The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 1910.157 requires that all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace be inspected, maintained, and tested. The visual inspection of portable extinguishers or hoses should be conducted monthly. The hydrostatic testing of extinguishers should be done every 5 years for pressurized water, carbon dioxide, and wet chemical extinguishers, and every 12 years for dry chemical extinguishers.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers provides requirements to ensure that portable fire extinguishers will work as intended to provide a first line of defense against fires of limited size.
Regular inspections, maintenance, and testing of fire extinguishers are essential to ensure that they are functioning properly and can be used effectively in case of a fire emergency.
Emergency lighting inspection requirements are governed by various regulations and standards. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, requires that emergency lighting be tested for a minimum of 90 minutes annually to ensure the full capacity of the batteries. The testing can be done through a self-test method, which allows the units to test themselves and indicate any issues via an indicator light.
NFPA 101 also requires that emergency lighting be provided for all means of egress, including exits and pathways leading to them, stairs designated for emergency exit, aisles, corridors, ramps, escalators, and other passageways that lead to an exit.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that emergency lighting systems be inspected and tested monthly to ensure that they are in good working condition. OSHA Standard 1910.37 also mandates that exit routes be adequately lighted so that an employee with normal vision can see along the exit route, and that each exit must be clearly visible and marked with a sign reading “Exit”.
In addition, emergency lighting systems must be designed to remain illuminated for at least 90 minutes, and illumination levels are allowed to decline to an average of 0.6 foot-candles, with a 0.06-foot-candle minimum, at the end of the 90-minute period.
Exit signs are an essential component of any building’s fire safety system. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, requires that exit signs be illuminated and visible from any direction of approach. The code also requires that exit signs be located at every exit and in every corridor or hallway leading to an exit.
The NFPA 101 further mandates that exit signs be inspected and tested at least once every 30 days to ensure that they are in good working condition. The inspection should include checking the illumination of the exit markings to confirm that they are visible and functioning properly.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 1910.37 also requires that exit signs be illuminated and visible, and that they be installed at every exit and maintained in a clean and legible condition. OSHA also mandates that exit routes be maintained and kept free of obstructions, and that exit doors be unlocked from the inside at all times during working hours.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, requires that fire doors be inspected and tested annually to ensure that they are in good working condition.
The inspection should include checking for missing or damaged fire door labels, gaps between the door and frame, missing or damaged hardware, and proper operation of the door. Fire doors should also be tested to ensure that they close and latch properly, and that the door’s closing speed is within the manufacturer’s specifications.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 1910.36 also requires that fire doors be inspected annually to ensure that they are in good working condition and that they are not blocked or obstructed.
Flammable Liquids and Chemicals Storage
Flammable cabinets are essential for safety storing flammable liquids and chemicals in the workplace. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 30: Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code offers guidelines on the proper installation, use, and inspection requirements for flammable cabinets. The frequency of flammable cabinet inspections depends on several factors, including the type of cabinet, type of flammable liquids or chemicals stored, and the regulatory requirements applicable to the workplace.
Generally, flammable cabinets should be inspected at least once a year to ensure they are in good working condition and comply with safety regulations. However the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 1926.152 requires flammable cabinets to be inspected every three months.
Managing Life Safety Inspections
This is only a sampling of life safety inspections that are important for keeping a workplace safe and in compliance. There are requirements that govern all types of equipment such as fall protection, PPE, ladders, ventilation hoods, safety showers, and more. Without an effective system in place, ensuring that the proper inspections are being performed on the proper schedules can be a daunting task. InspectNTrack software offers a single system that manages every type of fire and life safety requirement within a facility. It stores an inventory of equipment within the facility and associates the proper regulatory code to each equipment. This allows inspections to be performed accurately and on time with a simple scan of a barcode on the equipment.