It's a new year and time to make sure your building and occupants are safe in the event of a fire emergency. for the past several months it’s been all about the importance of testing and repairing your fire and smoke dampers, fire doors, and properly firestopping any wall or ceiling penetrations. All of which are important to your facility’s passive fire protection system. Each of these helps prevent the spread of fire and smoke by compartmentalizing your facility. But what about an above ceiling inspection?
When thinking about the maintenance requirements for your building’s fire and life safety protection systems it’s easy to take care of issues that are visible, while forgetting about issues that are hidden. Too often above ceiling inspections gets over looked. It may not seem like what is going on above your ceiling is a big deal, after all, no one can see up there anyway! Unfortunately, problems above ceiling that go unnoticed and untouched, will become a potential fire hazard. Because issues are out of sight, that makes above ceiling fire safety a critical part of your facility’s fire protection.
Above ceiling inspections are one of the most common inspections that is required by your Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Your building is constantly going through renovations from small equipment upgrades to full building repairs. And with above ceiling repairs performed out of sight, contractors will leave mechanical work looking less than perfect. There can be all kinds of issues that could be lurking above your ceiling just waiting to cause trouble.
Above Ceiling Inspection Checklist
- Junction Box Covers
- Wall Penetrations
Damaged wires are often one of the top reasons for a fire starting, and the wires above ceiling are no exception. Any wires that are wrapped around sprinkler lines and hangers can be a potential fire hazard. In fact, where wires are joined together heat is created, and if too much heat is built up it can cause sparks, which can create a fire.
Cleaning up and replacing those wires with zip-ties to connect will help prevent the risks of a fire starting above ceiling.
Missing Junction Box Covers
The first line of defense against the spread of fire above ceiling is the junction box covers. If the junction box covers are missing, fires started can continue to grow and spread.
Covering the junction box will help prevent a fire that might have started from continuing to grow. This will also prevent the spread of fire and smoke above ceiling and potentially causing unnecessary property damage.
Unsealed Wall Penetrations
Gaps and holes from pipes that penetrated to walls and ceiling allow easy access for both fire and smoke to spread quickly throughout the building. This will put your building and the lives of everyone inside at risk. This is where firestopping comes in handy.
Firestop products work by filling the spaces around penetrating items, such as plastic pipes or wires that would melt or change shape during a fire. Some firestop products will swell up or expand in the presence of heat. This swelling action seals and stops the spread of fire and smoke to other areas of the building.
Above ceiling inspections can help maintain your facility’s fire barriers that are hidden above your head. Cleaning up and replacing damaged wires will help prevent the risks of a fire from starting above ceiling. However, sometimes things happen and they are not in your control. So, if a fire were to start above ceiling, installing junction boxes covers and making sure your walls are properly firestopped will help prevent fire and smoke from spreading throughout the building.
Above ceiling issues are out of sight, which means it’s easy to not think about what could be a potential fire hazard. Not knowing that there are problems means you can’t do anything to fix them. Don’t leave problems above ceiling alone. Include above ceiling fire safety inspections in your facility’s maintenance plan. Your life as well as the lives of those who occupy the building might just depend on it!
LSS Life Safety Services Above Ceiling Inspection Services
Looking to prevent fire hazards from happening right above your head? Our technicians are familiar with the building and fire codes that are mandated and can perform above ceiling services, which include:
- Survey above ceiling penetrations an perform minor firestop repairs
- Prepare a schedule of installation repairs for fire-rated barriers
- Install missing junction box covers
- Remove wires from sprinkler lines and hangers and use zip-ties to connect above ceiling
- Master report with digital documentation via our web-based inspection software, LSS Site Surveyor
For more information, Contact Us Here or call 888.675.4519