Getting Ready for a Fire Inspection

Prevention can go a long way to create a safe and fire free environment. State law requires periodic inspections of certain properties. Fire Inspections help business and homeowners determine what improvements or changes need to be made to private and commercial structures.

Before Your Inspection - Tips to Avoid Violations

  • Monthly fire extinguisher checks are to be completed by occupant
  • Annually check fire extinguishers by a qualified third party technician
  • Dispose of or properly store combustible materials
  • Maintain at least 30 inches of clearance in front of all electrical panels and shut offs
  • Keep all exits clear and operable
  • Ensure all exit signs and emergency lights are working properly
  • Ensure filters in heating and air conditioning units are kept free of dust and lint, and are working properly (recommend changing filters every 30 days)
  • Clean commercial kitchen hood/ventilation systems as recommended by NC Fire Code
  • Ensure that sprinkler and fire alarm systems are in working order, and that annual inspection/testing paperwork is available to the Fire Code Official.
  • Make sure all permits and fee payments are up to date
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Common Problems Found During Inspection

  • Improperly storing combustible materials such as empty boxes or trash. Properly dispose of combustible materials. Consider purchasing a fire rated cabinet or storing materials in an outside storage building with identifying label.
  • Storing items in rooms specifically marked as electrical, mechanical, or sprinkler control rooms. Keep these areas clear of items at all times.
  • Using drop cords for permanent use. Unplug and properly store a drop cord after each use.
  • Allowing grease to accumulate in commercial kitchen hood/ventilation systems. Clean filters and ventilations systems as required by NC Fire Code.
  • Not maintaining a fire suppression system in a commercial kitchen hood/ventilation system . Have the system tested and inspected every six months by a professional.
  • Allowing a sprinkler or fire alarm system to fall into disrepair. Have systems tested annually by a professional, documentation of test and repairs must be kept on site at all times for review by the Fire Code Official.
  • Blocking of exit signs or allowing bulbs to burn out without replacement. Change bulbs when needed and keep signs unblocked.
  • Blocking of exit doors and egress areas. Keep materials of any kind properly stored and away from exit doors.

What Happens if Violations are Found

If a violation is found at your building, then the City's Fire Prevention Division will leave specific information about that violation. You will have a stated period of time to correct the violation. If the violation is fixed by the next inspection, then there is no charge and no violations will be listed for your building.

If violations have not been corrected, then a $100 fee for the re-inspection will be applied. Additional time will be allowed for the corrections to be made. If on the second re-inspection, the violations are corrected, then there is no charge. However, if they are not corrected, then the fee for the re-inspection is $100. If the violations continue to not be corrected, a civil action may be taken by the City.

To schedule a consultation to cover specific facility requirements please call 910-455-8080.