Fire Inspections

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The Fire Department has established an annual fire safety inspection program for businesses in the city. The Fire Prevention Specialist and/or the engine companies conduct the inspections. These inspections cover general fire and life safety which includes exiting, fire extinguishers, storage, the updating of emergency contact information and enforcing other adopted codes and regulations. If installed, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems and kitchen fire suppression systems will also be looked at for maintenance compliance.

Below is a list of common violations often found during inspections. You can use this list as a guide to assist you in identifying and correcting any potential fire and life safety hazards in your building. Our goal, as well as yours, is to maintain fire and life-safety and a pleasant environment for you and your patrons.

 Interior and Exiting

  • Remove obstructions from exits, exit paths, aisles, corridors, and stairways. The areas shall be maintained free of obstructions at all times.
  • Emergency egress and exit sign lighting shall be maintained in good working order at all times. Test lighting monthly. Exit signs shall be illuminated at all times.
  • Maintain emergency power equipment and batteries for exit lighting and signs.
  • Provide approved exit signs at every required exit.
  • Remove any locks or latches from doors with panic hardware. Required exits shall not have extra locking mechanisms installed.
  • Post occupant load sign near main exit in assembly rooms of 50 or more occupants.
  • A permit is required for operation of places of assembly (50 or more occupants)


  • Extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Power taps (strips) shall be equipped with circuit breaker protection (fuse).
  • Power taps shall plug directly into electrical receptacles. (No piggy-backing).
  • Repair openings in fire resistive constructions (walls, ceilings, unsealed chases).
  • Maintain a clearance of 30 x 36 inch working space in front of electrical service panels.
  • Approved junction boxes and covers shall be properly installed.
  • Breakers shall be labeled, and there shall be no voids in electrical panel.
  • If present, solar photovoltaic power systems shall be marked appropriately (panels, conduit and service disconnects). Disconnects shall be accessible.


  • Mount where readily available and accessible for use preferably near exit doors, with top no higher than 48 inches above the finished floor. Post signs indicating location, if not readily visible.
  • Fire extinguishers shall be serviced and tagged annually and after each use by a State Fire Marshal licensed contractor.
  • Untagged fire extinguishers shall only be used in the year of manufacture (year is often stamped on bottom), then must be tagged by a State Fire Marshal licensed service provider.
  • Extinguishers must be a minimum 2A10BC classification rating (travel distance to any extinguisher shall not to exceed 75 feet).
  • Motor fuel dispensing facilities shall provide a minimum 2A20BC classification not more than 75 feet from pumps, dispensers or storage tank fill-pipe openings.
  • For facilities having a commercial kitchen, a Class K fire extinguisher shall be provided within 30 feet of the kitchen cooking equipment in addition to the fixed extinguishing system.

 Housekeeping and Storage

  • Maintain storage clearance of at least 24 inches below ceilings in non-sprinkled areas; and 18 inches below sprinkler deflectors in buildings with sprinklers.
  • Remove storage from electrical or mechanical equipment rooms and boiler rooms.
  • Storage shall be neat and orderly.
  • Clean grease filters and hood duct systems over cooking appliances and all kitchen areas that are prone to grease build-up.
  • Store flammable liquids away from exits, aisles, corridors and on or under stairways.
  • Provide approved storage cabinet for storage of flammable liquids above allowable limits.
  • Approved self-closing container for storage of combustible rubbish or waste material such as oily rags.
  • Secure compressed gas cylinders to prevent falling.
  • A permit is required to store, handle or use flammable liquids in excess of permitted amounts.


  • If not installed, provide Knox Box, keys and emergency contact information.
  • New and existing buildings shall have approved address numbers or building numbers readily visible from the street fronting the property.
  • Remove accumulations of weeds, grass, vines, or other vegetation.
  • Remove accumulations of discarded boxes, waste material, etc.

Fire Alarms, Fire Sprinklers and Commercial Kitchen Suppression Systems

  • Maintain in operable condition at all times.
  • Inspect and test monthly and maintain records on-site.
  • Maintain access and clearance to alarm panels, standpipes, hose cabinets and control valves.
  • Service and test sprinklers systems by a State licensed contractor annually and have a more encompassing 5 year inspection at appropriate intervals.
  • Service and test kitchen fire suppression systems by a State licensed contractor every 6 months.

This list is a general guideline only for common violations that can be readily determined by the occupant. Other requirements may apply based on the use and or occupancy classification of the building and or nature of the operations at the location. For additional information, please contact us at 209-895-8130.

Business Inspections and Permits The Fire Department has a fire safety inspection program for businesses in the City. The engine companies and fire inspectors make the inspections on a one or two year cycle. The inspections cover general fire safety, exiting, fire extinguishers, checking the fire sprinkler system, if the building is so equipped, updating of emergency numbers for the company, and the many regulations of the California Fire Code.