The Fire Prevention and Life Safety Section is comprised of several units - Fire Code Inspections, Fire Protection Systems Retesting, Environmental Investigations & Fire Investigations. The section administers the provisions of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, applicable sections of the Virginia Construction Code and related Code of the City of Alexandria. Staff inspect existing properties for compliance with these codes as well as providing tips to occupants for achieving code compliance. The section provides inspection and oversight for the retesting of existing fire protection systems. Inspection staff respond to complaints and conduct annual inspections to ensure proper operation of these critical life safety systems. Fire Marshals investigate incidents relating to fires, explosion related incidents, as well as, incidents involving the release of hazardous materials and environmental crimes through the Environmental Investigation Unit. The section is commanded by an assistant fire chief.
NEW! Fire Prevention Permit Fee Schedule (Effective July 1, 2013)
During Business Hours (M-F, 7:30AM - 4PM), call 703.746.5227
Other Than Business Hours (including weekends and holidays), call the "24 hour Nuisance Abatement Hotline" - 703.836.0041
Contact the Fire Prevention staff regarding fire safety violations at 703.746.5227 or submit a complaint via email.
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 7:30AM - 4PM
A. Maurice Jones, Jr.,
- Commercial Overcrowding
- Fire Safety Inspections
Fire Prevention Permit Program - provides for annual inspections of properties that store or use hazardous materials or conduct hazardous processes such as welding, auto repair and processes involving the use of flammable or combustible liquids and gases. Additionally, the program includes annual inspections of all assembly and educational occupancies within the City to include restaurants, schools, churches, hotels and day care facilities. Permits are issued annually as part of the inspection process.
- Fire Prevention Permit Application
- Special Event Requirements for Code Administration & Fire Department - If you are planning a special event or are an event coordinator, please take the time to read this policy as some of the information has been updated from previous policies. The policy gives guidelines and requirements for items such as tents, open flame and propane cooking devices, carnivals and fairs, outdoor assembly events, amusement devices and other issues associated with many typical events, as well as some general fire safety requirements
Fire Marshals conduct investigations of fire and explosion related incidents within the City, as well as incidents involving the release of hazardous materials and environmental crimes. Fire Marshals are empowered to conduct criminal investigations, make arrests and prepare cases for prosecution. Fire Marshals also investigate burn related injuries and construction accidents.
Fire Protection Systems Retesting
The Fire Protection Systems Unit (FPS) is comprised of three fire protection retesting teams that are responsible to witness inspection and testing of existing systems. The Fire Protection Systems Unit deals with many different fire protection systems including fire sprinkler, fire pump, standpipe, suppression, fire hydrants, alarm, detection, smoke control, and access control systems.
To schedule a Fire Protection Systems Inspection, call 703.746.4256.
The Environmental Investigation Unit (EIU) investigates the release of hazardous materials and environmental crimes, conducts fire code inspections of facilities using and storing hazardous materials and coordinates information to other City agencies about hazardous and industrial related uses within the City of Alexandria.
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Hazardous materials are substances or materials, in any form or quantity, which pose unreasonable risk to safety, health or property when released from their container. Some hazardous materials are more common than others and many can be found within household environments. Many of these products are used on a daily basis without any incident, but can cause problems if not properly handled or disposed.
Examples of common hazardous materials include:
- Fuel and other petroleum products (gasoline, diesel fuel, transmission fluid, motor oil, brake fluid, kerosene)
- Butane, ethanol, methane (natural gas)
- Solvents, paint thinners and strippers, varnish
- Strong cleaning agents (drain cleaners, metal cleaners, brush and paint cleaning agents)
Facilities that store or use hazardous materials may be required to obtain a Fire Prevention Permit required by the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, as amended by the City of Alexandria.
Examples of materials or use of materials that typically require a Fire Prevention Permit:
- Service Station, Repair Garage, Auto Body Shops
- Flammable and combustible liquids storage and use
- Cutting and welding, hot work, use or torch or open flame device
- Propane storage and use
- Compressed gases
- Corrosive materials
- Toxic materials
Note - it is unlawful to release any hazardous substance or chemical into any storm drain or sewer within the City of Alexandria, including: automotive fluids (oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, gasoline or other motor fuels); paint, paint thinner, varnish, solvents and any hazardous cleaning chemicals.
- Many hazardous materials can be recycled through the City of Alexandria recycling center; click HERE for a list of acceptable and unacceptable recyclable hazardous materials.
City of Alexandria
- Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ) - responsible for the administration of the City’s air, water and noise improvement programs, which help preserve and protect the environment, public health and welfare. The following are activities and programs regulated by OEQ:
- Monitoring air and water quality
- Issuance of noise variance permits
- Investigation of pollution complaints
- Inspection of storm water management facilities
- City of Alexandria Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) - responsible for creating and distributing an emergency plan that addresses extremely hazardous substances (as specified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
- City of Alexandria Office of Emergency Management - coordinates the City’s processes of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery from man-made and natural disasters.
- Alexandria Health Department - information about healthcare programs, disease control and prevention, and environmental health issues. The Health Department regulates food and health safety in restaurants, food vendors and pools.
- Alexandria Sanitation Authority - operates and maintains the wastewater treatment plant that serves the City of Alexandria.
- Eco-City Alexandria - to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan to guide Alexandria toward sustainability.
Commonwealth of Virginia
- Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) - responsible for the administration of state air and water quality programs and regulation of waste management. DEQ also investigates pollution complaints.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - responsible for protection of health and the environment. The EPA enforces Federal environmental laws and administers Federal air, water and pollution programs.