Fire Marshal Jurisdiction

Fire Marshal's Office Jurisdiction

The City of Fort Oglethorpe Fire Marshal's Office is charged with enforcing "Rules and Regulations for the State Minimum Fire Safety Standards" as adopted by the State Fire Commissioner.  The Fire Marshal's Office is the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) in these matters for all the City of Fort Oglethorpe.  The Fire Marshal's Office has three major responsibilities:  

  • Conduct fire & life safety inspections of existing buildings and structures.
  • Review plans and specifications for proposed buildings and structures, issue plans review certificate when plans are approved, and conduct fire & life safety inspections of such buildings and structures.
  • Issue permanent and temporary certificates of occupancies.  

These responsibilities are established in Title 25 Chapter 2 of the Official Code of Georgia.  The Fire Marshal's Office issues certificates of occupancy jointly with the City of Fort Oglethorpe Fire Marshal Office for buildings that fall under their jurisdiction.  

Inspection Process

The inspection process for new buildings begins with plan review.  Plans are initially brought to the Fire Marshal's Office.  After necessary corrections are made and plans approved by City of Fort Oglethorpe Fire Marshal's Office, developers then take plans to the City of Fort Oglethorpe Buildings Department for final approval.  Contractors are then required to keep a set of approved plans on the building site during construction.  Inspection request then can be made during any phase of construction.  Depending on the structure, separate inspections may be requested for the fire alarm system, duct detectors, kitchen hood systems, paint booths, emergency lights and sprinklers.  After violations are corrected, then a "Certificate of Occupancy" is issued by the Fire Marshal's Office. 

NFPA 241, 2013ed.--Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations

Section 7.5.5.1 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.


Section 7.5.5.2 Access for use of heavy fire-fighting equipment shall be provided to the immediate job site at the start of the project and maintained until completion.


Section 7.5.5.3 Dead-end fire department access roads in excess of 150 ft (46m) in length shall be provided with approved provisions for turning around fire department apparatus.


Section 7.5.5.4  The requirements of 7.5.5.1 through 7.5.5.3 shall be permitted to be modified where, in the opinion of the fire department, fire-fighting or rescue operations would not be impaired by such modification.


Section 7.5.6.1 In all buildings over one story in height, at least on stairway shall be provided that is in usable condition at all times and that meets the requirements of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code.


Section 7.5.6.2 This stairway shall be extended upward as each floor is installed in new construction and maintained for each floor still remaining during demolition.  The stairway shall be lighted.


Section 7.6 In all new buildings in which standpipes are required or where standpipes exist in buildings being altered or demolished, such as standpipes shall be maintained in conformity with the progress of building construction in such a manner that they are always ready for use.


Section 8.7.2.1 A water supply for fire protection, either temporary or permanent, shall be made available as soon as combustible material accumulates.


Section 8.7.4.2.1 The standpipes shall be provided with conspicuously marked and readily accessible fire department connections on the outside of the building at the street level and shall have at least one standard hose outlet at each floor.


Section 8.7.4.2.8 The standpipes shall be extended up with each floor and shall be securely capped at the top.


Section 8.7.4.2.9 Top hose outlets shall be not more than one floor below the highest forms, staging, and similar combustibles at all times.

Tenant Space Certificate of Occupancy Procedures

 1.  Bring three (3) sets of plans to the Fire Marshal's Office for review.  Small tenant space plans may be done on 8 1/2" X 11" paper provided the following items are shown:
     ▪  Dimensions for the overall space and dimensions for each room
     ▪  All doors and windows
     ▪  Emergency lighting and exit sign locations
     ▪  Fire extinguishers
     ▪  Fire alarm devices
     ▪  On separate sheet show overall building foot print or floor plan, showing tenant separation         walls. Indicate what type of occupancy (or what business) is on either side of your space.
     ▪  Tenant space in a mall, must show the pedestrian walk way in front of the tenant space.  A
         minimum of 10' clear width is required in front of each tenant, this includes any temporary
         construction walls.  The mall space shall provide a minimum of 20' clear width.
     ▪  Fire rated walls
     ▪  Fire alarm and/or sprinkler system work will require separate plans to be submitted by
        subcontractor.
     ▪  Plans not done on 8 1/2" X 11", requires a copy of the plans reduced down to an 8 1/2" X 11"
        paper and submitted with your plans.
     ▪  Plans must be readable.
2.  If your plans are for a Day Care (with an occupant load of 12 and under), Personal Care Home
(Board and Care), or Lodging, plans must be dropped off at our office (plans will be reviewed).  You will be called when they are ready for pickup.
3.  Once the Fire Marshal's Office approves your plans, take the approved plans to the City of Fort Oglethorpe Building Department Plan Review Office (706-866-2544).  You will  then purchase a "Permit" at this time.
4.  Call for field inspections from the Building Department (706-866-2544), and the Fire Marshal's Office at (706-861-4194).

5.  Once all inspections have passed and a Business License is purchased a Certificate Occupancy will be issued. 

Common Code Violations

  1. Violation:  ADDRESS OR SUITE NUMBER NOT POSTED- Applicable Code:  Section 505.1, 2012 International Fire Code new and existing buildings shall have approved address numbers, building numbers or approved building identification place in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property.  These numbers shall be in contrast with there background.  Address numbers shall be Arabic numeral or alphabet letters.  Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inches.
  2. Violation:  EXPOSED WIRING- Applicable Code:  Section 605.6, 2012 International Fire Code open junction boxes and open-wiring splices shall be prohibited.  Approved covers shall be provided for all switch and electrical outlet boxes.
  3. Violation:  HYDRANT OBSTRUCTED- Applicable Code:  Section 507.5.5, 2012 International Fire Code, a 3-foot clear space shall be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants except as otherwise required or approved.
  4. Violation:  FIRE DEPARTMENT CONNECTIONS NOT VISIBLE TO APPARATUS OR OBSTRUCTED- Applicable Code:  Section 912.2.2, 2012 International Fire Code, on existing buildings, wherever the fire department connection is not visible to approaching fire apparatus, the fire department connection shall be indicated by an approved sign mounted on the street front or on the side of the building.  Such sign shall have the letters "FDC" at least 6 inches high and words in letters at least 2 inches high or an arrow to indicate the location.  All such signs shall be subject to the approval of the fire code official.  912.3 immediate access to fire department connections shall be maintained at all times and without obstruction by fences, bushes, trees, walls or any other object for a minimum of 3 feet.
  5. Violation:  COMPRESSED GAS CYLINDER NOT SECURED- Applicable Code:  Section 5303.5.3, 2012 International Fire Code, compressed gas containers, cylinders and tanks shall be secured to prevent falling caused by contact, vibration or seismic activity
  6. Violation:  STORAGE WITHIN 30 INCHES OF ELECTRICAL PANELS- Applicable Code:  Section 605.3, 2012 International Fire Code, a working space of not less than 30 inches in width, 36 inches in depth and 78 inches in height shall be provided in front of electrical service equipment is wider than 30 inches, the working space shall not be less than the width of the equipment.  No storage of any materials shall be located within the designated working space.
  7. Violation:  EXTENSION CORDS USED AS PERMANENT WIRING- Applicable Code:  Section 605.5, 2012 International Fire Code, extension cords and flexible 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, or under doors or floor coverings, nor shall such cords be subject to environmental damage or physical impact.  Extension cords shall be used only with portable appliances.
  8. Violation:  NO SUPPLY OF SPARE SPRINKLER HEADS- Applicable Code:  Section 5.4.1.4, NFPA 25, 2011 ed., a supply of spare sprinklers (never fewer than six) shall be maintained on the premises so that any sprinklers that have operated or been damaged in any way can be promptly replaced.  Section 5.4.1.4.1, the sprinklers shall correspond to the types and temperature ratings of the sprinklers in the property.  A minimum of two sprinklers of each type and temperature rating installed shall be provided.  Section 5.4.1.4.2, the sprinklers shall be kept in a cabinet located where the temperature in which they are subjected will at no time exceed 100oF.
  9. Violation:  NO SPECIAL WRENCH AVAILABLE- Applicable Code:  Section 5.4.1.6, NFPA 25, 2011 ed, a special sprinkler wrench shall be provided and kept in the cabinet to be used in the removal and installation of sprinklers. Section 5.4.1.6.1, one sprinkler wrench shall be provided for each type of sprinkler installed.
  10. Violation:  SPRINKLER BLOCKED BY STORAGE- Applicable Code: 5.2.1.2, NFPA 25, 2011 ed, The minimum clearance required by the installation standard shall be maintained below all sprinkler deflectors. Section A.5.2.1.2 NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, allows stock furnishings and equipment to be as close as 18 inches to standard spray sprinklers or as close as 36 inches to other types of sprinklers such as early suppression fast-response (ESFR) and large drop sprinklers. Objects against walls are permitted to ignore the minimum spacing rules as long as the sprinkler is not directly above the object. Other obstruction rules are impractical to enforce under this standard. However, if obstructions that might cause a concern are present, the owner is advised to have an engineering evaluation performed. Section 5.2.1.3 stock, furnishings, or equipment closer to the sprinkler deflector than permitted by the clearance rules of the installation standard shall be corrected. 
  11. Violation:  EXTINGUISHERS OUT OF DATE- Applicable Code: 7.1.2.3, NFPA 10, 2002 ed, Persons performing inspections shall not be required to be
    certified. The procedure for inspection and maintenance of fire extinguishers varies considerably.  Minimal knowledge is necessary to perform a monthly "quick check" or inspection in order to follow the inspection procedure as outlined in Section 7.2. A trained person who has undergone the instructions necessary to reliably perform maintenance and has the manufacturer's service manual and is licensed by the Georgia State Fire Marshals Office shall service the fire extinguishers not more than 1 year apart, as outlined in Section 7.3.
  12. Violation:  EXIT BLOCKED- Applicable Code:  Section 7.1.10.1, 2012 Life Safety Code, means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.
  13. Violation:  MULTIPLE LOCKS ON EXIT DOORS- Applicable Code:  Section 7.2.1.5.10, 2012 Life Safety Code, a latch or other fastening device on a door shall be provided with a releasing device having an obvious method of operation under all lighting conditions.  The releasing mechanism for any latch shall be located not less than 34 in (86 cm) and not more than 48 in (122 cm) above the finished floor.  Section 7.2.1.5.10.2, Doors shall be open able with not more than one releasing operations.
  14. Violation:  FIRE ALARM SYSTEM SHUTDOWN- Section 9.6.1.6, 2012 Life Safety Code, where a required fire alarm system is out of service for more than 4 hours in a 24-hour period, the authority having jurisdiction shall be notified, and the building shall be evacuated or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all parties left unprotected by the shutdown until the fire alarm system has been returned to service.
  15. Violation:  SPRINKLER SYSTEM SHUTDOWN- Sprinkler impairment procedure shall comply with NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Base Fire Protection Systems. Section 15.6 NFPA 25, 2011 ed, Emergency Impairments. Section 15.6.1 Emergency impairments shall include, but are not limited to, system leakage, interruption of water supply, frozen or ruptured piping, and equipment failure. Section 15.6.2 When emergency impairments occur, emergency action taken to minimize potential injury and damage. Section 15.6.3 The coordinator shall implement the steps outlined in Section 15.5. Section 15.5.2 (4) Where are required fire protection system is out of service more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period, the impairment coordinator shall arrange for one of the following: (a) Evacuation of the building or portion of the building affected by the system out of service (b) * An approved fire watch (c) * Establishment of a temporary water supply (d) * Establishment and implementation of an approved program to eliminate potential ignition sources and limit the amount of fuel available to the fire (5) The fire department shall be notified.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

If you have a working smoke alarm in your home, your chances of dying in a fire are cut nearly in half.  Testing your smoke alarm regularly each week will help ensure that it will operate properly when it is needed.  We encourage residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms at each time change, once in the spring and once in the fall.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also recommends replacing your smoke alarm if it is more than 10 years old with a smoke alarm that contains a 10-year sealed battery.  According to the NFPA the alarms have a 30 percent chance of failure after being installed for 10 years.  NFPA also recommends that a dwelling have a smoke alarm installed on each level of the dwelling and outside each sleeping area.