Buildings Undergo Close Look From Top To Bottom - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/21/03

Buildings Undergo Close Look From Top To Bottom

At every stage of the construction to enclose the Grand Casino's outdoor pavilion, building and fire inspectors watch to see that strict code requirements are met. No detail is overlooked. 

Gulfport Fire Department Deputy Fire Marshall Joe Ing names a few, "We look at the sprinkler systems. We look at the fire extinguisher locations. We look at the placement of the exit signs."

In fact, all that looking from top to bottom starts when the project is still on paper. Inspections follow as the building progresses. 

"The building department is always lookin' at it for the heat ducts, the electrical work, plumbing, anything like that. We come in after the fact where we look at the fire pull stations that are behind you, we look at sprinkler systems, we look at exit lights and the means of egress to make sure they're all capable of lettin' people out," says Ing.

Casino representatives are working closely with the construction crews and the code inspectors. They say doing the job right means the pavilion can open on time to host a March 15th event. 

Austin Miller of the Grand says, "The process, and it is a process that actually begins with the blueprints. We go over the blueprints, what the plans are with the fire department. They look at our fire protection plan and all the features that are built into the construction of the center."

Delays can cost a business owner big bucks. So the city offers a courtesy inspection right before the doors open. 

"Where we'll come in and do our inspection, do our testing and anything like that and make sure the kinks are worked out," says Ing.

Part of the inspections also include figuring out how many people a building can safely hold. The Gulfport Fire and Building Code Departments spent most of December checking out all the city's nightclubs, looking at occupancy rates, exits and making sure they meet all requirements.

By Marcia Hill

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