Phoenix Pacific

The Hawaii Fire Codes: Is Your Building Meeting Them?

An office building with a fire alarm on the wall.

Reach out to a professional fire protection company and keep your company up to date with Hawaii fire codes.

Building fires are responsible for billions of dollars in losses yearly. Whether it’s due to property damage, loss of inventory, diminished productivity, or more tragic scenarios such as loss of life and severe injury, there is no doubt fires are truly dreadful events.

Preventing these incidents from happening and keeping the property and occupants of a building safe at all times is required by law, and the responsibility ultimately rests on the building owner. To help property holders keep their spaces secure, they are obligated to follow local fire codes, which gather all the requirements to achieve the minimum levels of safety from fires. Do you know where these laws come from and what are the most common fire code violations? Keep reading this blog to learn all about it and discover how a fire protection company can help you protect your Honolulu, HI, building.

SEE ALSO: What to Do When Your Fire Alarm Panel Beeps

Where Do These Codes Come From?

Even though fire codes are adopted by state and county agencies –commonly a fire marshal or fire department– these government agencies are not responsible for creating the regulations themselves. It is up to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) to provide updated drafts of codes that these institutions then adopt. 

In Hawaii, the State Fire Council oversees keeping the codes current with the county fire departments following their lead for county fire code adoption.The State of Hawaii fire code is established by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) under Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) Chapter 12-45.3.  

Should you need to learn about the Hawaii fire codes, this information is what you would be looking for. While it is essential to be familiar with the Hawaii Fire Code to comply with the law, learning the entire fire code would be a nearly impossible undertaking for any building owner. For this reason, you should always reach out to a subject matter expert, such as Phoenix Pacific, to help answer your questions. 

Common Fire Code Violations

Aside from general fire safety, another significant concern for building owners and managers is fire code violations. Let’s take a look at three of the most common violations.

  • Blocked Exits and Doors: All emergency exit doors, hallways, pathways, and stairways must be kept clear of debris.  Leaving boxes, equipment, or files even just for a few hours can pose a considerable risk in an emergency egress, putting the building owner at fault for any potential violations.
  • Improper Maintenance: According to the Hawaii Fire Code, your fire alarm or fire protection system should be tested at least annually, with some systems and devices needing more constant maintenance. While it is easy to push off this required inspection over the course of a year, one of the first things fire inspectors look for when doing their annual visit is the proper documentation that your systems were tested and are working correctly. Without that documentation, any building owner is sure to get a violation notice.
  • Improper use of extension cords: The temptation to abuse extension cords is strong for most people. They tend to turn from temporary use to a permanent solution as days go by and your building occupants get used to the convenience extension cords provide. Unfortunately, they are a common cause of fires in homes and businesses, as they overheat when consuming more electricity than the cord is designed to handle. 

Have you recognized your building in one of these fire code violations? Are you worried that your facility is incurring any other infractions? Well, no worries. Most fire code violations are easily avoidable once they are made known, and fire inspectors are generally patient with building owners committed to correcting them. 

A service provider such as Phoenix Pacific, for example, can help Hawaii building owners stay on top of their annual inspections by calling them to remind them when it’s time to schedule your annual inspection. We are one of the premier fire service providers in Hawaii and are happy to help you comply with fire codes. Contact us right here to learn more, or drop a message for us in the chat box below. We can’t wait to work with you!