Every business in the Greater Toronto Area is required to undergo a profession fire alarm inspection each year. These fire alarm inspections must be completed by a technician that has Canada Fire Alarm Association (CFFA) certification. Before you schedule a fire alarm system inspection, read our list of helpful facts.
1. Fire Inspection Scams Are Prevalent
Every few months, it seems, we hear about business owners that have fallen prey to fire inspection scams. You might receive a call, a letter or perhaps a phony “inspector” might show up at your place of business, encouraging you to use their services. Sometimes, these phony inspectors will even indicate that the fire authority sent them. This is a huge red flag, as your local fire authority would never randomly send over an inspector to complete a same-day fire inspection. In fact, no reputable fire inspector would simply show up at your place of business in general and ask to complete a same-day inspection.
Additionally, you might have a person come to your business claiming to be a member of the local fire authority to complete an inspection of the premises. Before you allow them to do so, be sure to ask for a business card as well as photo identification. Actual fire authority inspectors always arrive in official fire vehicles and wearing an official uniform, so if a person in an unmarked car or without a uniform shows up, this is most likely a scam. It’s wise to contact your local police or fire authority and report these impostors so that they cannot continue to provide phony services to local business owners.
Your best course of action is to simply mark your calendar and make note of when a fire alarm inspection is due. Then simply contact a reputable company, such as Tesla Fire Systems, and schedule an inspection. Be sure to inform all of your employees as to when the inspection will be and the name of the company you have chosen for your fire alarm inspections.
2. Fire Codes Are Updated Regularly
Additions and changes to our Toronto fire codes are not an uncommon occurrence. What might have been up-to-code three years ago might now be behind the times. Business owners are busy running their businesses and probably not consistently checking for changes in the fire code. This is just one reason why fire alarm inspections are so important. Of course, ensuring the safety of your employees, customers and your neighboring businesses is the top reason for fire safety compliance.
3. No Inspection? You’ll Face Harsh Penalties
You might be tempted to put off your fire alarm inspections, but it best to always schedule your inspection to coincide with the re-inspection date on your test inspection certificate. If the fire inspector finds that you need to repair or make upgrades to your business, be sure to do so as soon as possible. After all, if a fire occurs at your property and fire authority investigators find that your business was in violation of any fire codes, you can face significant fines and even jail time.
Even if a fire incident does not occur, if the fire authority finds that your business violates fire codes, there are set fines for each violation. For instance, if you fail to install a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector where it is required, you face a $295 fine for each instance of non-compliance. Likewise, if you do have these items in place, but they are not in operating condition, this also incurs a $295 fine for each instance. These fines definitely can add up, but, more importantly, these problems create an unsafe environment with potentially catastrophic consequences.
4. Inspection Times Vary
Inspections do take time, and while we certainly do our best to complete the work as quickly as possible, we truly believe that being thorough is the most important aspect of any fire inspection. The CFAA has a Fire Alarm Annual Inspection time calculator on their website that can provide you with a general idea regarding how long an inspection might take. Times vary according to the physical size of the property, the type of property and the number of fire safety devices that require testing or inspection. After taking down some information about your business, we can provide you with a general time estimate when you call to set up fire alarm inspections.
At Tesla Fire Systems, all of our expert inspectors are CFAA certified and ready to help you with fire alarm inspections. Our team has more than 30 years of experience, and not only can we provide you with inspections, we also can repair a system, upgrade a system or install a completely new system if needed. Give us a call today to schedule your annual fire alarm inspections.