Type III has combustible materials for structural elements, their dimensions are such that the fire hazard may be lower, due to the length of time required for fire to reduce the strength of the structure to a dangerous level.

    Type V has interior structural elements of combustible materials, either protected or non-protected. Because of the intrinsically greater fire hazard, provisions for fire-stopping all concealed spaces to reduce the spread of fire become more critical.

    TYPE VI CONSTRUCTION. Type VI construction, conventional wood frame, provides the least fire safety of all types, whether the exterior walls are wood siding, brick veneer, or stucco, and whether the structural elements are protected or unprotected, since the structural elements are combustible materials in small dimensions.

    Inspection for Construction Type: The type of construction is verified during plans review, and the primary responsibility of the building inspection is to assure that all materials and fire ratings are in accordance with the approved plans. A simple change of one non-bearing partition from metal studs to wood studs could change the construction type from Type I down to Type V. A building inspector needs to be constantly alert for combustible construction materials in a noncombustible building construction type (Type 1, Type 11 and Type IV) and penetrations of fire-rated assemblies that were not planned for.

    EXIT DESIGN

    Egress is a type of circulation; the codes establish requirements for those components of the circulation system (Section A) used for egress. A means of egress has three elements whether horizontal and/or vertical: exit access (those components of the circulation system leading to an entrance to the exit); the exit itself, separated from other areas of the building by protected surfaces, and leading to the exterior of the building; and exit outlets, if required, to lead directly from the exit to the street or outside space.

    The code requires at least two means of egress from any space in the building, with certain exceptions for small areas, and for rooms having less than 50 occupants.

                The number of exits that must be provided is based on the number of occupants. Other than for those rooms or areas where a firm number of occupants can be demonstrated, the code provides data for calculation. This exit capability must be maintained throughout the entire exit path.

    Capacity of the means of egress is based on research of 60 years ago on the movement capabilities of human beings, based on an average mix of age, sex, and physical condition. This rate of movement differs for horizontal and vertical modes, and is changed for those occupancy or use types where freedom of movement is limited either by physical condition (as in hospitals), or by restraints (as in prisons), or where greater freedom is necessary to avoid delay (as in hazardous occupancies). The rate if given in terms of the number of people moving in a travel path 22 inches in width (based on dimensions of the body) in one minute of time. Although the code requires provisions for access to every building for handicapped people, no pressure has been brought to provide comparable means of egress, nor to recognize the slowing effect of their presence on the established rate.

    Associated with rate of movement are the code provisions concerning maximum travel distance to an exit which can be increased if additional protection from the flames and the heat of the fire is provided by an automatic suppression system, which will disrupt the growth of a fire impending the path of travel and also cool the surfaces surrounding the exit path.

    The exit path must be a protected Oay. If enclosed, it must be separated form the remainder of the building; if exterior to the building, as in balconies, it must not be endangered by passing unprotected openings. To protect those using stairs, the fire-rated enclosure must include the underside of a stairway (except in one-or two-family dwellings).

    In some cases, as in high-rise business and residential, and all institutional occupancies, horizontal exits may serve for 50% of the exit capacity required, to allow the occupants of one part of the building to move to an area of refuge on the same level protected by at least a two-hour smoke partition.

    The exit path should be direct and fairly obvious. For this reason, dead end corridors cannot be longer than 20 feet. Similarly, the means of egress must be illuminated (if above a minimum number of occupants) by an emergency lighting system, and the exit itself must be identified by illuminated exit signs and directional signs as necessary.

     

    Inspection of Exits

    The inspection of exit design assures the building layout is in accordance with the approved plans, and exit lights, directional exit signs and emergency illumination are also in accordance with the approved plans.

    EXIT DOORS. All exit doors should be checked for width, height, door swing, and hardware. When checking exit door hardware, the door must be openable from the inside without the use of a key, except that in three occupancies a key from the inside is permitted. These occupancies are business, factory and storage. This exception is only given for these buildings if two conditions are complied with:

    I. The locking device is readily distinguishable when locked. After locking the key device the building inspector should observe that he can tell the door is locked. This may be by exit door hardware that clearly states "locked" when in the locked position or other equivalent method.

    2. The door must be marked with a durable sign that states, "This door exit to remain unlocked during business hours". The inspector must verify that the sign is in place.

    The building inspector must also verify that no surface or flush bolts exist on the exit doors. This is a common violation to find a pair of doors, one which is fixed in place with a surface or flush bolt. The code does allow flush and surface bolts on exit doors in one and two family dwellings, and in institutional restrained occupancies (jails). A flush bolt or a surface bolt on exit doors for business, mercantile and assembly occupancies may be used only when a business hour sign is provided,* and the bolts must be distinguishable when in the locked position.

     EXIT CORRIDORS. The inspector should assure that no obstructions occur that were not clearly detailed on the plans, such as drinking fountains, low clearance light fixtures, etc.

    Doors swinging into the corridor should be checked to assure that they will swing fully open to within at least seven inches of the wall.

    EXIT LIGHTING. The location of adequate directional exit signs must be verified. The plans may indicate exit signs that, when located as shown, are obstructed or misleading. This may not be apparent until the construction is complete. When this situation occurs, the inspector should require a correction. The plans may indicate that exit lights are on an emergency power source or that emergency illumination is installed. Verification by the inspector must be made that the operation is normal by removing the main power source.

    EXIT STAIRS. The inspector needs to check all aspects of the exit stair design with the plans. The following is an outline of major concerns:

    1  Completeness of Fire Rated Stair Enclosure - The inspector should assure that the one-or two-hour stair enclosure is complete and extends through interstitial concealed spaces, such as ceiling spaces. Any penetrations of the stair enclosure must be designed to restore the fire resistance rating.

    2. Stairway Doors - Doors opening into an exit stair shall not have a mechanical type hold open device such as a fusible link. The door should either be completely free of hold open devices or must automatically close upon the detection of smoke. The inspector must verify door operation. The door must be a "B" labeled door, either 1 or 1 1/2 hour rated, depending upon the approved plans. The inspector must verify that the label states that the average temperature developed on the unexposed side shall not exceed 450 degrees at the end of 30 minutes. This assures that the radiant heat on the stairway side would not prevent someone from walking by the door.

    The inspector must check that the door location and door swing are exactly as indicated on the approved plans, so the door swing does not reduce the required landing dimensions to less than one-half that required. The door should be checked holding it in the fully opened position to assure it does not project more than seven inches into the required landing width or depth.

    3. Stair design must be checked to verify that riser height, tread depth, and head clearance are in accordance with the dimensions on the approved plans.

    4. Handrail and guardrail location, height, and spacing between either vertical or horizontal rails must be in accordance with the approved plans.

    5. Landing location and dimensions shall be checked to be in accordance with the approved plans.

    A BRIEF FIRE PROTECTION CHECK LIST

     FIRE RATED ASSEMBLIES

    Determined all required fire rated assemblies from the plans?

    Do you have the accredited testing agency's specifications for the fire rated assemblies?

    Are the rated assemblies constructed as specified?

    Are the fire rated assemblies penetrated with either structural items, piping systems or ducts?

     

    FIRE RATED DOORS

    Are they labeled as specified on the drawings? (Check label, hourly rating & temperature rise)

    Does the self-closing device operate by closing and latching the door?

    Are the door sizes and direction of swing as shown on the drawings?

    Is the amount of glazing in the door as specified?

     

    FIRE DAMPERS

    Does the fire rated construction enclose the sleeve?

    Has 1/8" to 1/2" been allowed between the sleeve and structure for expansion and construction?

    The fire damper sleeve is not physically attached to the structure?

    Does the size of the retaining angle comply with the specifications?

    Is the connection between the duct and the sleeve a breakaway type connection?

    Does the gage of the damper sleeve comply with the plans?

    Is a damper access door provided?

    Is the fusible link listed?

     

    CONSTRUCTION TYPE

    Know the classification of type of construction for the building?

    Know what fire ratings and structural materials permitted for the building classification?

    Know the percent of openings in the exterior walls permitted for the construction type?

     

    INTERIOR FINISHES

    Verify ceiling, and wall finish materials are in accordance with the plans?

    Verify the flame spread and smoke development of interior finish materials?

    Verify the critical flux index rating of flooring materials in the exits and exit accesses?

     

    FIRE STOPPING AND DRAFT STOPPING

    Verify all fire stopping between floors is complete?

    Verify that draft stops are provided in all concealed combustible spaces as required?

     

    EXIT DESIGN

    Are travel distances to exits in accordance with the plans?

    Is the number exits in accordance with the plans?

    Do corridors have minimum widths as shown on the plans?

    Are exit doors sized in accordance with the plans?

    Are dead ends limited to 20 feet?

    Are exit enclosures properly constructed?

    Are guard railings provided for balconies and are they structurally adequate?

    Are exit discharges clear and unobstructed?

    checked tread depth for stairs?

    checked riser height for stairs?

    Verify handrails as required for stairs?

    Verify guardrails as required by plans and specifications?

    Verify head clearance on stairs?

    checked stair landing dimensions and door swing onto landing for reduction in width?

    Verify stair width is in accordance with approved plans?

    Verify all exit door hardware is in accordance with the approved plans?

    Verify access to the roof is in accordance with the approved plans?

    Does all door hardware operate?

    Is door hardware in accordance with the approved plans?

    Are ramps sloped as shown on the approved plans?

    Are ramp widths as shown on the approved plans?

    Are exit lights located as required by the approved plans and as needed?

    Do the exit lights operate?

    Does the emergency system for the exit lights operate?

    Is egress illumination properly installed?

    Does the egress illumination operate properly?

    Is the fire alarm system installed in accordance with the plans?

    Does the fire alarm operate?

    operated the alarm from the sending stations?

     

    SPRINKLER SYSTEM

    Is the sprinkler system installed in accordance with the approved plans?

    Is the water pressure as specified in the approved plans?

    Do all valves operate?

    No paint has been in advertently applied to the sprinkler heads?

    No shelving, structure or fixture is obstructing any sprinkler head?

  • Smoke Detectors   
  • Fire retardants:

    Based on an article printed in the Houston Chronicle there are a number of questionable chemicals that have been pulled off the market. Others may be recalled in due order. The jury is still out on some aspects of this subject. Some of the companies that market them advertise the chemicals as fire retardants (a method to retard or slow down the fire). Some are marketed as spray on items such as Scotch Guard. Scotch Guard is marketed as water repellant, not a fire retardant. The "recalled" products have been reported as cancer causing (carcinogens). Be aware that any property treated with these chemicals could have some serious long-term health related issues.

    Some of the companies are new and thus have not sold a huge amount of the chemical to the homeowners. That will help those who have not had it applied but are small consolation to those who decided to opt in on the application.

    Inspectors may not have the ability to identify or classify any fire retardant, since they are clear after application.

    Information related to fire retardant plywood can be found at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrp/fplrp501.pdf

    A seller's disclosure will not usually list the chemical presence via the standard form. The seller (ill or not) might want to dump the property on unsuspecting buyers. Realtors are not required to notify whether or not a person in the residence has gotten cancer or could have possibly died or been killed there.

    NBC Air Date: December 7, 2001

    Q: Does laundry detergents remove the fire retardants from infant sleepwear and clothing? A: We went to both the William Carter company, it makes infant clothing, and the International Fabricare Institute to get your answer. Both said that laundry detergent will not alter the flame retardant chemicals in infant clothing.

    However, soap, fabric softener and chlorine bleach will make fire retardant chemicals inactive within 3 washings. So make sure you wash your infant's clothing in detergent, not soap, to maintain the clothing's fire resistance.

     

    Autos also have fire retardants on some areas. They are also suspect.

     

    In addition to making fire retardant crib mattresses many manufacturers feature crib mattresses that are non-allergenic, stain resistant, non-absorbent, and anti-static.

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