The Fire Prevention Bureau conducts
periodic fire inspections of commercial properties. Fire Inspectors identify
fire hazards and life safety issues of buildings throughout the city. Inspectors
document discrepancies and educate business owners about the importance
of complying with the code. Each business owner is granted a grace period
to meet compliance before the Inspector returns for a re-inspection.
The Fire Prevention Bureau
recognizes the inspection schedule as set forth in the International
Fire Code. Listed below is the occupancy classifications and
their inspection frequency.
Occupancy Type: Hazardous, Institutional,
High-Rise, Assembly (except those noted below), and Residential.
Exceptions - Residential: One and two family dwellings and only interior common areas
of dwelling units of multi-family occupancies
Occupancy Type: Industrial and Educational
Exceptions: Public Schools
Occupancy Type: Assembly (occupancies with an occupant load less than 100), Business, Mercantile,
Storage, Churches, and Synagogues.
Exceptions: City Ordinance dictates that all public and privately-owned
buildings within the “Historical District” of downtown
New Bern are scheduled on an annual basis
The Fire Prevention Bureau utilizes the International Fire Code
(with North Carolina Amendments) as the primary reference guide for
fire inspections. Listed below are some of the more frequent discrepancies.
Exit signs shall be internally or externally
illuminated or shall be of the self-luminous type.
The required capacity of means of egress shall not be diminished
(reduced) along the path of egress travel.
Manually operated flush bolts or surfaces bolts on exit doors are
Fire Protection Systems
Fire extinguishers shall
be in a conspicuous and readily available location.
Fire extinguishers shall not be obstructed or obscured from view.
Fire extinguishers shall be installed so that its top is not more
than 5' above the floor if less than 40 pounds. For extinguishers
over 40 pounds, the top no more than 3.5' above the floor.
Fire extinguishers shall be serviced annually and shall have a
current service tag attached.
Automatic fire extinguishing systems of commercial cooking equipment
shall be serviced at least every six months and after activation
of the system. Maintain records.
Painted sprinkler heads or cover plates are prohibited unless painted
at the factory. They cannot be cleaned of paint. They must be replaced.
Records of all system inspections, test and maintenance, shall
be maintained on the premises for a minimum of one year. Show proof.
Storage of combustible materials in
buildings shall be maintained in a neat, orderly manner.
Storage shall be maintained 2' or more below the ceiling in a non-sprinkled
building, and 19" below sprinkler head deflectors in sprinkled
areas of buildings.
Combustible materials shall not be stored in boiler rooms, mechanical
rooms, or electrical rooms.
Attic, under-floor, and concealed spaces used for storage of combustible
materials shall be protected on the storage side as required for
one-hour fire resistive construction. NO STORAGE UNDER EXIT STAIRWAYS
unless protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
Dumpsters and containers with an individual capactiy of 1.5 cubic
yards (40.5 cubic feet) or larger shall not be stored in buildings
or placed within 5' of combustible walls, openings, or under roof
Extension cords shall not be a substitute
for permanent wiring.
Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures,
extended through walls, ceilings, or floors.
Extension cords shall not contain splices or damage.
Extension cords shall be grounded when serving grounded portable
A working space and clearance of not less than 30“ in width,
36" in depth, and 78" in height shall be provided in front
of electrical service equipment (panel).
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