Sentry Commercial Property Management Division’s 10 Tasks That Keep Fire Marshalls Happy & Tenants Safe
One of the most crucial responsibilities of commercial property managers (and owners) is to ensure the safety of their tenants in every way possible. When it comes to fire safety, the goal of the annual inspection by the Fire Marshall is to do more than pass. It’s an opportunity to constantly improve in terms of vigilance to keep people and property safe. To that end, here are 10 things that your Fire Marshall shouldn’t have to tell you to do.
1. Fire extinguishers should be inspected annually with appropriate inspection tags attached.
2. Choose a highly rated fire alarm system that is professionally installed and annually inspected and tested.
3. Have a highly rated fire suppression system installed and inspected annually.
4. Flammable or combustible materials storage is forbidden indoors if not contained properly in a designated area – with good reason.
5. Emergency lighting should be inspected regularly to ensure all units are working properly.
6. Make sure that the fire department serving your area has easy access to documented information on all fire alarms and suppression systems as well as building occupants, floor plans and exit locations.
7. Prepare and post escape routes in easily visible places.
8. Conduct annual fire drills that include a request to your Fire Marshal to attend, observe and offer insight.
9. Designate gathering areas for groups during fire drills and actual emergencies. Designate group leaders among tenant, management and maintenance populations and provide instructions/training and easy access to all information like escape routes and plans that they will need.
10. Secure any rugs or carpeting near fire exits and make sure all paths leading to and beyond fire exits are kept clear for safe egress
As a commercial property owner and/or property manager, you have a legal, moral, and fiscal responsibility to do everything in your power to ensure the safety of the property and its occupants. While this list is a sound way to start, the annual inspection by the Fire Marshall is an opportunity to refine and improve upon these features in ways that increase tenant safety and happiness that translates to higher property values.