8 Common Fire Safety Violations In Commercial Buildings

8 Common Fire Safety Violations In Commercial Buildings

Key Takeaways:

  • Common fire safety violations include failing to maintain fire extinguishers, blocked exits, and storing flammable materials improperly.
  • Business owners who don’t comply with fire safety codes and regulations can be fined or imprisoned.
  • Keeping your commercial building up to code is the best way to protect your employees, customers, and business.
  • Exit doors must be clear to ensure a safe evacuation in an emergency.
  • There are three ways to ensure that exit doors are clear: educating building occupants, posting signs, and conducting regular inspections.
  • Store flammable materials in proper containers and in designated, well-ventilated areas.
  • Keep flammable materials away from any heat sources or possible ignition sources.
  • Test smoke detectors and fire alarm systems regularly to ensure they are working properly.
  • Obstructed fire extinguishers could delay people from putting out a fire or prevent them from putting it out altogether.
  • Common problems with emergency exit lighting include burned-out bulbs, missing batteries, and loose wiring.

Commercial buildings must meet numerous fire safety codes and regulations to protect those who work in them and those who live near them. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t take these regulations seriously and put their employees and customers at risk. This post will discuss common fire safety violations in commercial buildings. We’ll explain why complying with all fire safety codes and regulations is vital.

1) Blocked Exit Doors

One of the most notorious fire safety violations is blocked exit doors. All exits must be clear at all times so that people can evacuate the building quickly and safely in the event of a fire. Blocked exit doors can delay or prevent people from getting out, leading to serious injuries or even death.

There are many reasons why an exit door might be blocked. Sometimes, people prop open doors for ventilation or to save time coming and going. Others might use them to store equipment or supplies. Whatever the reason, it’s crucial to keep exit doors clear.

There are ways to ensure that your exit doors are always clear:

  • First, ensure that everyone in the building knows that exit doors are never to be blocked for any reason.
  • Second, post signs near exit doors reminding people to keep them clear.
  • Finally, conduct regular inspections of all exit doors to ensure they’re clear and unobstructed.

If you find that an exit door is blocked, take immediate action to clear it. Don’t wait until the next inspection.

2) Improper Storage of Flammable Materials

Another common violation is the improper storage of flammable materials. This can include anything from storing gasoline in an office building to storing cleaning chemicals in a restaurant kitchen.

Store flammable materials in proper containers and areas away from heat or possible ignition sources. They should also be kept in well-ventilated areas. Improper storage of flammable materials is a major fire hazard and can lead to devastating fires.

2) Improper Storage of Flammable Materials

3) Malfunctioning Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarm Systems

This is a serious violation because it can put people’s lives at risk. If there is a fire, the smoke detectors and fire alarm system are supposed to alert people so they can evacuate the building. If these systems are not working, people may not be aware of the fire until it is too late.

Test smoke detectors and fire alarm systems regularly to ensure they are working properly. If there are any issues with the system, fix them immediately.

4) Obstructed Fire Extinguishers

Another common violation is defective or obstructed fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are a crucial part of any fire safety plan. They should be easily accessible and in good working condition. If they are not, it could delay people from putting out a fire or prevent them from putting it out altogether. Check fire extinguishers monthly to ensure they are fully charged and in working order. You should also replace them every 12 years.

5) Defective Emergency Exit Lighting

Emergency exit lighting is critical in a commercial building as it provides the illumination needed for occupants to safely evacuate the premises during a power outage or fire. Unfortunately, many buildings have defective emergency exit lighting, which can result in serious injuries or even fatalities if an evacuation is necessary.

Some common problems with emergency exit lighting include:

  • Bulbs that are burned out or missing
  • Batteries that are dead or missing
  • Lights that are not properly mounted or secured
  • Loose wiring
  • Damaged housing or lenses

If you notice any of these problems with the emergency exit lighting in your commercial building, it is important to have them repaired promptly. A qualified electrician should be able to fix these problems quickly and easily.

6) Using Extension Cords Permanently

Extension cords are a common fire hazard in commercial buildings. Many people use extension cords without understanding the potential dangers. Extension cords are not intended for permanent use and can pose a serious fire hazard if used improperly. Some common problems with extension cords include:

  • Overloading the cord
  • Using the wrong type of cord
  • Damaging the cord

If you must use an extension cord, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Never overload the cord, and always choose a heavy-duty cord rated for the amount of electricity you will be using. Inspect the cords regularly for signs of damage and replace them if necessary.

7) Hanging Items from Fire Sprinklers

It’s extremely dangerous to hang items from fire sprinklers. This includes anything from decorations to signage. Not only is this a potential fire hazard, but it can also impede the sprinkler’s ability to do its job. In the event of a fire, these objects can fall and block the sprinkler heads, preventing them from properly extinguishing the flames.

In addition, hanging objects from sprinklers can cause physical damage to the sprinkler heads themselves. This damage can render the sprinklers useless in the event of a fire. If you see any items hanging from sprinklers in your building, remove them immediately.

8) Improper Storage in Riser Rooms

Riser rooms are where the fire sprinkler system’s main water supply is located and the system’s control valves. These rooms must be free of debris or storage to maintain easy access to the sprinkler system in an emergency. However, many commercial buildings violate this rule by using riser rooms for storage, which can block access to the sprinkler system and make it difficult to use in a fire.

Improper storage in riser rooms is a serious fire safety violation that can put lives at risk. If you own or operate a commercial building, ensure that your riser room is free of any storage so that you can easily access the sprinkler system in an emergency.


There you have it – eight of commercial buildings’ most common fire safety violations. By understanding these fire safety violations, you can take steps to ensure that your building complies with fire safety regulations. This will help keep your tenants safe and avoid costly fines. Contact a professional fire safety company if you need assistance bringing your building up to fire safety codes.

Check out our blog post about how to protect your home & business from water damage.

There are many reasons to choose G2 Restoration for fire mitigation services in McKinney, TX. We are experienced, our team is highly trained and certified, and we have a long history of success in this field. We understand the unique challenges commercial buildings face regarding fire safety and have the knowledge and skills to address them effectively. We’ll ensure that your property is safe and compliant with all fire safety regulations.

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