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For Business or Building Owner/Managers

The Town of Garner is required by State Law to inspect all businesses to determine compliance with the North Carolina State Fire and Building Codes. There is a charge for this service based on square feet of occupancy. Failure to comply with or not correcting items by the date specified in the inspection report can result in re-inspection fees, civil penalties, and criminal prosecution. Work performed to correct violations may require a permit. This checklist is to aid you, the owner/manager, to some of the items the Fire Inspector will be checking for.

General Requirements:

1. Do you have a current privilege / business license from the Town of Garner?
2. Have you had any construction work performed in your business since your last inspection?
3. Do you have emergency numbers posted?
4. Do you have an evacuation plan posted if applicable?
5. If you are classified as an Assembly occupancy, do you have your Occupant Capacity posted in public view?
6. Is there a fire department Knox Box? (hazardous materials, fire alarm system, sprinkler system). Are the correct keys in the Knox Box?
7. Are handicapped signs installed in accordance with State Code?

Street Address:

Is your street address number / suite number plainly visible and legible from the street? Street numbers should be a minimum of 6 inches in height. The numbers shall be in a contrasting color with it’s’ background and on the outermost surface of the building.

Emergency Lights / Exit Signs:

1. Are all emergency lights and Exit lights operational and unobstructed?
2. Is emergency lighting provided at all exits, corridors and stairwells?
3. Battery or emergency backup power is required for Exit and emergency lighting.
4. Do you have an emergency generator? Is it tested monthly including an annual full load test?
5. Provide records for all testing and maintenance of emergency generator, emergency lights, and exit lights.

Means of Egress and Fire Separations:

1. Are there any holes in the walls separating you from adjacent tenants, especially above any drop ceiling?
2. Are fire doors operational and not blocked or secured in place?
3. Are stairwell handrails secure?
4. Is access to exits and exit doors clear of obstructions?
5. Are Exit doors operable without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort?
6. All locking devices shall be of the approved type.
7. Panic hardware is required for certain businesses.

Portable Fire Extinguishers:

1. Are there portable multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguishers (minimum rating of 2A:10B:C) available on each floor? One extinguisher is required for every 3,000 square feet of floor space and within a 75-foot travel distance. Restaurants and Industrial businesses may require additional specific types of fire extinguishers.
2. Have the fire extinguishers been inspected within the past 12 months, and tagged?
3. Are fire extinguishers properly charged and mounted on the wall no more than 48 inches above the floor, and readily visible and accessible?

Sprinkler/Fire Suppression Systems:

1. Is your building sprinkled?
2. Has the sprinkler system been inspected and tested within the past year? Submit copy of test report by a licensed contractor.
3. Do you have a fire pump? Submit copy of annual inspection test report by licensed contractor.
4. Are the sprinkler system risers accessible?
5. Is storage at least 18 inches below sprinkler heads?
6. Is the fire department connection unobstructed and caps in place?
7. Are on site fire hydrants unobstructed?
8. If you are a restaurant, have you had your cooking equipment fire suppression system serviced semi-annually? Submit copy of test report.

Fire Alarm System:

1. Do you have a fire alarm system?
2. Who is it monitored by? 
3. Has the fire alarm system been inspected and tested within the past year? Submit copy of test report.
4. Is the fire alarm panel accessible?
5. Are horns and strobes unobstructed?
6. Do you have a key to the fire alarm control panel and pull stations?

Electrical Safety:

1. Maintain 36 inches of clear space in front of and around electric panels.
2. Ensure panel box and breakers are labeled for correct use.
3. Extension cords, flexible cords, and multi-tap adapters are not permitted.
4. All electrical devices shall have faceplates installed.
5. Maintain clearance around water heaters and other heat producing appliances, such as a furnace, pedestal transformer, etc.


1. Rubbish and trash build-up shall be maintained at a minimal level and removed at least daily.
2. Storage under stairs is prohibited unless the stair is protected from the bottom by a fire rated enclosure.
3. The storage of combustible or flammable materials is prohibited without written permission of the Town of Garner.
4. If flammable, combustible, or hazardous material is used or stored, by permission, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) shall be available on site.
5. Pressurized cylinders or tanks of any kind (i.e. helium, CO 2, propane, etc.) shall be properly stored and secured at all times.

Pine Straw/Combustible Landscaping Materials


This is a general checklist and may not include all the items that your business will be required to comply with. For additional assistance, please call the Town of Garner fire inspectors at (919) 773-4428.