Jan. 14—After a pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joplin Fire Department will resume routine safety inspections of businesses this year.
Inspections are usually done for every business on an annual basis, according to city officials. They are to restart in mid-January.
Andy Nimmo, assistant fire chief, said the department is working to assist businesses by "identifying and mitigating safety hazards that put them, their employees, their customers and their property at risk. It also provides an opportunity for our crews to familiarize themselves with the buildings within the city they serve."
Although the department is to use new software that helps expedite the inspections, Nimmo encouraged business owners to assess their buildings prior to the inspection and correct some of the safety hazards commonly found.
Owners should make sure there is an address on the business that is visible from the street. Also, fire extinguishers should have a current inspection tag rather than tags that are expired.
There should be exit signs and lighting that is functioning. There should not be excessive clutter or items blocking exits and pathways. There should not be temporary power sources used, like extension cords.
The city said all individual crews within the Joplin Fire Department have been assigned approximately 200 safety inspections to complete within the calendar year. Each individual crew is responsible for scheduling a time with the business owner that will minimize any disruptions to the business.
The inspections are a requirement of the Insurance Services Office and directly impact insurance premiums.