Self-Inspections Improved By Use of Printed Rx Forms
Industrial Fire Safety
Self-inspections of properties have long been an accepted way of life with many industries. They have learned the value of self-analysis and correcting their violations. Let’s look at some of the basics in this proven survival system for industrial, commercial and institutional establishments that can prepare them for inspections from their insurance carriers, fire departments, and even OSHA.
The inspector should take a printed form with him on his tour, record his findings and present them to a supervisor. Then, if the inspections are to be meaningful, there should be a followup—daily, weekly or monthly—to see that the hazards are removed.
As to the items to be checked, we quote a few from various forms we have collected in our nationwide tours. A fire department report has a section on fire and life protection. This section involves exits, fire doors, extinguishers, sprinkler systems, fire pumps, alarms and emergency lighting. Another part covers heating and cooling equipment. Furnace rooms, equipment installations and rubbish collections are cited. An electrical equipment section includes items such as improper fuses, overloaded circuits, improper extension cords, exposed wiring and poorly maintained equipment. Electrical equipment must be in excellent repair so as not to be a hazard to life and property. Housekeeping, which takes up a good portion of the form, covers smoking conditions, combustible storage, aisle spaces, etc.
University inspection form: A southern university form has a section on general cleanliness and order with this interesting quote, “Be sure that your inspection is complete; see that you cover all parts of premises, including looking under counters, into closets, behind radiators, under stairways, elevator pits, etc.” It is an excellent statement. Never assume any condition is correct until you have verified it! Other sections of this inspection form cover heating and air-conditioning equipment, kitchen and cafeteria conditions, refrigerating equipment, smoking conditions, liquefied petroleum gas use, electrical equipment, and fire protection devices.
A state inspection service covering child care and nursery schools lists such items as annual inspection by local fire prevention officer, fire drills, trash disposal and water pressure for fire fighting. Other inspection subjects are exits, housekeeping, fire extinguishers, boiler room separation from other parts of the building and safeguards for portable gas heaters.
In properties under my jurisdiction, a weekly fire safety inspection form is used. It covers two sides of an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper and is broken into checkable major sections, with many subitems as follows: general house keeping and neatness, flammable liquids, electrical equipment, cutting and welding, smoking regulations, ex tinguishers, fire doors, inside hose yard hydrants and hose, life safety storage, automatic sprinklers, sprinkle: system alarms, sprinkler control valve; condition, dry pipe valves, fire pump tanks, and water pressure on site.
These inspections are performed b; maintenance crew and fire brigadi members on a rotation basis, if man power allows it, so as to familiarize a many men as possible with plant con ditions and to make use of new eye looking into every nook and cranny
Training the inspectors: To makj these inspections valuable to a facility it is necessary to train inspectors to recognize hazards. This can be done b; in-plant training sessions with qualifier instructors and using National Fin Protection Association codes pertain ing to the hazards as guides. Furthe training can be obtained by attending state fire schools and fire conference: in your area, and by using the firr prevention bureau facilities of youi local fire department.
As you may have gathered by now, no one inspection form is applicable to every location. Therefore, you must devise your own form to cover your particular hazards and fire protection facilities.
If our readers would like a sample form and a booklet on inspections, we will be happy to provide them in the hope they will help in developing a self-inspection system. Write to W.J. Orey, St. Regis Paper Company, 150 E. 42nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10017.