It is the goal of the St. Marys Fire Department to inform and assist property owners with information and guidance in order to comply with the Ohio Fire Code and Life Safety Code. Annual inspections are required and conducted on all commercial properties within the fire departments jurisdiction. An inspector from the fire department will contact each commercial property owner in advance to schedule a convenient time for the inspection. The inspection serves to enforce Fire Codes for properties and identify and remedy unsafe, hazardous and/or non-compliant conditions, and also serve to maintain our Emergency 9-1-1 database for fire and medical emergencies.

Below is a checklist to help commercial property owners prepare for the inspection and to assist in maintaining a hazardous free environment throughout the year. A printable version is provided at the bottom of the page.

City of St. Marys Fire Department

Below is a list of code requirements that are checked during a fire safety inspection. The number after each item represents the Ohio Fire Code. This is not an all-inclusive list, but rather a list of most common code violations to assist you in preparing for an inspection.

Fire Service Access

  • Address numbers are to be displayed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street fronting the property. The numbers shall be a minimum of four inches tall and a contrasting color to the background. Businesses in strip malls shall also have the address displayed on the rear door. – 505.1
  • Fire lanes are not permitted to be obstructed. – 503.4
  • A clear space of three feet shall be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants. – 507.5.5

Means of Egress/Exits

  • Exit pathways shall remain free of obstructions at all times. – 1003.6
  • The means of egress, including exit discharge, shall be illuminated at all times during the times the building is occupied. – 1006.1
  • Egress doors shall be readily operable from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort. – 1008.1.9
  • Egress doors installed as pairs shall both remain unlocked during business hours and shall have signage stating, “THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED WHEN BUILDING IS OCCUPIED”. – 1008.1.9.3 (ii)
  • Exit signs are required to be internally and externally illuminated at all times, bulbs and battery backup are too maintained. – 1011.5.3

Fire Protection

  • Fire and smoke barrier doors shall not be blocked or obstructed or otherwise made inoperable. - 703.2
  • Fire resistance-rated construction (including walls, fire stops, shaft enclosures, partitions, smoke barriers, fire-resistive coatings and sprayed fire-resistive materials applied to structural members) shall be maintained. – 703.1
  • Horizontal and vertical sliding and rolling fire doors shall be inspected and tested annually. A written record shall be maintained and be available to the fire code official upon request. – 703.4

Fire Protection Systems

  • Fire detection system, alarm and extinguishing systems shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times and shall be replaced or repaired where defective. – 901.6
  • All fire suppression related devices or systems shall have annual inspection and testing. Records shall be maintained for three years from date of test and available upon request by fire code official. – 906.1
  • Portable fire extinguishers shall not be obstructed or obscured from view. – 906.6
  • Hand- held portable fire extinguishers, not housed in cabinets, shall be installed on the hangers or brackets supplied. – 906.7
  • Automatic fire-extinguishing systems (kitchen hood systems) shall be serviced at least every six months and after activation of the system. – 904.11.6.2
  • Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided within a thirty foot travel distance of commercial type cooking equipment. Cooking equipment involving solid fuels or vegetable or animal oils and fats shall be protected by a Class K rated portable extinguisher. – 904.11.5


  • A working space of not less than 30” in width, 36” in depth and 78” in height shall be provided in front of electrical service equipment. – 605.3
  • Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be a substitute for permanent wiring. Extension or 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. – 605.5
  • Portable power taps shall be of the polarized or grounded type, equipped with overcurrent protection and shall be listed in accordance with UL 1363. – 605.4.1
  • Open junction boxes and open-wiring splices shall be prohibited. Approved covers shall be provided for all switch and electrical outlet boxes. – 605.6


  • Storage of combustible materials in buildings shall be orderly. Storage shall be separated from heaters and heating devices by distance or shielding so ignition cannot occur. – 315.2
  • Storage shall be maintained 2 feet or more below the ceiling in non-sprinklered areas of buildings or a minimum of 18 inches below sprinkler head deflectors in sprinklered areas of buildings. – 315.2.1
  • Combustible materials shall not be stored in exits or exit enclosures. – 315.2.2
  • Combustible materials shall not be stored in boiler rooms, mechanical rooms or electrical equipment rooms. – 315.2.3
  • Attic, under-floor and concealed spaces used for storage of combustible materials shall be protected on the storage side as required for 1 hour fire-resistance rated construction. – 315.2.4
  • Materials susceptible to spontaneous ignition, such as oily rags, shall be stored in a listed disposal container and shall be removed daily. – 304.3.1
  • Dumpsters or containers with an individual capacity of 1.5 cubic yards or more shall not be stored in buildings or placed within 5 feet of combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eave lines. – 304.3.3
  • Compressed gas containers, cylinders and tanks shall be secured to prevent falling caused by contact, vibration or seismic activity. – 3003.5.3

Hazardous Materials

  • Shelf storage of flammable and combustible liquids shall be maintained in an orderly manner and non-compatible materials are required to be separated. – 3404.
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Preparing for a Fire Safety Inspection Checklist