New Construction/Renovation Fire Inspection

Schedule a fire safety inspection of new/existing structures to assure code compliance.

New Construction

The Fire Marshal Division inspects all properties except one and two family dwellings (single family homes and townhomes).

For detailed information about how to prepare for an inspection, please see the accordions below.

The following information is provided in order to make your inspection process go as smoothly as possible. All information should be transmitted to appropriate subcontractors. While it is not possible to list all reasons why an inspection may fail, adherence to this information will help to avoid many of the common reasons for delays in getting your inspection completed in a timely manner. Ultimately, the building, project or installation must be in accordance with all applicable codes and standards and approved plans.

The Fire Marshal Division inspects all properties except one and two family dwellings (single family homes and townhomes.)

Contact the Fire Marshal Division at (410) 222-7884.  DO NOT USE THE AUTOMATED INSPECTION REQUEST PHONE NUMBER USED FOR OTHER INSPECTORS.  It is strongly suggested that inspections be called in as far ahead as possible provided you can commit to that date but at least 3 working days in advance. Inspection requests should be made by the permit holder.

Approved plans must be kept on site at all times for use by inspectors. Approved plans will have a stamp and signature from the Anne Arundel County Plans Review Office. Copies of plans are not acceptable. Shop drawings and other plans without stamps and signature are not acceptable. Failure to have these plans will result in cancellation of your inspection and/or fees assessed. Have these ready to save your time and the inspector’s time.

Comment letters from the plans review office are part of your approved plans and must be kept on site at all times for use by inspectors. Make sure you read them thoroughly. Important information is often on these that is not on plans.

It is required that the construction matches approved plans. If changes are made to construction or systems, plans must be revised through the County Permit Center. Revised approved plans with stamp and signature must be on site for inspections. Failure to have revised approved plans on site will delay your inspection process. Deviations without revised approved plans require approval of the Fire Marshal.

  • Building Permit
  • Sprinkler Permit (includes fire pump).  A permit is required prior to any alteration, addition or replacement of sprinklers regardless of quantity of sprinklers or scope of work.
  • Fixed Extinguishing Systems
  • Fire Alarm System Permits - Two permits are issued, one for the system and one for devices and wiring.  A permit is required prior to any alteration, addition or replacement of a fire alarm system or components, regardless of the quantity of devices or scope of work.
  • Kitchen Hood and Duct Permit - If the same contractor does not install both the hood and duct, a separate permit may be required for the hood and duct if both are not indicated on one plan.
  • Kitchen Hood Fire Suppression System Permit
  • Underground Fire Service Main
  • Above ground flammable/combustible liquid tanks( 60 gallons or greater capacity)
  • LP gas tank installations
  • Electrical permits

Separate permits are required for all of the above. No other permits are issued automatically with the building permit even if plans for those items are included with the building permit set of plans. A separate application for permit and review period is required.

Work Without Permits: Make sure an approved permit is on site prior to starting any work. No work is allowed without a permit and approved plans from the County Permit Center. This includes pulling wire for alarm systems.

No Occupancy Until Final Inspections are Completed: Occupancy in whole or in part is not allowed until final inspections are completed. If it is desired to stock prior to occupancy, a stocking permit is required. Application for this is made through the building inspector with approval by the Fire Marshal.

An inspection and hydrostatic test of the line is required and must be witnessed by a representative of Anne Arundel County. Usually, this is witnessed by an infrastructure inspector from the Inspections and Permits Division. If the Fire Marshal does not witness the hydrostatic test, make sure that written verification is received from the A.A. County inspector. This needs to be given to the Fire Marshal. If the line is a private line or that inspection agency advises that they do not have jurisdiction, contact the Fire Marshal Division to schedule an inspection prior to cover of the line. Regardless of who witnesses the hydrostatic test, a flush of the line must always be witnessed by the Fire Marshal prior to connection to the sprinkler riser. Line flushing is performed in accordance with NFPA 13 and 24 standards, which require that a certain velocity of water measured as G.P.M. is achieved during the flush as determined by the diameter of the line. Contractors Material and Test Certificate for Underground Piping required per NFPA 13 or 24.

Above-ground or under-ground tanks (and related water lines for these tanks) for sprinkler system water supply or for drafting by fire apparatus for manual water supply must be inspected by the Fire Marshal and receive an air test witnessed by the Fire Marshal. Contact the Fire Marshal Division to schedule these activities prior to placement of the tank in the ground. 

  • Flush of the underground line witnessed by the Fire Marshal prior to connection to the sprinkler riser.
  • Sprinkler systems must be installed in accordance with approved plans and applicable NFPA, Standards as adopted and or modified by the Maryland State Fire Prevention Code and the Anne Arundel County Fire Prevention Code and manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • A permit is required from the Permit Center prior to the installation or alteration of a sprinkler system or sprinklers.  A permit is required regardless of the quantity of sprinklers.
  • Approved plans must be on site for the inspection.
  • No inspections will take place on a sprinkler system unless all piping is exposed. Using ladders to look up over ceiling tiles is not acceptable unless prior approval is obtained from the Fire Marshal.
  • Listed gauges must be used for the hydrostatic test. 
  • Piping shall not be painted until the system is inspected and approved by the Fire Marshal.
  • Contractors Material and Test Certificate for above ground piping required per NFPA 13/13R.
  • Hydrostatic test required for greater than twenty (20) sprinklers installed.
  • Visual inspection required for any number of sprinklers installed.
  • System Installed in accordance with applicable standards and approved plans.
  • The installation must match approved plans to include manufacturer/model/temperature of sprinkler, and  piping size, type and plan layout. If not, plans need to be revised.  Deviations from approved plans require that revised plans be submitted to the Permit Center.   Deviations without approved plans require approval of the Fire Marshal.
  • Instant Sprinkler Permit Used? If so, a final inspection certification form must be  prepared and be available to the Fire Marshal upon arrival at the time of inspection. An inspection will not be conducted without this form.
  • All piping must be marked along its length as to manufacturer/type.
  • All control valves must have signs identifying its function.
  • Painted sprinklers must be replaced.
  • Doors to rooms containing sprinkler equipment/control valves must be marked.
  • Hydraulic data plate must be displayed in the riser room
  • Stock of spare sprinklers in box with wrench in riser room
  • Any loss of pressure or visible leaks is cause for failure.
  • Fire Pump Installation - Electrical inspection by County Electrical Inspector prior to Fire Marshal Inspection/Test.
  • Fire Pump Installation - Hydrostatic test of  pump piping required to be witnessed by the Fire Marshal prior to the pump test.
  • Fire Pump Installation - Inspection and pump test witnessed by Fire Marshal in accordance with NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Centrifugal Fire Pumps.
  • Standpipes - Hydrostatic test and flush, witnessed by the Fire Marshal.
  • See - Fire Sprinkler Contractor License

Hood and duct work must be inspected on the ground before it is hung to check for welds, proper dimensions, model number and wall construction type that the hood will be adjacent to, as specified on plans. An inspection is also required after installation is complete. If hoods or duct work are installed and closed in prior to a Fire Marshal Inspection ground inspection, that equipment may have to be taken down or otherwise made visible for inspection to the satisfaction of the Fire Marshal.  Approved plans must be available at the time of any hood inspection. All equipment must match approved plans. Two permits are usually obtained for hoods - one for the hood and duct installation and one for the hood fire suppression system. The Fire Marshal needs to inspect for both of these permits. If the same contractor does not install both the hood and duct, a separate permit may be required for the hood and duct if both are not indicated on one plan.

Requirements for hood/duct suppression system inspections:

  • Approved plans on site. Installation in accordance with approved plans
  • Installation in accordance with NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation, Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations and any other referenced standards
  • Electrical Inspection by County Electrical Inspector
  • Drop light to place inside of duct/hood in order to verify welds/seams
  • Safe access to all portions of duct and hood. Access to roof to inspect exhaust and intake
  • If the duct is to be wrapped for reduced clearance, the Fire Marshal needs to inspect prior to close in.  Use of this material must be indicated on the approved plans by name and type.   Manufacturer installation guidelines on site for use by Fire Marshal.
  • Upon suppression system activation, an audible or visual indicator must be provided
  • Where a fire alarm system is provided, the activation of the suppression system must activate the fire alarm signaling system
  • No installation of any kind, including pulling wire or installation of devices is allowed without an approved fire alarm system permit from the Permit Center and plans or site.
  • Approved plans with a submittal book must be present for the inspector.  
  • Installation in accordance with approved plans and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code and NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code. Deviations from approved plans require that revised plans be submitted to the Permit Center. Deviations without approved plans require approval of the Fire Marshal.
  • The fire alarm system permit should be applied for as early in the construction process as possible. Two permits are given for a fire alarm installation. One is a devices permit- for low voltage wiring and device installation and is inspected by the electrical inspector and is required prior to the Fire Marshal Inspection. The other is a system permit- this is inspected by the Fire Marshal. 
  • An inspection of all wiring and appliances (devices permit) must be completed by the County Electrical Inspector prior to scheduling an inspection with the Fire Marshal. That inspector should leave a sticker indicating that the inspection has passed.   
  • A record of completion form must be presented to the Fire Marshal at the time of the inspection. This can be found in NFPA 72, Chapter 1.
  • All equipment must match approved plans/equipment lists. A check of model numbers and manufacturer of equipment will be conducted.
    The location of all devices must match approved plans. Deviations without revised plans must be approved by the Fire Marshal.
  • Sound levels must be loud enough. Decibel levels must be checked prior to the Fire         Marshal inspection with a sound meter to ensure all areas of the building have the required decibel level per NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm Code. The Fire Marshal will inspect for proper sound level.
  • HVAC duct detection: Access panels must be provided to enable one to reach into the duct in order to spray can smoke into sampling tubes for testing to verify smoke transfer through sampling tubes to detector. 
  • HVAC Duct detection, supply or return? Installation must be in accordance with NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems. Duct detectors, if required by NFPA 90A, must always be installed on the supply side. They must also be installed on the return side if system capacity is greater than 15000 CFM  and serving more than one story.
  • HVAC duct detection activation shall initiate a supervisory condition - not an alarm condition. 
  • HVAC duct detection: the location of duct detectors shall be marked on ceiling grid or posted diagram if not above the ceiling. Provide a posted diagram at the main electrical panel indicating the location of HVAC units.
  • HVAC: Means must be provided to manually stop the operation of supply, return and exhaust fans in an emergency. The shutdown device should be conspicuous and be located near the main entry into the space or at another location if approved by the Fire Marshal.
  • At least two personnel should be on site for the inspection with the ability to communicate between one another to verify signals received during testing if the FACP and devices are not in close proximity.
  • The phone number and ability to contact the off-site monitoring company to confirm proper receipt of signals off site.
  • Final Acceptance of sprinkler system, fire pump, and fire alarm system.
  • Sprinkler and fire pump monitoring by an approved central station.
  • All ceilings in  place.
  • Fire Department vehicular access.
  • Means of egress- at discretion of the Fire Marshal
  • Stocking permit obtained through the building official.
  • Final Electrical Inspection by Electrical Inspector
  • Sprinkler System- inspected/approved by Fire Marshal. 
  • Underground water line for sprinkler system-inspected by Infrastructure Inspector or Fire Marshal. Flush by Fire Marshal.
  • Fire Alarm System - low voltage-devices permit inspected and approved by Electrical Inspector prior to request for system inspection by the Fire Marshal.
  • Fire Alarm System - System permit inspected and approved by the Fire Marshal. 
  • Kitchen Hood and Fire Suppression System - inspected and approved by Fire Marshal.
  • Above ground/under ground tank inspections (combustible/flammable liquid, LP, water)
  • Generator inspection if used as an emergency power source for exit/emergency lighting or fire alarm system secondary power. Compliance with NFPA 110 Standard.
  • Fire lanes marked per Fire Marshal Division specifications. (see fire lanes under codes and regulations)
  • Approved plans and Comment letters on site for the inspection. 
  • Check that all comment letter items have been addressed.
  • Means of egress components all in place- exit access, exits, exit discharge and lighting.
  • Proper door operation and width - minimum of 32 inches clear. All interior and exterior doors in place.  
  • Proper door hardware and locking devices - no key locks allowed on the egress side.  
  • Exit signs - must be illuminated in the normal and emergency mode.
  • Emergency lighting - must be wired to area lighting circuit. When the lighting for any area is turned off at the breaker, the emergency lighting in that area must activate.
  • Stairs - riser and tread dimensions
  • Handrails/guardrails-dimensions. Measurements taken vertically from the front, leading edge of the stair tread.
  • Fire walls for penetrations - fire stopped via an approved method- not normal spackle.
  • Ceiling tiles - ALL in place where a sprinkler system or smoke/heat detection is present.
  • Sprinklers that have been painted must be replaced. Check for obstructions - lights/walls.
  • Fire doors - doors, frames and hardware must bear all required labels. All labels must be visible.
  • Fire doors must be self closing and positive (self) latching. Glass in fire doors, side lights or fire partitions must bear a label of fire resistance by an approved testing agency.
    • Wall and Ceiling Flame spread specifications per NFPA 255 test or ASTM E84 test - for suspended ceilings, a copy of the box label from ceiling tiles that has this information can by used. Specifications on wall finish must be provided.
    • Floor finish requirements if required by the Life Safety Code: Carpet specification sheets to indicate the “critical radiant flux” per NFPA 253.
    • Specification sheets for curtains and other hangs materials per NFPA 701, if required by the Life Safety Code.
  • Fire lanes/Fire Department Access Roads - Provided and marked in accordance with Fire Marshal Division specifications. See Fire Lanes under Codes and Regulations on this site for specifications and standard detail.
  • Fire hydrants and building sprinkler/standpipe connections properly located, operational and accessible (18 - 42 inches above grade.)
  • Fire extinguishers in place - Fire extinguishers are to be installed in accordance with NFPA 10, Standard For Portable Fire Extinguishers. For business and mercantile occupancies, located such that the travel distance to reach one is not greater than 75 feet. They are to be mounted on a wall such that the top of the extinguisher is not greater than five feet off of the floor and shall be accessible and in a conspicuous location.  
  • Building address shall be displayed in a permanent manner on or about the property in numbers or letters at least six (6) inches high on a contrasting background and posted so as not to be obstructed and clearly legible from the street named in the address of the property. For multifamily structures, the address shall be affixed to the structure in numbers or letters at least six inches high so as to be clearly legible from entrances to parking areas.  The designation of each dwelling unit shall be affixed to the exterior door of each unit in plain block numbers or letters at least three  inches high.
  • Multiple tenant structures:   Individual suites within structures occupied by multiple tenants shall be identified by clearly legible numbers and/or alphabet letters as necessary for Fire Department identification.  Rear exterior entrances to individual tenant suites and/or access from service corridors shall be similarly marked subject to approval by the authority having jurisdiction. Numbers or letters shall be at least 1 inch in height.
  • Other items that may be specifically required for your project.

All gauges used for testing must be provided by the licensed contractor conducting the test, and must be a UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listed gauge that is in proper working condition and has been calibrated within the last 12 months.

An overall demolition and/or construction fire safety program shall be developed by the owner or their designee. Every building shall be accessible by fire department apparatus by means of roadways having an all-weather driving surface of not less than 20 ft. of unobstructed width, having the ability to withstand the live loads of fire apparatus, and having a minimum of 13 ft. 6 in. of vertical clearance. In all buildings over one story in height, at least one stairway shall be provided that is in usable condition at all times and that meets the requirements of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code. In all new buildings in which standpipes are required, the standpipes shall be extended up with each floor and securely capped at the top.

How To

Requests for Fire Marshal Inspections must be made by calling the Fire Marshal Division directly at (410) 222-7884. If it is after normal business hours, please leave a message stating the type of inspection needed and the address of the inspection.