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Fire Inspection

The Fire Inspection Bureau of the Franklin Fire Department is a vital part of Life/Safety, Fire/Safety, and Fire/Prevention.  Their number one goal is to protect its citizens, all people working in Franklin, the Firefighters and Rescue personal, and all structures built in the City of Franklin.  Some of the ways we do this is through education in our schools and in the work place.  Another way is through the City's fire code requiring the installation of a fire alarm system that includes devices like pull stations, horn/strobes, heat detectors, and smoke detectors that can detect a fire in its early stages. 

These fire alarm systems are monitored, which means that the Fire Department will be notified 3 to 4 minutes prior to sprinkler head activation.  With the fire alarm system sounding, evacuation of the building will be in progress.  If it is an actual fire, the sprinkler system will allow for safe egress of the building, and keep the fire in check until the Fire Department arrives.  The City of Franklin Fire Prevention, Protection, and Control Code (Chapter 133) requires these life safety measures in all new multi-family and commercial construction. 

The Fire Inspection Bureau has a responsibility to help improve the quality of life safety through better fire prevention in the City of Franklin.  In doing routine fire inspections we are able to identify unsafe conditions and deficiencies everyday in buildings we inspect.  With tools like our local Fire Code, State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce Codes, and our National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes, we strive to provide a reliable means to reduce the loss of life and property in the City of Franklin.  Working together with businesses and multi-family buildings help reduce violations and have a safer environment for all.  

Twelve Common Dificiencies Found During Fire Inspections:

  1. Portable fire extinguishers must be inspected and tagged by qualified personnel every 12 months, replaced when missing or stolen, recharged when units have been used, and accessible at all times.

  2. Emergency light systems are to be maintained so that they work. These units should be momentarily tested for correct operations every month and load tested for at least 30 minutes every year.

  3. Missing or burnt out light bulbs within "EXIT" signs or lights must be replaced so that they are internally illuminated during hours of business. Apartments must have their "EXIT" signs or lights illuminated at all times.

  4. The Fire Alarm and Fire Sprinkler Systems must be inspected every 12 months by qualified personnel, complete with a report forwarded to the Emergency Services Department.  Kitchen hood systems must be serviced by a qualified person.  

  5. Holes in walls or ceilings where partitions are required as fire separations must be repaired. Examples of these partitions are: walls or ceilings within public corridors, stairwells, service, boiler, electrical, elevator, storage and laundry rooms.

  6. Damaged doors and their hardware must be repaired, replaced and maintained when they are part of a required fire separation. Examples of these doors include: doors within public corridors and stairwells, apartment suite doors, doors between offices and their warehouses and/or shops, service, storage, electrical and laundry room doors. These doors are to close automatically from the full open position and latch in the closed position. These doors can only be held open with magnetic hold open devices attached to the building's fire alarm system. These doors cannot be wedged in the open position.

  7. Required "EXIT" hallways, stairwells and doors must be kept free of obstructions. These areas are to remain free of combustible storage such as furniture, cardboard boxes, paper, and lumber.

  8. Fire alarm panels, electrical panels, fire sprinklers and standpipe connections as well as fire sprinkler valves must be accessible at all times.

  9. An address must be provided for the building, bay or business in conformance with The City of Franklin fire code.

  10. Combustible storage needs to be kept out of the boiler, electrical, furnace, elevator or laundry rooms. Propane cylinders larger than one pound cannot be stored inside a building.

  11. Extension cords may not be used as permanent electrical wiring.  Surge protectors and power strips are only permitted on computers, televisions, audio visual and peripheral equipment.  

  12. Storage under stairs is not permitted unless the area has sprinkler heads.  

This list only identifies common problems found during a large percentage of our fire inspections.  If a business or property owner complies with the items listed above, they will be taking a large step towards having an inspection with no deficiencies.