I work in fire protection. I see this kind of shit all the time. The problem is one of enforcement.
Things like this are not against the law. They violate fire code but if the local fire marshal doesn't enforce code, or if they don't get around to inspect the facility very often, things like this happen.
People don't think about fire protection until they need it and its too late.
I have had people cover these things up. Then tell me they were not going to uncover them because they didn't like how they looked on the wall. Basically they were not aesthetically pleasing, so fuck life safety.
The only thing you can do is notify the local fire department.
And of course, they treat fire marshals like the devil.
Fire marshals have all the power in situations having to do with life safety. They can literally shut a facility down if you don't listen to them.
The problem is that there is no one making sure that they do the job properly. No accountability. In most places they can enforce the parts of fire code that they want to and ignore the rest.
I have had fire marshals tell me that as long as a building had sprinklers, it didn't need an alarm. That having to get your life safety equipment inspected on a regular basis was a racket and not necessary. That a school didn't need fire extinguishers. That an industrial refrigerator that had frozen vegetables in it needed to have a a chemical fire suppression system inside in case of fire.
There also, as it turns out, no chemical suppression system that is rated to operate at 32 degrees below zero. We installed a dry chem system and had to get creative with some of the conduit and piping.
Because the of difference between temps outside to inside, the pipes were getting condensation, and then the condensation would freeze and create an ice plug in the pipe. Eventually I did some creative engineering and we got it to work.
Six months later the company, who was planning on moving, already got out of town and into a municipality that didn't have such a dumb ass fire marshal.
They are like little tin gods that no one will challenge because of the trouble they can cause, but lack of any accountability.