OSHA Fire Safety for Commercial Buildings

Oct 9, 2019 | Fire Alarm Systems, Fire Protection Services, Fire Safety Tips

Commercial buildings must abide by a set of fire safety regulations stipulated by OSHA. These regulations are set in place to protect the safety of residents, customers, the general public, and of course any fire officers. When picking a commercial fire alarm system or setting up a commercial fire safety equipment installation, it’s important to keep these OSHA regulations in mind.

Installation and Maintenance of a Commercial Fire Alarm System

OSHA has developed a set a regulations regarding the function of commercial fire alarm systems. Failure to meet these standards not only puts your property and the lives of your employees or tenants in jeopardy, but could also result in a costly citation or fine. Some OSHA regulations relating to your commercial fire alarm system include:

  • Alarm must be loud enough to be heard over ambient noise
  • Alarm must be recognized as an alarm or emergency signal
  • Procedures must be in place for sounding alarms
  • Alarm must trigger an emergency response or action

To avoid an OSHA violation when installing a commercial fire alarm system, make sure your commercial fire alarm system is constructed and installed properly, the commercial fire alarm system is in working order after a test, and lastly you must make sure spare fire alarm devices are available. You can read more about the details of OSHA regulations for commercial fire alarm systems in our blog on OSHA Fire Alarm Violations.

Proper Street and Complex Directions


In order for fire services to arrive at a commercial property, the address must be in agreement between the local jurisdiction and the U.S. Postal Service. Addresses must be clearly visible from the street. If buildings are within a complex, the building numbers should be easy to identify with labels facing the street or signs with directions to the numbered buildings. Weather should be taken into account when signs are posted and visibility is considered.

Easy Access for Firefighters

Once firefighters arrive at a commercial building, they must perform a variety of tasks that require a certain level of physical access to the building. Obstructions and barriers can usually be overcome by fire services, but this takes up valuable time that could be used to protect people and property. Stakeholders must be aware of service access points to the building and whether or not a key or code is required to enter.

Maintain Proper Signage Throughout the Building


Firefighters cannot do their job if they do not have access to the equipment they need or cannot find their way to the emergency. This is why commercial buildings must have proper signage inside the building as well as outside. Floors and rooms should be clearly mapped. Access to certain doors and areas like roofs should be labelled. Fire safety equipment and hazardous materials need to be identified.

Installation and Maintenance of Sprinkler Systems


Sprinkler systems play an essential role in helping to put out newly erupting fires in your commercial building. A properly installed and functioning fire sprinkler system can save you time, money, and lives. OSHA regulates various commercial fire safety equipment installations like that of sprinkler systems for this reason.
OSHA requires that sprinkler systems are inspected and tested annually. You must also make sure that no items are covering or blocking the sprinkler system and that there is no debris or material on the sprinkler system (this includes paint. Do not paint over a sprinkler head).. Sprinkler systems must be checked for corrosion or mineral build-up. For a more detailed explanation of how to avoid OSHA violations for fire safety equipment installations, visit our blog What are OSHA Sprinkler Violations and How to Avoid Them
Marco’s qualified technicians understand OSHA regulations and requirements, and can help you keep your property compliant and protected. Contact Marco Protection Systems LLC for your next commercial fire safety equipment installation at your property.


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