The following National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards are applicable to many commercial facilities and have been widely adopted into the fire codes, nationally:
- NFPA 25—Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
- NFPA 72—National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
- NFPA 10—Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
- NFPA 96—Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
- NFPA 20—Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection
These standards, or the standards that are associated with them, require records to be maintained by the building owners and/or facility managers. The retention requirements vary. Some of the standards require records to be retained for the period between inspections, while others require longer durations. NFPA 25 requires that the records be retained for one year after the next required inspection, test or maintenance. However, it is a good idea to keep them for a number of years so trends can easily be seen.
Beyond the fire codes and standards, many insurance companies also require good record keeping. Proper record keeping and their associated inspections and maintenance can signify lower risks and may result in favorable evaluations by insurance companies. Healthcare accreditation organizations also require that their accredited facilities keep good records to stay in compliance.
When a facility is inspected by AHJ (authority having jurisdiction), or other organizations, the AHJ will, without a doubt, request to review the inspection and maintenance records. In order to pass inspection, it is important to have these records available when requested. Ryan Fireprotection also maintains records of inspections, testing and maintenance that it performs for their clients. In case a facility cannot locate a copy of a record for an AHJ, Ryan Fireprotection clients can count on Ryan Fireprotection to be able to supply a copy of the record.
A trend of the future will be the requirement for companies like Ryan Fireprotection to send their inspection records directly to the AHJ. Marion County, in the state of Indiana, already has this requirement in place under their MobileEyes initiative. This requirement will probably be adopted by more AHJs. However, keep in mind, this will not alleviate the record keeping requirements for the building owner.
It is prudent for a building owner and/or facility manager to ensure that all required records are in place and up to date, to be ready for any inspection by an AHJ, insurance inspector or compliance auditor. If any records are missing, Ryan Fireprotection will gladly help to fill the gaps for their clients. Evaluating the records is also a good way to discover if an inspection or maintenance requirement has been missed. If there are any questions as to what is required, contact Ryan Fireprotection for a consultation and evaluation to ensure the facility is meeting all the required inspections, testing and maintenance along with their associated record keeping requirements.