The city speaks: The 10 most common fire code violations
Taking a few minutes to cover these key points can make a big difference
By Ed Erickson
Marshfield Fire Prevention Deputy Chief
The Marshfield Fire & Rescue Department conducts fire safety inspections of all businesses twice a year, as required by state of Wisconsin administrative rule. Businesses should keep fire safety in mind during their routine maintenance.
This only takes a few minutes, but this time can end up being the most beneficial few minutes spent during that day. These simple and important items can make the difference between your safety and the safety of your customers.
It is important to note that although this article lists the top ten common fire code violations, they are not arranged in any particular order. Some pertain to the direct safety of an individual, and others pertain to the elimination of a fire hazard.
The following are the ten most common fire code violations:
- Obstructions in exit passageways
Remove any and all obstructions from the exit passageways.
- Illumination of exits
Exit lights guide and direct you to an exit.
- Extinguishers maintained
Extinguishers are to be inspected and maintained annually or after each use by a certified person.
- Fire alarm systems tested annually
Fire alarm systems and their components must be tested at least annually, including but not limited to fire alarm boxes, audible devices, batteries, and smoke detectors.
- Smoke detectors maintained
All smoke detectors must be maintained in operable condition.
See Wisconsin State Statute 101.145 for specifics on requirements.
- Fire doors “closed”
Fire doors shall be kept in the “closed” position or held open by an approved device.
The use of door stops, wedges, and other non-approved devices to hold fire doors open is prohibited.
- Extension cords
Extension cords shall only be used for temporary wiring and shall not be substituted for permanent wiring.
Extension cords shall not be attached to structures, extended through walls, floors, under, or through doors.
Extension cords shall not be plugged into one another.
- Electrical covered
Electrical circuit breaker panels, junction boxes, and outlet boxes shall be covered and installation complete.
- Electrical clearance
Provide 36 inches of clearance in front of electrical control boxes.
- Egress (exit) lighting
Egress lighting is to be tested monthly for operation and annually to test the strength of the battery by a certified person.
Egress lighting provides for the illumination of the egress passageway in the case of a power outage.
The battery backup should provide a minimum of 90 minutes of illumination.
Questions about the above information or further clarification can be obtained by contacting the Fire Prevention Division at 715-486-2094, or visit the Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department online at ci.marshfield.wi.us/fd.