Commercial Fire Inspections

Below is a list of some of the most common code violations that the Deputy Fire Marshals encounter during Fire and Life Safety inspections. Keep in mind this list is general and may not include every potential requirement for every occupancy. There may be additional code requirements that will need to be addressed.

1. All commercial buildings and multiple-family dwellings shall be posted with building numbers not less than six inches in height.

a. All building numbers required by this article shall be Arabic or block, and shall be of a contrasting color with the background surface to which such numbers are affixed. Numerals shall be at least six (6) inches in height for all other buildings, structures or portions thereof. (FFCP 

2. All fire extinguishers shall be provided with a current STATE CONTRACTOR’S TAG. (NFPA-10)

3. All wiring shall comply with NFPA-70, missing or damaged outlet or switch plate covers shall be replaced, all exposed wiring shall be covered, and all open spaces located in the electrical panel shall be covered with approved covers, electrical panels to have all breakers properly labeled.

4. Extension cords shall not be used as permanent wiring. (NFPA-1: However, power strips equipped with overload protection may be used.

5. Doors shall be arranged to be opened readily from the egress side whenever the building is occupied. Locks, if provided, shall not require the use of a key or special knowledge or effort for operation from the egress side. In the event that the authority having jurisdiction feels there is a security issue, an approved sign with one-inch letters stating “THIS DOOR SHALL REMAIN UNLOCKED WHEN BUILDING IS OCCUPIED” will be acceptable. (NFPA 101:

6. All emergency lighting shall be operable. In some instances, additional emergency lighting may be required. (NFPA 101:7.9)

7. All exit lighting shall be operable using both A/C and D/C power, where applicable. (NFPA 101:7.10)

8. Means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergencies (NFPA 101:

9. Fire separation between occupancies shall be maintained for proper rating as required by the (Florida Fire Prevention Code).

10. If the building is equipped with a fire alarm system, it shall be maintained in accordance with NFPA 72-chapter 14. The system shall be provided with a current STATE CONTRACTOR’S TAG.

11. Buildings equipped with fire sprinkler systems shall be maintained in accordance with NFPA 25: chapter 4 and NFPA 13: chapter 26.

a. Fire Department Connection (FDC) / Siamese shall be identified. The signs shall indicate the building, buildings, structures, or portions each FDC / Siamese services.

12. Cooking equipment that produces grease-laden vapors and that might be a source of ignition of grease in the hood, grease removal device, or duct shall be protected by fire-extinguishing equipment. NFPA 96: 10.1.2

13. Automatic fire-extinguishing systems shall comply with ANSI/UL 300, Standard for Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas, or other equivalent standards and shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the listing. (NFPA 1: [96:10.2.3]

14. Maintenance of the fire-extinguishing systems and listed exhaust hoods containing a constant or fire activated water system that is listed to extinguish a fire in the grease removal devices, hood exhaust plenums, and exhaust ducts shall be made by properly trained, qualified, and certified person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction at least every 6 months. (NFPA 96: 11.2.1)

15. Any cooking operations involving the use of combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats) are required to provide a Class K extinguisher. (NFPA 1:

16. Existing required handrails shall be not less than 30 in. (760 mm), and not more than 38 in. (965 mm), above the surface of the tread, measured vertically to the top of the rail from the leading edge of the tread. (NFPA 101:

17. Stairs and ramps shall have handrails on both sides unless otherwise permitted in or (NFPA 101:

18. Interior finish, contents, and furnishing such as wall covering, drapes, etc. shall have the proper flame spread ratings, which are required for the use group being inspected. (NFPA 101-10) 

19. Ceiling Tiles and Ceiling Assemblies. Where automatic sprinklers or automatic detectors are installed, ceilings necessary for the proper actuation of the fire protection device in accordance with NFPA 13 shall be maintained. (NFPA 101: (NFPA 101:

20. A door leaf normally required to be kept closed shall not be secured in the open position at any time and shall be self-closing or automatic-closing in accordance with, unless otherwise permitted by (NFPA

21. Smoking shall be prohibited except in designated areas subject to the approval of the authority having jurisdiction. No Smoking Signs shall be provided throughout. (NFPA 30A:

22. All fire protection, detection, notification, and annunciation systems required or referenced by the Florida Fire Prevention Code shall be provided with a current STATE CONTRACTOR’S TAG.

23. A Knox Box is a requirement. The Knox Box provides emergency access to the Monroe County Fire Department in the event of an emergency that requires immediate building access. The use of the Knox Box Rapid Entry System is intended to improve emergency service to building owners and occupants and can result in savings by eliminating property damage from necessary forcible entry. The Knox Box Rapid Entry System is a key box unique to the jurisdiction in which it is located. Only the Monroe County Fire Department has access to boxes used within the unincorporated area. This system is used by Fire Departments throughout the nation and is compliant with the National Fire Protection Association Code for fire Department Access box. Click here for instructions on how to order a Knox Box.

24. State law requires the owner of any commercial, industrial or any multi-unit residential structure of three units or more, that uses light-frame truss-type construction to mark the structure with a sign or symbol approved by the State Fire Marshal in a manner sufficient to warn persons conducting fire control and other emergency operations of the existence of light-frame truss type construction in the structure. Click here for Roof Truss Signage information.

25. Fire lanes shall be marked with signs and roadway surface markings that are readily visible to the street. Click here for Fire Lane information

26. There are minimum requirements for Motor fuel dispensing facilities, repair garages, and marinas and boatyards. Click here for more information.

27. All swimming pools at commercial properties must comply with Florida Statue 515 and Florida Building Code Chapter 4 Section 454

The purpose of this information provided is to help business owners with the fire safety inspection process.

Inspection Checklists