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Fire and Life Safety Inspections
The fire and life safety inspection program was created in 2004 by ordinance of Chesapeake City Council. The goal of the program is to have every public building in Chesapeake be free of fire hazards and to ensure compliance with the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC).
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I get an inspection?
Call 757-382-CITY (2489) to schedule an inspection or request an inspection online.
How often do I have to be inspected?
Inspections are conducted regularly, averaging 12-16 months.
Do I have to pay $50? Why?
Yes, there is a $50 inspection fee charged for an inspection. Our personnel need to do an inspection of your building to make sure no new fire hazards have occurred and to make sure you are continuing to follow statewide fire prevention codes.
When do the inspectors do inspections?
Our inspectors do fire and life safety inspections during normal business hours with limited disruptions to your business.
The inspector says I need a permit. How do I get a permit?
After the inspection is completed, you will receive invoices for the inspection and any fees for permits. A permit will be mailed to you upon payment of the invoice.
Can I request a code modification or appeal a violation of the SFPC?
Yes, SFPC Section 106.5 allows the fire code official to grant modifications to the SFPC provided that the spirit and intent of the SFPC are observed and that public health, welfare, and safety are assured. Request for fire code modification
Nearly all questions or concerns can be solved through the Fire Prevention Office. If you have questions about your inspection we encourage you to discuss them with your Fire Inspector. If you are still not satisfied, please contact our office to discuss the matter further at 757-382-6566 or Fire@cityofchesapeak.net. If you still are not in agreement with the results, the SFPC Section 112 gives you the right to appeal a decision of the fire code official concerning the application of the SFPC or the fire official's refusal to grant a code modification. This appeal will be made to the Chesapeake Board of Fire Prevention Code Appeals- they are an independent body, appointed by the Chesapeake City Council. You have 14 calendar days from the application of the code to submit your application to the Board. Failure to submit an application for appeal within the time limit established by the SFPC shall constitute acceptance of the fire official's decision. Click here for the Application for Appeal.
Common Code Violations
The following is a list of the most commonly identified hazards uncovered during a fire and life safety inspection. Reviewing these areas in advance will both increase your business’s safety and assist you in preparing for an inspection.
- Address not posted
- Maintenance of fire lanes
- Blocked/locked exits
- Maintenance of exit signs & emergency lighting
- Fire extinguishers not serviced annually
- Fire sprinklers & alarms not serviced annually
- Improper use of extension cords
- Inadequate or missing emergency evacuation plan
- 6-Month hood inspection
- 3-Month hood cleaning
- Combustible materials in equipment rooms
- Surge protectors plugged into each other
- Swinging fire doors not operational
- Reliability of exits
- Compressed gas containers & tanks not secured
- Storage height from ceiling & roofs
- Missing smoke barriers & smoke partitions (ceiling tiles)
- Flammable & combustible liquids for equipment operation stored in buildings (gas, diesel, kerosene, oil etc.)
- Missing electrical cover plates, open spliced wires & open junction boxes
- Improper space heaters used
Should you have any questions or concerns before, during, or after your fire and life safety inspection, please discuss these with your Inspector. Our goal is always to assist you in maintaining a safe environment for your employees and customers. Click here to review the Pre-Inspection Checklist