Inspection Check-List


The following is a self-checklist to prepare your business for a Fire Inspection. These are the items and concerns that will be addressed by the Fire Department prior to approval for you to receive your Certificate of Occupancy.

A no response to any of these questions indicates the presence of a fire code violation.

Access and Premises:

  • Are address numbers for the building clearly visible from the street? (front and rear doors).
  • Is combustible vegetation removed so as not to create a fire hazard?
  • Is the exterior fire department access unobstructed?
  • Is there a minimum 3 feet clearance around fire hydrants?

Egress (Exiting):

  • Are doors with self-closing hinges maintained in the closed position (not blocked open)?
  • Are exit ways and doors easily recognizable, unobstructed and maintained functional?
  • Are the exits and exit enclosures free from the storage of combustible materials?
  • If the main exit door is provided with key-locking hardware as allowed by code, is there a sign above the door that states "This door must remain unlocked when building is occupied" and are other exit doors openable from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort?


  • Are circuit breakers/fuses labeled to identify the protected area?
  • Are extension cords only used on a temporary basis?
  • Electrical outlets, switches and junction boxes properly covered with cover plates and is system safe from any apparent shock and/or electrical hazards?
  • If multiple items need to be plugged in, is a power tap utilized with a built-in circuit breaker and is the power tap plugged directly into a permanent receptacle?
  • Is the area maintained clear at least 30 inches in front of electrical panel(s)?

Emergency Lighting/Egress Illumination:

  • Is the means of egress illuminated when the building or structure is occupied?

Exit Signs:

  • If exit signs are required, are they maintained illuminated or self-luminous?
  • Does the back-up battery work? (push the test button, the exit sign should illuminate under battery power).

Fire Alarm System:

  • If the building is equipped with a fire alarm system, has the required annual been performed by a qualified fire alarm company?

Fire Safety and Evacuation Plans:

  • Are records maintained on the premises?
  • If fire drills are required, are they conducted successfully at varying times and under varying conditions?
  • If required, are Evacuation Plans posted?
  • If required, do you have Fire Safety Plans?

Fire Extinguishers:

  • Are all fire extinguishers visible and accessible (not blocked)?
  • Are the fire extinguisher(s) properly mounted? (Proper locations - near exit doors where possible, not exceeding maximum travel distance, properly mounted (maximum 5 feet high if less than 40 pounds, maximum 3 1/2 feet high if greater than 40 pounds. In all cases, minimum 4 inches above the ground).
  • Have the fire extinguisher(s) been serviced/tagged by a qualified company within the last 12 months?
  • Is there access to fire extinguisher(s) rated at a minimum 2A-10BC?
  • Is the travel distance from all portions of the building less than 75 feet to a fire extinguisher?
  • Sign posted above fire extinguisher?

Fire/Smoke Separations:

  • Are the fire/smoke separations (smoke doors, fire doors, walls, etc.) in maintained/working condition?

Fire Suppression Systems:

  • If the building is equipped with a fire sprinkler system, has the required annual service of the fire sprinkler system been performed in the last year by a qualified sprinkler company?
  • In commercial cooking applications, has hood suppression system been serviced in the last six months and is the hood cleaned to prevent the accumulation of grease?
  • Is the top of the storage maintained a minimum 18 inches below head deflectors in fire sprinkled areas?

Heat Producing Appliances:

  • If portable electric heaters are used, are they used safely?
  • Are they plugged directly into wall outlets and kept a minimum of 3’ away from combustibles? (Open flame unvented heaters are prohibited in a commercial occupancy).
  • Is the clearance between ignition sources, such as light fixtures, heaters and flame producing devices, and combustible storage maintained in an approved manner?

Housekeeping and Decorations:

  • Are combustible decorations flame retardant?
  • Are oily rags or similar materials stored in metal, metal-lined or other approved containers equipped with tight-fitting covers?
  • Is combustible rubbish that is stored in containers outside of vaults or rooms removed from the building a minimum of once each working day?

Mechanical Hazards:

  • Are safe clearances maintained between gas fired appliances (such as water heaters, furnaces, etc.) and combustible materials?
  • Is the venting fixed for exhaust products of combustion intact for gas appliances (i.e.: water heaters, furnaces)?

Smoke Detectors:

  • If smoke detection is required in common areas such as corridors or part of the fire alarm system, have they been tested in the last year by a qualified service company?

Storage of Combustibles:

  • Are the boiler rooms, mechanical rooms and electrical panel rooms maintained without the storage of any combustible materials within?
  • Are combustible materials not stored beneath the building or structure?
  • Are dumpsters that are 1.5 cubic yards or more not stored inside the building and placed more than 5’ from combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eaves?
  • Are rubbish containers over 5 1/3 cubic feet (40 gallons) provided with lids and made of noncombustible construction?
  • Is the storage of combustible materials orderly?
  • Storage must be below 24 inches of the ceiling level.

Storage of Compressed Gas Cylinders:

  • If you have compressed gas containers (such as co2, helium, etc.), are they chained to prevent falling?

Storage of Combustible and Flammable Liquids:

  • Are quantities in excess of 10 gallons of flammable and combustible liquids used for maintenance purposes and the operation of equipment stored in liquid storage cabinets?