Commercial Property Inspections

What to expect from an WSRB inspection

Who is WSRB?

Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau is a not-for-profit organization, licensed and regulated by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. WSRB performs physical inspections on commercial buildings to determine conditions affecting fire insurance loss costs. After your property’s inspection, we develop reports and diagrams for insurance company underwriters. WSRB is an unbiased third-party dedicated to fair and accurate property inspections. Learn more about WRSB here.

Why are you being inspected?

Most often, your insurance company or agent has requested an inspection because your policy is up for renewal or you are seeking new insurance. If your building hasn’t been inspected in 5 years or more, WSRB may initiate the inspection. We will review commercial buildings to make sure our information is accurate, especially in structures with automatic fire sprinkler systems. A current inspection ensures our recommended rating credit is appropriate, based on the design of the system, the fire loading of the current occupancy and regular testing and maintenance of fire suppression systems.

What happens during an inspection?

Because every building, tenant and shared occupants are different, our Commercial Property Analyst visually reviews the following:
 
  • Building construction
  • Occupant details, including potential fire sources and combustibility of materials
  • Availability of fire hydrants, fire suppression systems and other water sources
  • Exterior exposures from neighboring structures, vegetation and other materials
Our Property Analysts will need access to all areas of the building. They will look in storage, electrical, and sprinkler control rooms plus other areas, inside and out, to make sure they understand the structure and its fire protection systems. They will also take measurements where necessary.
 
They may ask questions about your building, including the structure, industrial machinery and storage arrangements. They won’t ask about your business practices. Our concern is for the physical structure and its risks from a property insurance standpoint.

What about Sprinkler System Credit:

If you have an automated fire suppression sprinkler system, you may receive a discount in the form of a Fire Insurance Rating Credit. To receive the maximum possible credit, our analyst needs access to your sprinkler control room as well as the following information:
 
  • Copy of the as-built sprinkler plans
  • The results of a recent main drain test
  • Hydraulic calculations, if applicable
  • A copy of the complete Contractor’s Material and Test Certificates
  • Dry pipe valve trip test
  • Recent hydrant flow test
  • Verification of sprinkler installation and existing conditions
By law, most sprinkler systems are required to be inspected and tested on an annual basis. This inspection, also called a confidence test, will include the main drain and dry pipe valve tests mentioned above. If we do not receive the minimum requested information, we will inspect and rate the building as non-sprinklered. The report will indicate a sprinkler system is present.
 
Please note that some sprinklered buildings will receive little or no credit on their fire insurance loss costs. If the installation methods or designs do not meet minimum National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, or if the systems are designed for life safety and/or have inadequate water supplies, your property may not qualify for a sprinkler system credit. Rate credit is subject to verification of sprinkler installation and conditions existing at the time of final inspection.