Fire Protection Systems Inspections

The FPS inspection team conducts inspections, testing, and system commissioning for all new, upgraded, and altered fire protection systems. These systems include fire sprinklers, fire pumps, standpipes, suppression systems, fire hydrants, fire alarms, detection, smoke control, and access control systems.

Page updated on May 18, 2018 at 8:17 PM

Multiple project specific inspection programs are available to assist customers: Traditional, Third-party and Special-inspections.


  • Staff Directory  
  • Hours of Operation:  Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Minimum Required Inspections (per USBC):  

  1. Inspection of footing excavations and reinforcement material (steel reinforcement) for concrete footings prior to placement of concrete
  2. Inspection of foundation systems during phases of construction necessary to assure compliance with the Virginia USBC
  3. Inspection of preparatory work prior to placement of concrete
  4. Inspection of structural members and fasteners prior to concealment
  5. Inspection of electrical, mechanical (HVAC) and plumbing materials, equipment and systems prior to concealment
  6. Inspection of energy conservation materials (insulation) prior to concealment
  7. Final inspection (once all work is complete)


  • The permit holder/property owner is responsible for requesting all required inspections
  • Each issued permit must receive an approved final inspection 
  • Third-party inspections are not permitted, unless approved by the building official prior to permit issuance
  • Photographs taken prior to concealing the work will not be an accepted alternative to the above required inspections

Scheduling and Obtaining Inspection Results 

The Department of Code Administration offers an automated system known as "ACCESS". "ACCESS" allows permit holders to use a touch tone phone to schedule or cancel inspections, request inspection results, speak to a Permit Technician or other city agencies or listen to recorded customer service messages. "ACCESS" is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. To use the system, call 703.746.4200 or 703.746.4560 (direct). Note - to use ACCESS, you will need a touch-tone phone.  If ACCESS is unavailable, please call 703.746.4200 for assistance during business hours. 

Advisory:  To schedule a Fire Protection System (FPS) inspection, please go HERE

Note: ACCESS now has the following features!

  • Inspection results sent to your phone;
  • Inspection results by fax; and
  • Inspection results by email

To obtain your complete, most recent inspection results by one of the above methods, follow the prompts provided on the ACCESS system when you schedule the inspection.

When calling ACCESS, make sure that you have the permit number relating to the permit that you want inspected.  You will be instructed to select one of the four options:


Press [1]     Schedule inspections

Press [2]     Cancel or reschedule and inspection

Press [3]    Obtain inspection results

Press [0]    Speak to Code Administration Permit Technician or other city agencies representatives


Press [#]    Listen to customer service recordings on:


  • Scheduling and/or
  • Permit Application Requirements
  • Plans Submission Requirements
  • When is a Permit required?
  • Contractor Licensing Information

Procedures for a Successful Inspection 

1.  Verify your scheduled inspection

  • Daily Inspection Viewer  
  • Verify the inspection type and date scheduled
  • Name and phone number of the assigned inspector
  • Inspection results
  • Permit Tracker
    • View permit history, including scheduled inspections
      Note:  this is not 'real-time' and some information may not be indicated 

2.  Coordinate scheduled inspection time-frames

3.  Provide the required minimum inspection documents at the project location:

  • Approved plans
  • Posted construction address
  • Posted permits

Obtaining Inspection Results 

  • Use Daily Inspection Viewer to view completed inspection results
  • Call the ACCESS automated system, 703.746.4560, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If ACCESS is unavailable, please call 703.746.4200 for assistance during business hours. Note - to use ACCESS  you will need is a touch-tone phone and the project permit number. 


Third-Party Inspection Program  

Third-party inspections are those minimum inspections required by the USBC, Refer to Minimum Required Inspections (per USBC), but as an alternative to city inspectors conducted by an approved third-party inspector(s) acting as the building official's agent. Qualified third-party agent(s) must submit sufficient documentation, prior to permit issuance, demonstrating each inspector's competence and qualifications in each intended construction discipline. The building official reviews and approves agents on a discretionary basis.

Special Inspection Program 

Special Inspections are inspections required by the 2006 IBC, sec. 1704 "Special Inspections".  These inspections require special competence, qualifications and expertise in a specific construction discipline (examples: steel welded connections, post-tensioned concrete, approved proprietary systems). Prior to permit issuance, Qualified special inspector(s) must submit sufficient documentation (Statement of Special Inspections and Inspector(s) qualification resume(s), demonstrating each inspector's competence and qualifications in each intended construction or operation discipline. The building official reviews and approves agents on a discretionary basis.