FIRE PREVENTION INSPECTION PROCEDURE
Inspection of fire protection and extinguishing systems is crucial to the overall protection of any company's assets. The following procedures address those inspections.
A facility manager should have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that fire prevention inspections are conducted. All inspections should be performed by a designated, trained employee or a selected alternate. These inspections should be conducted each month. To ensure consistency and documented follow up prepared inspection forms should be used.
Established inspection procedures will help to ensure that fire protection systems will be operational when needed.
- All valves controlling the water supply to the sprinkler systems should be locked in the open position.
- All valves controlling the water supply to the sprinkler systems should be prominently numbered in conjunction with the facility drawings.
- Each locked valve shall be visually inspected on a weekly basis. This inspection is to be recorded on the provided inspection form. In addition, the post indicator and wall post indicator valves should be physically tried for the open position monthly.
- Post indicating and wall post indicating valves have a target that identifies the open and closed position.
- Outside screw and yoke (OS&Y) valves have a threaded stem which extends beyond the hand wheel. In the fully open position, the length of the stem equals the diameter of the pipe it controls.
- Indicating butterfly valves have an indicator; if the indicator points in the direction of the pipe, the valve is open.
- If the valve appears to be closed, do not open the valve without first determining why the valve was closed and that it is all right to open the valve.
- To ensure that the post indicating and wall post indicating valves are open, they should be unlocked and physically tried once a month. To do this, turn the handle to the fully open position. If the valve continues to open past 1/4 turn past open position, the target is either misaligned or has dropped. The valve should then be closed 3 to 4 turns; the valve should operate easily. Re-open the valve fully, counting the turns. If this number does not equal the number of turns you closed the valve with, the valve needs repair. Finally back the valve off 1/4 turn and re-lock the valve.
(On your inspection form, note the condition of the valve and if the valve was found in the open or closed position. Also, note if the valve was physically accessible. )
The following procedures will help the designated inspector conduct the monthly water flow alarm test for the sprinkler systems. If you have a sub-contractor perform this test, the sub-contractor must be accompanied by the facilities designated fire prevention inspector.
- The inspector's test connections are identified on the plant drawing provided with this manual. Before testing, you must notify department managers that the alarm will sound during the test. Also ensure that the discharge will not flow water on any materials. Next, open the 1-inch valve fully and allow the water to flow for at least 60 seconds.
- While the water is flowing, go outside and note the color and clarity of the flowing water. If the water is red, rusty or gritty, further attention may be needed. It is normal for the water to start out black and then clear up.
- While the water is flowing, the local water motor gong should ring. If it does not ring, the alarm needs repair. When the alarm rings, note the time and close the valve. Make sure that water dripping has stopped. This may take a minute or two.
- The result of this test should be noted on the inspector's form.
The following items will need to be looked at during the monthly inspection and conditions noted on the inspection form.
- Fire Extinguishers - Ensure that they are properly charged, accessible, properly marked, in good condition. This is a good time to evaluate the need for additional extinguishers.
- Solvents and flammables - Minimal amount stored in facility. Make sure safety cans are used for dispensed material.
- Oil Storage - Ensure that the storage area is free from spills, trash and other materials, and containers are stored in an orderly manner.
- Pallet Storage - Pallets may not exceed a storage height of 6 feet when stored indoors.
- Flammable product or general material storage - May not exceed height allowed by facility fire protection systems. Highly flammable material must be stored in designated areas only.
- General Order and Neatness
- Is waste promptly removed from manufacturing areas?
- Is the trash compacter area clean?
- Is compacted trash picked up regularly?
- Cutting and Welding
Have there been any cutting and welding operations (outside the designated areas) since last inspection? If yes, were the proper precautions/permits used, as set forth by the guidelines in the "Cutting and Welding Procedures"?
- Smoking Regulations
Are employees smoking outside the designated areas, any cigarette butts found outside of designated areas?
- Division Emergency Organization
Have there been any personnel changes that require updating the D.E.O.?
- Provide a brief narrative report, as it pertains to the fire safety aspects of the inspection.