What Do Fire Marshal’s Look for During Inspections?

Fire safety regulations vary depending on type of business, but inspectors perform four basic safety checks: Suppression, Electrical Checks, Flammables, and Fire Exits. The below will give you a broad overview of how to keep yourself both legal and safe – these are, after all, not just annoying codes but fire protection tips. Note that fire codes are state-specific; you should be able to find your statutes on your state’s website. Piper Fire Protection serves clients in the greater Tampa Bay area, including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Sarasota and Tampa, Florida.


If a fire starts, what are the systems you have in place to stop it or slow its pace long enough for the fire department to arrive and for full evacuation? Fire extinguishers should be evenly distributed throughout your building and should be fully operative when tested. Sprinklers or hood systems will be checked as well, if you have either of these installed.

Fire Exits:

Just as you experience on an airplane, a key component of emergency preparedness is knowing how to get out of an enclosed space in the event of an emergency. You need properly lit EXIT signs above every door of your building – this helps victims of a fire who might be disoriented from smoke inhalation and poor visibility. These should also be clear of obstructions.


Flammables need to be stored carefully so that they do not quickly spread a fire. Additionally, any object that is under pressure or contains chemicals could potentially explode if overheated – exponentially increasing the damage and danger; these should be kept in a cabinet labeled Hazardous. If your business produces chemical waste, that waste should be taken out of the facility every day rather than compiling. Cleanliness and orderliness are also crucial to increasing fire protection: the fire marshal will check that your location is not dirty or disorganized.

Electrical Checks:

Two types of electrical wiring are often associated with fires – so the fire marshal will look for these situations: wires that are either exposed or not insulated. You should not have multiple extension cords connected together – only one running from the outlet to the device it’s powering. Also ensure that all your fuses are designated in writing within the fuse box. It’s not enough to know these by memory. If a fire starts, whoever is present in the building should be able to immediately know which switch to disengage to cut electrical power to the right location.