Fire and life safety inspections
Why inspections are important
Regular fire and life safety inspections are a critical part of fire prevention. They not only protect people and property, but also might protect economic interests. By preventing or reducing losses, the community can help contain the cost of insurance and could help businesses avoid financial disasters stemming from fires.
New inspection program
As of Jan. 1, 2017, a change in county code requires the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office to inspect all commercial properties in the unincorporated area on a regular basis. The inspection frequency is based on specific risk factors, but generally will range from once a year to once every three years. The enhanced inspection program will help ensure all businesses, not just the 25 percent typically inspected, continue to operate safely and are in compliance with state fire and building codes.
Who will be performing these inspections?
Inspections will be done by trained, professional employees of the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office. They will identify themselves and have proper identification; please feel free to ask to see it. These inspectors are employees of the county, not your local fire district.
How often will my business be inspected?
Because these fire and life safety inspections are based on levels of risk, the frequency of inspections in your business will depend on two factors: its occupancy classification and its operations. Businesses with lower risk factors will be inspected less frequently, say every three years, than those with higher levels of risk, which could be inspected every year or two.
The three documents below will help you determine how often your business will be inspected. First, find the occupancy classifications description that best describes your business. Next, look at the operational permit descriptions to see whether your business includes any of these activities. A commercial business can have more than one activity.
Using this information, find where your business falls on the Inspection Frequency Matrix and how often to expect a visit from a Fire Inspector.
During the inspector’s visit, he or she automatically will schedule your business’s next inspection. You will not need to call to schedule future inspections.
Is there a fee for these inspections?
Although we don’t wish to have to charge a fee, the cost of operating the inspection program makes it necessary. A fee is charged to each business inspected. The minimum fee is $150, which increases incrementally based on the size of the business (square footage) and the number of operational permits (if any) to be issued for the activities inside. The inspection fee is charged only once and includes re-inspections to verify compliance. The fee table is shown below.
What can I do to be ready for my inspection?
Review the following list to prepare for an upcoming inspection.
We also provide a general fire inspection checklist so you may conduct your own inspection before we arrive. Please keep in mind this checklist is only a guideline and may not address every situation or violation that could arise. If you have questions, please call our office at (360) 397-2186 ext. 3316.
How do I request an inspection?
You may request an inspection using our online inspection request form.
How often does my fire protection system (fire sprinklers, fire alarms, kitchen hoods) require maintenance?
Typically, fire sprinklers and fire alarms require regular annual maintenance. Fire extinguishing systems for kitchen stove hoods require service every six months as well as a regular schedule of cleaning as needed to keep accumulations of grease to a minimum. Specialty systems, such as clean-agent systems, can require more frequent maintenance.
Effective February 15, 2017, Clark County partnered with Brycer, LLC and The Compliance Engine. Your contractor now is required to send all inspection, testing, and maintenance reports for fire protection systems to Clark County via The Compliance Engine’s online system.
The Compliance Engine
Visit The Compliance Engine and watch the Third Party Inspection Reporting video.
Contractors will need to register an account with The Compliance Engine to submit documents. During the registration process, the contractor will designate an account administrator for their company and then they will have to opportunity to add additional users.
To register, please fill out the registration form online.
If you have previously registered, login to view your account.
Online training is offered to contractors on using The Compliance Engine's website to submit inspections, test results, and maintenance reports.