As businesses prepare to reopen, a new Facilities Reopening Fire Safety Checklist from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been developed to assist building owners and facility managers ensure the fire and life safety of all occupants. This checklist will help building owners and facility managers prepare, ensuring that fire protection and life safety systems in commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings are properly checked and functioning.
NFPA is a global nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through 300+ consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy, as well as by providing important resources, such as the Facilities Reopening Fire Safety Checklist.
According to Val Ziavras, technical services engineer at NFPA, “During the lockdown policies in place over the past couple of months, many of the ongoing inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) activities typically required by locally enforced codes and standards may not have been completed for a variety of reasons.”
Ziavras continues, “Regardless of the level of ITM performed during this time, it is imperative that building owners and facility managers verify the performance of all building fire protection and life safety systems prior to reoccupation.”
Ralph Bless, Vice President of fire protection ITM leader Telgian Fire Safety adds, “While we continue to partner with our clients to assist them in implementing appropriate inspections and testing programs for their fire protection systems, it is also important that we are flexible in how those services are provided in order to limit the interference to business operations during these challenging times.”
The NFPA checklist resource addresses the various factors that should be confirmed by a qualified person before reopening a building. For example, it provides some initial steps to help make sure the occupancy is safe enough to reopen until a qualified professional can complete the regularly scheduled ITM of all fire protection and life safety systems (based on the assumption that the building was in compliance prior to being closed). Completing this process as quickly as possible is essential.
“Any alterations to the building that adhere to public health guidelines, such as the installation of physical barriers or automatic door openers, will need to be evaluated to ensure that they are properly designed and installed and do not negatively impact the fire protection and life safety systems currently in place,” explains Ziavras.
The NFPA Facilities Reopening Fire Safety Checklist reflects the latest in a series of COVID-19 related resources which were developed by NFPA in order to address fire and life safety issues, concerns, and challenges that have emerged over recent months. Please visit the NFPA coronavirus landing page to access all newly released documents, as well as existing COVID-19 related information, guidelines, and resources. For more information, visit NFPA.
About Telgian Fire Safety
Since 1985, Telgian Fire Safety has served as a trusted partner to clients around the globe, providing innovative solutions and keeping facilities safe, compliant and on budget. Telgian Fire Safety’s expertise includes inspection, repair and testing of Fire Sprinkler Systems, Fire Alarm Systems, Fire Extinguishers, Kitchen Hood Suppression Systems, Backflow Systems, Emergency/Exit Lights, Special Hazards, and Clean Agent Systems as well as Fire Alarm Monitoring.
Specializing in multi-location properties, as well as large single-campus facilities, Telgian Fire Safety services approximately 50,000 locations annually, providing a centralized approach and standardized way for clients to manage their fire life safety program. Additional services include Inventory Tracking, Capital Replacement Programs, Budgeting and Forecasting.