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Fire and Life Safety Features


Fire Protection Systems: All fire protection systems are required to be inspected, tested, and found to be 100% operational in accordance with the appropriate NFPA standard (NFPA 25 for sprinklers and standpipe systems; NFPA 72 for fire alarm systems). Qualified, trained personnel must perform this process at least once a year to ensure proper operation and maintenance. This is the responsibility of the single tenant buildings with these systems, or larger tenants (anchor stores) in multi-tenant buildings that have their own stand-alone system. For shared systems in a multi-tenant building, the responsible party would be the property owners, management companies, or condo association representative. Please have a copy of this documentation available at the time of the inspection.


Exits: Check all exits for debris and storage. No storage is permitted in corridors, stairways or in areas near exits. All exists must be kept clear at all times.



Door Locks: Check for multiple locks on doors. Doors must be openable with no more than one releasing operation. Slide bolts are not permitted. All locks shall be in working order and of the appropriate type for this occupancy.



Exit Lights: Verify that all exit lights are illuminated. Make sure that the battery back-up bulbs and batteries also work (if the fixture is so equipped). There is no provision in the law for paper exit signs. Batteries and bulbs can be purchased at local electrical supply stores.



Emergency Lighting: Verify that all emergency lighting provided is in proper working order. A quick check can be made by depressing the test button on the side of some units.



Fire Doors: Verify that all fire doors operate properly and are maintained in working order. When released from an open position, they must close and latch. The use of stops, wedges and other such devices on fire doors is prohibited.



Electric Panels: All storage shall be kept a minimum of 30” away from electrical panels. No openings or exposed wires shall exist. Blanks (not tape) shall be placed in open breaker spaces.



Electrical Hazards: Check for electrical hazards that may exist. Multi-plug adapters and un-fused plug strips are prohibited. Check for receptacle and junction boxes without faceplates. All electrical equipment must be UL or FM listed.



Extension Cords: Extension cords cannot be used in place of permanent wiring.



Fire Extinguishers: All extinguishers shall be checked annually by a licensed extinguisher company. Extinguishers shall be tagged and dated. They shall be mounted not more than 5’ high nor less that 4” from the floor and shall have a minimum rating of 2A-10BC.



Storage (Inside): All storage shall be kept at least 18” below sprinkler heads (if they exist) and 24” below the ceiling. Check to see that accumulation of combustibles such as paper and boxes are kept only if actually needed and are in proper areas. Storage must be kept a safe distance (as recommended by the manufacturer) away from any heat-producing appliances such as a furnace or water heater, or a minimum of 18”.

Storage (Outside): The storage of combustible materials outside of a building must be kept a minimum of 15’ from the building. This includes dumpsters, recycled cardboard containers, etc.



Address: Your street address (numerals) shall be clearly visible from the street side of your business. The numbers must be a minimum height of 6”, and be of a contrasting color to the background.



It is recommended that you review the performance history of your business’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Odors of oil, gas, the smell of smoke while the machinery is operating, or the tripping of breakers controlling HVAC or any other electrical equipment is an indication of a potential problem.

NOTE: This list has been provided for your information and use. It is not intended to be all inclusive of the issues that may be raised during the inspection.


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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000