The Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for conducting state mandated fire inspections and fire code enforcement. Code enforcement is conducted in all occupancies except one and two-family dwellings. This schedule governs the frequency of inspections based on occupancy classification. The North Carolina General Statutes state that Fire Code inspections are required for all public places of business.
What to expect during a fire inspection
The intent of the fire inspection is to ensure your building is as safe as possible for patrons and employees. This also includes making the building safe if our firefighters who may have to enter the building during a fire or other emergency.
During a fire inspection, the Fire Code Official (Fire Inspector) will tour the entire facility including all rooms and areas. The Fire Inspector will document all fire code violations and may provide recommendations to remedy the violations. It will be the responsibility of the building owner or facility representative (business owner) to correct the violations. The violations will be documented on an inspection report and a copy of the completed report will then be provided to the facility representative. The Town of Waxhaw will then send an invoice to the business or building owner for the fire inspection fee established in the Town of Waxhaw User Fee Schedule. The business or building owner does not have to be present during the fire inspection, however the representative on site during the must have full access to the entire building. The fire inspector will generally allow 30 days for non- life safety violations to be corrected and perform a re-inspection. If after the first re-inspection the violations are not corrected a second re-inspection will be scheduled and a re-inspection fee assessed and invoiced through the Town of Waxhaw. All imminent life safety violations shall be corrected immediately.
How often will my building be inspected?
The minimum frequency rates for inspections are as follows:
- Assembly Occupancies - Restaurants, clubs, gyms and places of entertainment, etc. with an occupant load over 100
- High - Hazard - Hazardous materials, flammable liquids and explosives facilities, etc.
- High-Rise Buildings – All use types.
- Institutional Facilities - Hospital, nursing homes, licensed care facilities, jails, etc.
- Residential Locations – Apartments, hotels, motels, dormitories, etc.
Two Year Inspections
- Educational Facilities – Private schools, etc. public schools are inspected every six months.
- Factory / Industrial Facilities – Manufacturing and assembly plants, etc.
Three Year Inspections
- Assembly Areas – With an occupant load less than 100
- Businesses – Banks, shops, office buildings, adult education occupancies
- Mercantile Facilities - Department stores, drug stores, markets, retail or wholesale stores, grocery stores gas stations etc.
- Miscellaneous Facilities – Tanks, silos, greenhouses, etc.
- Religious Facilities - Churches and synagogues
- Storage Facilities – Warehouses, garages, hangers, etc.
When will the Fire Inspector show up?
Fire Inspections occur based on cycles required by the State of North Carolina. The Fire Inspector will typically arrive unannounced for the inspection however, the Fire Inspector will take in to consideration the business type and possible busy times for the business before attempting the inspection.
What types of buildings are required to be inspected?
All commercial properties and residential facilities in the Town of Waxhaw must be inspected. The residential properties are limited to properties other than single family dwellings and duplexes. There may be an occurrence where a single family home will be inspected by the Fire Marshal’s Office. This applies to homes that operate as a group home, foster care home, or a day care.
What will happen if the violations are not corrected?
If the requirements are not corrected the Town of Waxhaw will seek further administrative enforcement action through legal system. Keep in mind these are requirements for the Town of Waxhaw and the State of North Carolina in turn they must be corrected. In some circumstances issues are discovered that are considered immediately dangerous to life or health. If a situation like this is discovered, the facility is required to immediately fix the problem.