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Business fire inspections begin in March
Fire and safety inspections of businesses within the city limits will begin in March. McMinnville Fire Department Capt. Josh Brock will be conducting the inspections.

McMinnville Fire Department, in conjunction with the city’s Planning and Zoning Department, will be conducting inspections of local businesses to assess and mitigate potential fire and safety hazards. The inspections will begin in March.
The inspections will be based on the International Fire Code.
While many people look at the fire inspection process negatively, the city is encouraging business owners to keep the benefits in mind.
“These inspections help ensure a safer environment for everyone in the building including employees, residents, visitors, shoppers and clients,” said McMinnville Planning and Zoning director Nolan Ming. “An inspection can also offer business and job security. Up to 80 percent of all small businesses that experience a large fire never reopen. This not only affects the building owner and business owner, but also results in the loss of jobs. Of the businesses that do reopen, many lose much of their customer base due to prolonged absence of production or service.”
An inspection also helps ensure a better maintained building for improved resale value, because it is commonplace for buyers to hire a company to inspect the building prior to purchase to identify potential hidden costs related to fire and life safety.
For people looking to save some money, an inspection could possibly result in reduced insurance premiums. Some items may be required by both the fire department and an insurance carrier, such as annual fire-sprinkler and fire-alarm inspections verifying proper system maintenance. Many insurance carriers give businesses premium reductions for properly installed and maintained fire-protection systems.
Preparation is important to passing a fire inspection. A general checklist includes, but is not limited to:
• Fire extinguishers available and properly serviced.
• Exit doors, corridor and stairways are clear and unobstructed.
• Combustible materials are at least three feet away from heating appliances and at least 18 inches below fire sprinklers.
• Combustible or flammable liquids must be in approved containers and storage cabinets.
• Numbers that indicate the building address must be clearly visible from the street.
• Wall outlets and switches have cover plates and are not overloaded.
• Cords and cables are in good condition.
• The fire alarm system is in working condition.
• Fire sprinkler system, if applicable, tested by a state licensed fire suppression contractor within the past five years.
• It’s required circuits be properly labeled on all electrical panels, and that clear access of 30 inches must be maintained in front of all electrical panels.
These are items fire inspectors will check.
The inspections may be unscheduled, depending on occupancy type. If the fire inspector arrives unannounced and it’s an inconvenient time, it’s acceptable to ask the fire inspector reschedule the inspection.
For more information, contact the Planning and Zoning office at 473-1204 or the Fire Department at 473-6739.