How are fire protection requirements determined for my commercial building?
There is national, state, and county wide requirements for the required components of a commercial building’s fire protection system. When compiling your fire protection plan, these fire codes are going to be the guiding principles. If you have a fire protection company you’re already working with, they should be able to help you navigate these fire codes. Don’t try to do it on your own.
The National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, is the national organization that sets fire code requirements for the U.S. There are over 300 of NFPA’s codes and standards. These national fire codes and standards dictate the exact fire protection requirements for any commercial building, from offices to restaurants and everything in between. NFPA also provides trainings, public outreach programs, and a number of resources on fire safety information for fire protection professionals, building owners, the general public, etc.
The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is another national organization that sets fire code requirements for U.S. businesses. Fire safety is addressed in specific OSHA standards for record keeping, general industry, maritime, and construction. This organization also provides references that may aid in recognizing and evaluation hazards in the workplace.
Finally, your local Fire Marshal’s office will also have their own fire code requirements for your specific commercial building. It’s essential to work with local code enforcement when compiling your commercial fire protection plan. You can find information on these specific codes on your city’s Office of the Fire Marshal website.