en-Gauge Fire and Life Safety Blog

Top Fire Code Violations in Hospitals and How to Stay in Compliance.

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 8/1/13 2:51 PM

In facilities as large and complex as hospitals, there are many potential fire safety issues as well as numerous hidden code violations.  Fire-code-complianceRecently, we read a report by the State Fire Marshal of Washington State that outlined the most common violations that have been found in hospitals.  Many of these infractions could possibly start a fire or prevent people from safely escaping in an emergency situation.  We wrote up a brief rundown highlighting some of the more serious instances that occur regularly in healthcare establishments in the US.  Amongst other violations, there were minor problems ranging from burned out light bulbs in exit signs to missing ceiling tiles.  One of the biggest challenges that hospital administrators are faced with is staying up to date with code regulations; we at enGauge take those headaches away.  We’ve taken the time to boil down some of the most cited issues that peaked our interest.  

Read More

Topics: Healthcare, Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Blocked Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, NFPA 10 Code Compliance, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Empty Fire Extinguisher, Fire Marshals, Medical Oxygen Monitoring

More Fire Extinguisher Violations

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 3/29/11 11:08 AM

I am starting to be dismayed by how many fire extinguisher violations I run across.  It's not as if I look at every fire extinguisher at every location I visit - although, growing up in the fire protection industry, I probably do look at 20% of them.  In the last week, I've run across three more, and I am just one guy sitting in my office most days.

Read More

Topics: Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Missing Fire Extinguishers, Blocked Fire Extinguishers, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Blocked Fire Extinguisher, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Empty Fire Extinguisher

The Importance of Fire Extinguishers

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 1/13/11 9:55 AM

Just how important to society are fire extinguishers?  It turns out VERY IMPORTANT!  Often ignored,  even by the fire community, these overlooked life safety devices play a vital role in keeping us safe.  It is time for fire extinguishers to get the respect they deserve.
 
For most people fire extinguishers are invisible red cans on walls,  never looked at,  rarely considered.
fire_extinguisher_training-1 To some they are the joke in a funny story about cooling beer in college or the laugh from the time they shot one off that drunken night.  But in more than 600 businesses and non-residential structures every day in America they are the difference between a minor fire problem and a conflagration.

 
Yes, you read that right, 600 time a day fire extinguishers put out fires in non-residential structures in the United States and many more around the globe.
 

Read More

Topics: Fire Extinguisher Inspections, OSHA 1910, Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Missing Fire Extinguishers, Environmental Protection, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Hotel and Hospitality, Campus Fire and Security, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, NFPA 10 Code Compliance, NFPA 10, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Electronic Monitoring

Texas Companies Learn That Fire Extinguisher Violations Are Serious Business

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 12/20/10 9:10 AM

Two Texas companies learned the hard way this week that failure to provide a safe workplace - and in particular accessible and functioning fire extinguishers - is very bad for business.  OSHA, the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, cited the companies on multiple willful and serious violations and 
osha-Logolevied fines that equal almost $400,000.


According to Reliable Plant Magazine:



The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Texas Linen Company Ltd. five serious and 15 repeat citations following a safety and health inspection at the company's facility in Austin, Texas. Proposed penalties total $126,400.

...Repeat citations were issued alleging a failure to keep flooring dry; cover floor holes; provide machine guards for rotating parts, points of operation, and sprockets and chains; provide illuminated exit signs and clear exit access; provide properly identified locks for machine servicing; and provide working and easily accessible portable fire extinguishers.


 


In a separate incident, OSHA has cited U.S. Minerals Inc. with three alleged willful and 35 alleged serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety and health hazards at the company's facility in Galveston. Proposed penalties total $273,000.   According to the Houston Examiner:



Serious violations include failing to provide covers on chute floors, failing to remove damaged portable metal ladders from service, failing to ensure compressed gas cylinders were properly secured, failing to provide fire extinguishers where combustible and flammable materials were stored and failing to develop and document machine specific lockout/tag out procedures for equipment. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.


...Speaking on this issue, Mark Briggs, OSHA's area director for the Houston South Area Office said, “Employers' disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated. This company jeopardized the safety of its employees


 



blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-Empty-CabinetAs a company that has a history of over 40 years in fire protection and life safety, we understand how vital the work is that OSHA does in ensuring workplace safety.  Unfortunately, there are large spans of time in between inspections.  That is why it the en-Gauge fire extinguisher monitoring solution is so important to workplace safety.  The en-Gauge system monitors fire extinguishers 24 X 7 X 365 and ensures that these critical life safety devices are available, accessible and ready for use when needed.  Protect your company, lower your risk and make sure your employees are safe.



 


en-Gauge.  We Make The Places People Go, Safer.

Read More

Topics: Fire Extinguisher Inspections, OSHA 1910, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Compliance, Uninspected Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Inaccessible Fire Extinguishers, NFPA 10, Missing Fire Extinguisher, Electronic Monitoring

Blocked Fire Extinguishers - Reason #2 30-day Fire Extinguisher Inspections Are Not Sufficient

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 12/9/10 5:41 PM

Blocked Fire Extinguishers are another serious code violation that are easy to find when you are out running errands or going to meetings.  When access to a fire extinguisher is impeded by an object, it can mean the difference between life and death.  This is another concern the 30-day fire extinguisher inspection is meant to address, but since such a small percentage of these inspections are actually performed, an extinguisher can remained blocked for months - or even years - at a time. 


Here are some pictures of blocked fire extinguishers I have found in just that past few months.


Blocked Fire Extinguishers

blocked-extinguisher

blog_post_Blocked-Fire-Extinguishers

This is a picture of a blocked fire extinguisher location with the extinguisher missing as well.

blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-FileRoom_1_(3)

Blocked fire extinguishers are commonplace.  Unfortunately, they are also a serious life safety risk for the occupants of any buildings in which they reside.  The 30-day manual inspection as mandated by NFPA 10, is not sufficient to ensure fire extinguishers are accessible and available every day.  The en-Gauge electronic fire extinguisher monitoring system ensures that your extinguishers are where they are supposed to be, free of obstruction and ready to fight fires 24 X 7 X 365.

en-Gauge.  We make the places people go safer.

Read More

Topics: Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher, Codes and Standards, Annual Inspection, Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Missing Fire Extinguishers, Blocked Fire Extinguishers, Compliance, Uninspected Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Monitoring, Inaccessible Fire Extinguisher, Blocked Fire Extinguisher, Inaccessible Fire Extinguishers, NFPA 10 Code Compliance, NFPA 10, Missing Fire Extinguisher

Missing Fire Extinguishers - Reason #1 30-day Fire Extinguisher Inspections are not sufficient

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 12/8/10 5:24 PM

My family has been in the fire protection industry for over 40years,  This breeds a healthy repect for fire and its ability to wreak havoc on lives and property. It also encourages me to keep my eyes open for life safety concerns when I'm out and about. 


One of the most obvious and serious concerns is missing fire extinguishers.  In order to fight fire effectiveley and meet code, fire extinguishers must be easily accessible, so when it is not where it's supposed to be in an emergency, the results can be disastrous.  The locations for fire extinguishers must be clearly marked, so it is veryapparent when one is missing or moved. 


Here are some pictures of missing extinguishers I've taken in the past few weeks.


Missing Fire Extinguishers

blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher

Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-Empty-Cabinet

blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguishers_0

Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-Under-Sign_(1)

blog_post_Missing-Fire-Extinguisher-FileRoom_1

The ease and frequency with which I find missing fire extinguishers is representative of a serious concern.  The 30-day manual inspection as mandated by NFPA 10, is not sufficient to ensure fire extinguishers are where they are supposed to be every day.  The en-Gauge electronic fire extinguisher monitoring system ensures that your extinguishers are where they are supposed to be and ready to fight fires 24X7X365.

en-Gauge.  We make the places people go safer.

Read More

Topics: Fire Suppression, Fire Extinguisher Inspections, Fire Extinguisher, Annual Inspection, Missing Fire Extinguishers, Compliance, Uninspected Fire Extinguishers, Electronic Monitoring Fire Extinguisher, 30 Day Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Missing Fire Extinguisher