Fire Inspection Program Frequently Asked Questions

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Fire Inspection Program FAQs

 

What is the Fire Inspection Program?

The Fire Inspection Program is a field inspection program that provides Fire Code Inspectors and property business owners the opportunity to evaluate fire and life safety systems and components, and develop safe business practices for all commercial businesses and multi-family residences.

What is the purpose of Fire Inspection Program?

The purpose of the program is to provide property/business owners with valuable information including building maintenance requirements and recommendations to achieve compliance with mandated standards in accordance with the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code and Brunswick County Ordinances in order to reduce the risk of fire and associated hazards identified.

Who performs the inspection?

Inspections are performed by qualified North Carolina Fire Inspectors and provide property/business owners an opportunity to meet fire personnel and learn valuable safe business practices. Facilities requiring enforcement due to insufficient correction activities will be sent to the Brunswick County Code Administration- Fire Inspections Office for further action.

How often are the inspections conducted?

Inspections occur either annually, bi-annually or tri-annually depending on occupancy type. In some instances, high-hazard or school occupancies may require additional inspections based on state and federal mandates.

What happens if hazards are found during the inspection?

Once deficiencies have been identified, the property/business owner is required to immediately correct deficiencies cited, and a re-inspection to confirm correction of deficiencies will occur between 15 to 30 days after the initial inspection.

Is there a fee associated for the Fire Inspection?

Yes, there is a fee/s associated with inspections conducted. Additional fees may be charged for inspection cases requiring administrative, civil, or criminal offenses. View out the fee(s) charged is outlined.

How is the inspection fee(s) established?

The inspection fee(s) has been established based on the time necessary for a series of activities conducted by fire prevention personnel such as code adoption process, training, meetings, staffing cost, and other operational cost associated with the inspection. The time associated with completing and inspection extends far beyond the actual physical inspection time on location. There are numerous administrative duties; file management, data management, and research activities, are all part of completing an inspection.

When will my building/business be inspected?

Inspections are conducted by Fire Code Inspectors as time permits. If an inspection was conducted in the past, property/business owners should receive and inspection approximately 30 days before or after the date of the previous year’s inspection. For example, if your property/business is inspected every two years and was inspected on May 31, 2012, the next inspection will most likely occur between April 1 and June 30, 2014.

Can I make an appointment to schedule my inspections?

Yes, however inspection dates are milestone dates and we try to keep within the date and time scheduled, however there are not guarantees. Please call 910-253-2021 for further information.

If I receive a bill or inspection notice after I have sold my property or business, what should I do?

Contact the Brunswick County Code Administration- Fire Inspections Office at 910-253-2021

What code requirements will the fire inspectors look for when conducting the inspection?

Following is a list of the most common items which, when maintained improperly have the potential for significant injury to occupants and may cause unnecessary damage to structures.

Egress (Exiting Components): Doors, latching hardware, door closures must be in good working order, and keeping ALL storage away from exit pathways. Exit signage, exit lighting, and emergency power supplies are working properly. Maintaining the exit system is one of the most important components to the occupants’ safety.

Extinguishing Systems: Fire Sprinkler and standpipe systems and kitchen cooking fire suppression systems must be inspected at intervals required in the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code. Access pathways are not less than 3-feet wide and maintained without obstruction to all system valve, gauges, and connections.
Fire Extinguishers: Required at exits and in strategic areas of the building to provide access by the occupant along a travel path not to exceed 75 feet. Extinguishers shall be service annually, when the needle in not in the green, safety tampers or trigger pin is removed or damaged.

Electrical: Electrical components are maintained in good working order. Outlet, light, circuit covers are installed and not broken, circuits are properly labeled, access doors to electrical circuits, and panels are labeled, and accessible without obstruction. Improper electrical can cause serious injury, proper maintenance and use of electrical devices can significantly reduce injury.

Fire/Smoke Alarm Equipment: Smoke alarms are required in ALL residential occupancies. Most smoke alarms have a 10 year shelf life. Owners must provide annual maintenance/service records upon request. Fire alarm systems must be serviced annually and records identifying 100% of all devices have been tested within 12 months prior to the inspection must be provided upon request. Access pathways are at least 3-feet and without any obstruction to all panels, power supplies and devices.

Permits: Operational permits are required for certain activities. The most common permits; public assembly (50 or more persons), combustible storage (paper, plastic, wood) in excess of 2,500 cubic feet, hazardous material handling/storage. Note; The State Fire Codes identifies numerous separate permits. Contact the Brunswick County Code Administration- Fire Inspections Office at 910-253-2021 for more information on obtaining operational permits.

General Housekeeping: Overall building construction maintenance, address visibility, storage organization, equipment maintenance records, and debris free environment.

Illumination: Egress pathways (corridors, hallways, stairs, and pathways) are properly illuminated and provided with an emergency power supply.

What happens if I do not correct the deficiencies found during the inspection?

Fire Code Inspectors will conduct two additional inspections in an effort to gain compliance, for which the appropriate fees will be applied. After the third inspection, the case will be sent to the Brunswick County Code Administration- Fire Inspections Office for enforcement. Inspectors will implement enforcement along with the penalties, ranging from civil penalties of $100 up to $500 per/deficiency/per/day depending on the severity of the deficiency, until such time as the deficiency is corrected. Enforcement will continue up to and including charges filed by the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office.

Can I appeal the inspection fee?

Yes, to appeal your invoice, send a written letter to the Brunswick County Code Administration- Fire Inspections Office at the below address, outlining your claim(s), enclose a copy of your invoice, and any other supporting documents, along with a phone number and/or email address so we may contact you. We will send a written response as to the outcome of your appeal.

  • Brunswick County Code Administration-Fire Inspections
  • Attention: Andrew Thompson
  • 75 Courthouse Drive, Building I
  • Bolivia NC, 28422
What if I don’t agree with the inspection report findings?

To dispute a code deficiency finding, send a written letter to the Brunswick County Code Administration- Fire Inspections Office at the below address, outlining your claim(s), enclose a copy of your inspection report, and any other supporting documents, along with a phone number and/or email address so we may contact you. We will send a written response as to the outcome of your appeal.

  • Brunswick County Code Administration-Fire Inspections
  • Attention: Andrew Thompson
  • 75 Courthouse Drive, Building I
  • Bolivia NC, 28422
Building I

Contact

75 GOVERNMENT CENTER DRIVE
Building I

(910) 253-2200
For Code Enforcement Concerns
(910) 253-2050
For All Other Matters
eplans@brunswickcountync.gov
open mon-fri:
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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