Firesafety inspections coming soon

Published on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 by eslee Smith

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Fire safety inspections coming soon

By Leslee Smith

Beginning in January 2008, North Whatcom Fire and Rescue will be assisting local businesses by inspecting their facilities.

The purpose of these inspections is to identify life safety concerns by identifying potential hazards that may lead to fire or pose a threat to buildings, businesses, employees and customers. The goal is to make these businesses safer to work and do business.

Here are some questions that have been asked in regard to the planned inspections:

What are life safety concerns?
Here are some examples: Exits not clearly marked; fire extinguishers either missing or out of service; extension cords – either too many or not the right size for the appliance in use; address not clearly visible or not identified clearly; electrical outlets with cover plates or switch covers not in place.

How long do the inspections take?
The inspections typically take approximately one hour to complete and will be done, in most cases, during the regular business hours. Some inspections may take place on weekends or in the evening depending on the business.

Does the owner need to be present during the inspection?
A representative of the business is not required to be present through the inspection although they are encouraged to be.

Will the business be disrupted during the inspection?
All attempts to limit disruption to the business are considered.

Who will conduct the inspections?
All inspections will be conducted by trained fire personnel.

What will happen following the inspection?
Once the inspection is complete the business owner will receive a detailed written report which outlines each hazard found based on code violations.

The report will also contain appropriate corrective action along with a recommended date for reinspection.

How often does are businesses required to be inspected?
This process will begin in January of 2008 and will be completed in one year and businesses will be inspected on a priority basis.

Following completion the business will then be inspected annually as required by law.

North Whatcom Fire and Rescue will contact business owners to set up an appointment. If you have any questions or concerns please contact chief Jim Bleecker. He can be reached during normal business hours (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 360/318-9933.