Fire Inspections

What to expect with a fire inspection
As a fire inspector, we want to be viewed as Life Safety Consultants. The intent of the fire inspection is to make your building as safe as possible for patrons and employees. This also includes making it safe if our firefighters have to enter the building in an emergency.

In a fire inspection, Life Safety Consultants (Fire Inspectors) will walk through the facility looking through all rooms. Recommendations will be made as to how to remedy these situations safer to protect all occupants and reduce liability in the facility. Keep in mind these "recommendations" are actually requirements in the North Carolina Fire Code. The requirements are documented on an inspection report and a copy of the completed report is then provided to the facility representative. The fire inspector will generally allow 30 days for the requirements to be corrected and perform an inspection as follow up.

When will the fire inspector show up?
Fire Inspections occur based on cycles required by the State of North Carolina. We typically will not announce when we are coming and the frequency of inspection is based on the type of facility. Some facilities are inspected twice a year with some being inspected every three years.

What types of buildings are required to be inspected?
All commercial properties and many residential facilities in the City of Burlington must be inspected. The residential properties are limited to properties other than single family dwellings and duplexes. This also applies to properties located in the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction. 

There are occurrences as to when single family dwellings may require inspections. This applies to homes that operate as a group home, foster care home, or a day care. Click on the appropriate link for more information regarding these facilities.

Will the fire inspection cost anything?
The Burlington Fire Department offers two free fire inspections per required inspection cycle. The initial inspection and the first follow up are free inspections. Many cities charge for these inspections however the Burlington Fire Department does not. If the requirements cited in the initial fire inspection are not corrected by the first follow up inspection, the inspector will return for a second follow up. This second follow up inspection will cost $50. The third follow up inspection will cost $100.  The fourth follow up inspection will cost $150. The cost for each additional follow up inspection will increase by $50 until the problem is corrected.

What will happen if the requirements are not corrected?
As mentioned above, the cost of each follow up inspections will increase by $50 per visit. If the requirements are not corrected the Burlington Fire Department will seek further administrative enforcement action through the Alamance County Court system. Keep in mind these are requirements for the City of Burlington and the State of North Carolina in turn they must be corrected.

What if the requirements are life threatening?
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. If the problem is not corrected the Burlington Fire Department can have the utilities disconnected to the structure until the problem is corrected. Remember, the Burlington Fire Department has a responsibility to protect people and property.