About this video:
This video reviews the main items that an inspector should assess when approaching a property. The ComSOP inspection requirements include the following regarding exterior life safety:
- Inspection of fire access roads to identify any obstructions or overhead wires lower than 13 feet and 6 inches. Any identified issues must be reported.
- Inspection of the address or street number to ensure it is visible from the street, with numbers in contrast to their background.
- Inspection to determine whether a 3-foot clear space exists around the circumference of fire hydrants.
Typically, when addressing vertical clearance for fire access roads, the focus is on overhead wires. However, the video demonstrates that obstructions can also be related to canopies or overhangs. The video also demonstrates that landscaping is a common issue for the clear space around fire hydrants.
Inspectors can utilize a few helpful tips and building codes to assist them in identifying a fire access road at a given property. First and foremost, the fire access road is typically the roadway used to access the property. Additionally, two relevant building codes, namely NFPA and IBC, provide valuable insights. While inspectors should refrain from reporting or reciting specific building codes, having familiarity with them can prove beneficial during inspections. These building codes encompass the following provisions:
- Fire department access roads must be available for fire apparatus to reach within 50 ft of an exterior door that allows entry to the building. However, this requirement may vary for dwellings that are protected with sprinkler systems.
- Fire department access roads must be situated in a manner that no part of the building or facility is more than 150 ft away from the access roads, as measured along the building or facility’s exterior. This requirement ensures that first responders can effectively reach various areas of the building with their hose lines.
As demonstrated in the video, taking these codes into account at a hotel or other places with canopies can assist the inspector in determining whether the road in front of the building solely constitutes the fire access road or if it also includes the road under the canopy.
Additional Resources for Commercial Property Inspections: