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Office of the State Fire Marshal

Overview

fire marshal conducting an inspection of a laundry roomThe Office of the State Fire Marshal maintains a constant presence on the University Campus by committing to the inspection of all campus buildings as well as monitoring all new construction. The Deputy State Fire Marshal is escorted through existing campus buildings by a representative of Environmental Health and Safety to inspect for violations in the following areas that may pose a hazard in fire and life safety:

       

  • Fire Code
  • Building Code
  • Plumbing Code
  • Electrical Code
  • University and EH&S Policies

The Deputy State Fire Marshal reserves the right to conduct unannounced inspections however, to facilitate scheduling, EH&S makes every attempt to give departments a 1-week advanced notice of an impending inspection. Typically, buildings are inspected once each year with priority given to residences, dormitories, and high-rises.

The Deputy State Fire Marshal will issue a written report on any findings to Environmental Health and Safety to will make notifications to any affected areas to facilitate corrective actions as needed.

Provided here are a number of tips and recommendations to maintain regulatory compliance in advance of an inspection and reduce the risk of injury in an emergency situation.

link to code pages: http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/codedevelopment/codedevelopment.php

Inspection sheet for office high rises : http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/firelifesafety/pdf/buildingsafety/buildinginspectionguide.pdf

Below is a list of the most common fire marshal inspection findings. If you have any questions regarding any of the items below, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at extension 4697 or by email at ehs@cpp.edu.

Electrical Hazards

  • Ensure all energized equipment is free from worn or damaged wiring/fittings and free from damage.
  • Refrigerators, space heaters, microwaves, water coolers or other equipment that has a motor or significant initial draw of electrical current should be plugged in directly to a wall outlet. Never plug these devices into a surge protector/ powerstrip, extension cord or splitting device.
  • Refrain from using splitting devices including T-splitters and adapters for ungrounded wires.
  • Extension cords are prohibited if they are used in lieu of permanent wiring (in excess of 8 hours)
  • Powerstrips may be used but must be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Never use a powerstrip in conjunction with another power strip or an extension cord. Powerstrips can be purchased in a variety of different cord lengths to suit a variety of needs or configurations.
  • All power outlets and switches must have faceplates that are securely fastened to the wall.
  • Circuit Breakers must be accurately labeled, properly identifying spaces, spares and fire alarm circuits. The directory must be up to date and the fire alarm circuits must be locked and indicated in red.
  • All electrical panels must be unobstructed (3 feet of clearance)
  • Space heaters must be unplugged when unattended, approved by a supervisor and must have tip-over protection to ensure shutoff if tipped over.

Fire Equipment

  • Fire extinguishers must be mounted and at the proper height (>4 inches and <5 feet).
  • Fire extinguishers must be serviced within one calendar year and documented on the tag.
  • Fire extinguishers must be inspected monthly and documented by initialing the reverse of the tag.
  • Fire sprinklers must be free of dust, paint and escutcheon must be properly seated.
  • Fire sprinklers must have 18 inches of clearance from any stored materials that may obstruct water coverage.

Miscellaneous

  • Combustible materials such as posters and flyers must not exceed 10% of the available wall space in a corridor.
  • Combustible materials such as posters and flyers must not exceed 20% of the available wall space in a classroom
  • Combustible materials should not be placed <24 inches from the floor or <24 inches from the ceiling.
  • Combustible materials should not be stacked within 18 inches from a sprinkler head or 24 inches from the ceiling (whichever is greater).
  • Combustible materials should not be stored in a stairwell.
  • Fire-rated doors must not be propped in the open position especially doors in a building corridor. Rated doors will have a metal tag mounted just below the door hinges.
  • Fire rated tags must be unobstructed and not painted.
  • Candles that have been burned or have a burned wick are prohibited.
  • Candle warmers or wickless candles are prohibited.
  • Smoking within a building or within 25 feet of a building is prohibited.