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There are several ways property managers, maintenance managers, and other personnel can prepare for a fire protection inspection. You just have to think like a pirate. Pirates have a plan. They have a map. They have a process to get what they want. They have the tools to accomplish their goals. When you prepare ahead of time for an inspection, you can save money by reducing any extra processes an inspector might have to do to access systems he or she needs to inspect.
Here is our three step process for preparing for an inspection.
1) Map like a pirate.
When preparing for a fire protection inspection, you need to find every component of your system ahead of time. The first time an inspector is working with your facility, they won't know where every valve is located, it is your job to map them out and lead the way.
2) Look for hidden places.
As buildings grow through renovations and expansions, sometimes fire protection becomes hidden behind walls. Make sure to note any hidden components of the fire protection system. If the item cannot be accessed, it will be noted on the inspection report and the Fire Marshal will require it to be opened and inspected.
3) Dig for that treasure.
If you found that a component of the fire protection system was hidden, add an access panel so it can be inspected. You might as well do it before the inspection. If not, the Fire Marshal will enforce having an access panel added and you will have to pay to have the inspector come out again. So, save some money and put in the panel ahead of time.
By thinking like a pirate, you pre-plan the treasure hunt. You already know where you're going. You have the fire protection system components mapped out. You have access to everything that needs to be inspected. Once a pirate finds his treasure, he doesn't have to do it again - right? Once you map out the components, provide access, and choose a fire protection contractor to work with consistently, your work is done.
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