To figure out why we have a fire codes in Houston. )I am referring to construction of commercial buildings in this topic). We must first think back, way back in time of when the first buildings were being constructed and people were being injured in businesses and business owners not caring about the customers because they assumed that that was what insurance was for. Or even before insurance, that’s the person’s fault for not paying attention or what ever the case may be.
You can think of all the people who just didn’t have the money to build their company properly, so they cut a few corners here and there to ease off the bills. Like a huge high rise building with no fire escape, because the owner of the building figured it’s a 1/100000 chance that his place can catch fire. For a few buildings I’m sure that was correct. but you have to think of the locations where people actually got hurt. You have to think of the places where lots of people got hurt. Local insurance companies pulled a few people together to say ” hey this is unsafe and costing us way to much, we will leave town if you do not create standards”. and I am sure a few caring citizens threw in their two cents on city codes and county codes and state codes as needed.
With today’s standards and codes we pretty much have most of the bases covered in protecting people as much as we can from damages to their property and their body or the body of their end users like customers, employees and such. So most insurance companies will not cover you if you do not have the proper fire safety equipment in your location. Like fire extinguishers and exit signs and a fire alarm. You can’t pass most building codes without a full installed and local official inspected fire alarm system. Purchasing an already built location with an existing fire protection system, still requires the new tenant having a certified inspector testing your equipment and installation to verify you meet all codes, before an insurance company will cover your location. If you do not meet standards, your location will get tagged. If you get the red tag, then that means you can not operate your business from that location until items listed in the tag are installed,repaired and permitted by the local authority holding jurisdiction (AHJ).
The City of Houston has a very thorough plan review and building inspection for fire safety. If you do not pass the Houston AHJ tests, then you can not operate your building until required repairs or updates or installs have been made. Fire protection companies that work with in Houston area know what standards The City Of Houston uses. This information can be found here.
If your commercial building is in need of fire safety equipment like fire alarms, smoke detectors, visual notification or fire extinguishers to pass local codes and standards or to get better coverage from your insurance company, it would probably be in your best interest to have a local fire protection company in the Houston area come and inspect your location and help you in making this update.