ALL building structures whether residential, commercial or industrial must comply with the National Building Code of Fiji and National Fire Authority's fire safety requirements.
Authority chief executive officer John O'Connor said inadequate exits and properties protected with burglar grilles placed tenants and occupants of houses at the risk of getting trapped in fires.
"In recent fire cases, the NFA found that most of these residential properties do not comply with fire safety standards," he said.
The NFA began conducting fire safety inspections of commercial and industrial buildings this month as part of an annual exercise.
Mr O'Connor said the main purpose of conducting fire safety inspections was to ensure all properties in cities and towns complied with fire safety standards.
"The scope of building inspections covers construction, access and egress requirements, storage of combustibles and flammable material, electrical safety, maintenance of installed fire protection equipment and general housekeeping," he said.
Mr O'Connor said property owners planning to build new residential flats should have their plans checked by the authority.
He said businesses should conduct self-assessment inspections to minimise the risk of fires.
Mr O'Connor said business and property owners should view cost in relation to compliance to fire safety as an investment while considering the risks associated with fire damage.
"This is a proactive approach to fire safety in an effort to enhance safety and preparedness," Mr O'Connor said.
The NFA Structural Fire Safety Department has developed a self-inspection checklist which business owners can use to ensure fire safety compliance before inspection by NFA officers.