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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 13. Housing
Agency 5. Department of Housing and Community Development
Chapter 51. Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code
4/1/2020

13VAC5-51-81. Section 107 Permits and Fees.

A. 107.1 Prior notification. The fire official may require notification prior to (i) activities involving the handling, storage or use of substances, materials or devices regulated by the SFPC; (ii) conducting processes which produce conditions hazardous to life or property; or (iii) establishing a place of assembly.

B. 107.2 Permits required. Operational permits may be required by the fire official as permitted under the SFPC in accordance with Table 107.2, except that the fire official shall require permits for the manufacturing, storage, handling, use, and sale of explosives. In accordance with Section 5601.2.3.1, an application for a permit to manufacture, store, handle, use, or sell explosives shall only be made by a designated individual.

Exception: Such permits shall not be required for the storage of explosives or blasting agents by the Virginia Department of State Police provided notification to the fire official is made annually by the Chief Arson Investigator listing all storage locations.

C. Add Table 107.2 as follows:

Table 107.2
OPERATIONAL PERMIT REQUIREMENTS (to be filled in by local jurisdiction)

Description

Permit Required (yes or no)

Permit Fee

Inspection Fee

Aerosol products. An operational permit is required to manufacture, store or handle an aggregate quantity of Level 2 or Level 3 aerosol products in excess of 500 pounds (227 kg) net weight.

Amusement buildings. An operational permit is required to operate a special amusement building.

Aviation facilities. An operational permit is required to use a Group H or Group S occupancy for aircraft servicing or repair and aircraft fuel-servicing vehicles. Additional permits required by other sections of this code include, but are not limited to, hot work, hazardous materials and flammable or combustible finishes.

Carnivals and fairs. An operational permit is required to conduct a carnival or fair.

Cellulose nitrate film. An operational permit is required to store, handle or use cellulose nitrate film in a Group A occupancy.

Combustible dust-producing operations. An operational permit is required to operate a grain elevator, flour starch mill, feed mill, or a plant pulverizing aluminum, coal, cocoa, magnesium, spices or sugar, or other operations producing combustible dusts as defined in Chapter 2.

Combustible fibers. An operational permit is required for the storage and handling of combustible fibers in quantities greater than 100 cubic feet (2.8 m3).

Exception: An operational permit is not required for agricultural storage.

Compressed gas. An operational permit is required for the storage, use or handling at normal temperature and pressure (NTP) of compressed gases in excess of the amounts listed below.

Exception: Vehicles equipped for and using compressed gas as a fuel for propelling the vehicle.

Permit Amounts for Compressed Gases

Type of Gas

Amount (cubic feet at NTP)

Corrosive

200

Flammable (except cryogenic fluids and liquefied petroleum gases)

200

Highly toxic

Any Amount

Inert and simple asphyxiant

6,000

Oxidizing (including oxygen)

504

Pyrophoric

Any Amount

Toxic

Any Amount

For SI: 1 cubic foot = 0.02832 m3.

Covered and open mall buildings. An operational permit is required for:

1. The placement of retail fixtures and displays, concession equipment, displays of highly combustible goods and similar items in the mall.

2. The display of liquid-fired or gas-fired equipment in the mall.

3. The use of open-flame or flame-producing equipment in the mall.

Cryogenic fluids. An operational permit is required to produce, store, transport on site, use, handle or dispense cryogenic fluids in excess of the amounts listed below.

Exception: Operational permits are not required for vehicles equipped for and using cryogenic fluids as a fuel for propelling the vehicle or for refrigerating the lading.

Permit Amounts for Cryogenic Fluids

Type of Cryogenic Fluid

Inside Building (gallons)

Outside Building (gallons)

Flammable

More than 1

60

Inert

60

500

Oxidizing (includes oxygen)

10

50

Physical or health hazard not indicated above

Any Amount

Any Amount

For SI: 1 gallon = 3.785 L.

Cutting and welding. An operational permit is required to conduct cutting or welding operations within the jurisdiction.

Dry cleaning plants. An operational permit is required to engage in the business of dry cleaning or to change to a more hazardous cleaning solvent used in existing dry cleaning equipment.

Exhibits and trade shows. An operational permit is required to operate exhibits and trade shows.

Explosives, fireworks, and pyrotechnics. An operational permit is required for the storage, handling, sale or use of any quantity of explosive, explosive materials, fireworks, pyrotechnic special effects, or pyrotechnic special effects material within the scope of Chapter 56.

Exception: Storage in Group R-3 or R-5 occupancies of smokeless propellant, black powder and small arms primers for personal use, not for resale, and in accordance with the quantity limitations and conditions set forth in Section 5601.1, exception numbers four and 12.

Explosives, restricted manufacture. An operational permit is required for the restricted manufacture of explosives within the scope of Chapter 56.

Explosives, unrestricted manufacture. An operational permit is required for the unrestricted manufacture of explosives within the scope of Chapter 56.

Fire hydrants and valves. An operational permit is required to use or operate fire hydrants or valves intended for fire suppression purposes that are installed on water systems and accessible to a fire apparatus access road that is open to or generally used by the public.

Exception: An operational permit is not required for authorized employees of the water company that supplies the system or the fire department to use or operate fire hydrants or valves.

Flammable and combustible liquids. An operational permit is required:

1. To use or operate a pipeline for the transportation within facilities of flammable or combustible liquids. This requirement shall not apply to the offsite transportation in pipelines regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOTn) nor does it apply to piping systems.

2. To store, handle or use Class I liquids in excess of 5 gallons (19 L) in a building or in excess of 10 gallons (37.9 L) outside of a building, except that a permit is not required for the following:

2.1. The storage or use of Class I liquids in the fuel tank of a motor vehicle, aircraft, motorboat, mobile power plant or mobile heating plant, unless such storage, in the opinion of the fire official, would cause an unsafe condition.

2.2. The storage or use of paints, oils, varnishes or similar flammable mixtures when such liquids are stored for maintenance, painting or similar purposes for a period of not more than 30 days.

3. To store, handle or use Class II or Class IIIA liquids in excess of 25 gallons (95 L) in a building or in excess of 60 gallons (227 L) outside a building, except for fuel oil used in connection with oil-burning equipment.

4. To remove Class I or Class II liquids from an underground storage tank used for fueling motor vehicles by any means other than the approved, stationary on-site pumps normally used for dispensing purposes.

5. To operate tank vehicles, equipment, tanks, plants, terminals, wells, fuel-dispensing stations, refineries, distilleries and similar facilities where flammable and combustible liquids are produced, processed, transported, stored, dispensed or used.

6. To install, alter, remove, abandon, place temporarily out of service (for more than 90 days) or otherwise dispose of an underground, protected above-ground or above-ground flammable or combustible liquid tank.

7. To change the type of contents stored in a flammable or combustible liquid tank to a material that poses a greater hazard than that for which the tank was designed and constructed.

8. To manufacture, process, blend or refine flammable or combustible liquids.

Floor finishing. An operational permit is required for floor finishing or surfacing operations exceeding 350 square feet (33 m2) using Class I or Class II liquids.

Fruit and crop ripening. An operational permit is required to operate a fruit- ripening or crop-ripening facility or conduct a fruit-ripening process using ethylene gas.

Fumigation, thermal, and insecticidal fogging. An operational permit is required to operate a business of fumigation, thermal, or insecticidal fogging and to maintain a room, vault or chamber in which a toxic or flammable fumigant is used.

Hazardous materials. An operational permit is required to store, transport on site, dispense, use or handle hazardous materials in excess of the amounts listed below.

Permit Amounts for Hazardous Materials

Type of Material

Amount

Combustible liquids

See flammable and combustible liquids

Corrosive materials

Gases

See compressed gases

Liquids

55 gallons

Solids

1000 pounds

Explosive materials

See explosives

Flammable materials

Gases

See compressed gases

Liquids

See flammable and combustible liquids

Solids

100 pounds

Highly toxic materials

Gases

See compressed gases

Liquids

Any amount

Solids

Any amount

Oxidizing materials

Gases

See compressed gases

Liquids

Class 4

Any amount

Class 3

1 gallon a

Class 2

10 gallons

Class 1

55 gallons

Solids

Class 4

Any amount

Class 3

10 pounds b

Class 2

100 pounds

Class 1

500 pounds

Organic peroxides

Liquids

Class I

Any amount

Class II

Any amount

Class III

1 gallon

Class IV

2 gallons

Class V

No permit required

Solids

Class I

Any amount

Class II

Any amount

Class III

10 pounds

Class IV

20 pounds

Class V

No permit required

Pyrophoric materials

Gases

See compressed gases

Liquids

Any amount

Solids

Any amount

Toxic materials

Gases

See compressed gases

Liquids

10 gallons

Solids

100 pounds

Unstable (reactive) materials

Liquids

Class 4

Any amount

Class 3

Any amount

Class 2

5 gallons

Class 1

10 gallons

Solids

Class 4

Any amount

Class 3

Any amount

Class 2

50 pounds

Class 1

100 pounds

Water reactive materials

Liquids

Class 3

Any amount

Class 2

5 gallons

Class 1

55 gallons

Solids

Class 3

Any amount

Class 2

50 pounds

Class 1

500 pounds

For SI: 1 gallon = 3.785 L, 1 pound = 0.454 kg.

a. Twenty gallons when Table 5003.1.1(1) Note k applies and hazard identification signs in accordance with Section 5003.5 are provided for quantities of 20 gallons or less.

b. Two hundred pounds when Table 5003.1.1(1) Note k applies and hazard identification signs in accordance with Section 5003.5 are provided for quantities of 200 pounds or less.

HPM facilities. An operational permit is required to store, handle or use hazardous production materials.

High piled storage. An operational permit is required to use a building or portion thereof as a high-piled storage area exceeding 500 square feet (46 m2).

Hot work operations. An operational permit is required for hot work including, but not limited to:

1. Public exhibitions and demonstrations where hot work is conducted.

2. Use of portable hot work equipment inside a structure.

Exception: Work that is conducted under a construction permit.

3. Fixed-site hot work equipment such as welding booths.

4. Hot work conducted within a hazardous fire area.

5. Application of roof coverings with the use of an open-flame device.

6. When approved, the fire official shall issue a permit to carry out a Hot Work Program. This program allows approved personnel to regulate their facility's hot work operations. The approved personnel shall be trained in the fire safety aspects denoted in this chapter and shall be responsible for issuing permits requiring compliance with the requirements found in this chapter. These permits shall be issued only to their employees or hot work operations under their supervision.

Industrial ovens. An operational permit is required for operation of industrial ovens regulated by Chapter 30.

Lumber yards and woodworking plants. An operational permit is required for the storage or processing of lumber exceeding 100,000 board feet (8,333 ft3) (236 m3).

Liquid-fueled or gas-fueled vehicles or equipment in assembly buildings. An operational permit is required to display, operate or demonstrate liquid-fueled or gas-fueled vehicles or equipment in assembly buildings.

LP-gas. An operational permit is required for:

1. Storage and use of LP-gas.

Exception: An operational permit is not required for individual containers with a 500-gallon (1893 L) water capacity or less or multiple container systems having an aggregate quantity not exceeding 500 gallons (1893 L), serving occupancies in Group R-3.

2. Operation of cargo tankers that transport LP-gas.

Magnesium. An operational permit is required to melt, cast, heat treat or grind more than 10 pounds (4.54 kg) of magnesium.

Miscellaneous combustible storage. An operational permit is required to store in any building or upon any premises in excess of 2,500 cubic feet (71 m3) gross volume of combustible empty packing cases, boxes, barrels or similar containers, rubber tires, rubber, cork or similar combustible material.

Mobile food preparation vehicles. A permit is required for mobile food preparation vehicles equipped with appliances that produce smoke or grease laden vapors.

Exception: Recreational vehicles used for private recreation.

Open burning. An operational permit is required for the kindling or maintaining of an open fire or a fire on any public street, alley, road, or other public or private ground. Instructions and stipulations of the permit shall be adhered to.

Exception: Recreational fires.

Open flames and candles. An operational permit is required to use open flames or candles in connection with assembly areas, dining areas of restaurants or drinking establishments.

Open flames and torches. An operational permit is required to remove paint with a torch, or to use a torch or open-flame device in a wildfire risk area.

Organic coatings. An operational permit is required for any organic-coating manufacturing operation producing more than 1 gallon (4 L) of an organic coating in one day.

Places of assembly. An operational permit is required to operate a place of assembly.

Private fire hydrants. An operational permit is required for the removal from service, use or operation of private fire hydrants.

Exception: An operational permit is not required for private industry with trained maintenance personnel, private fire brigade or fire departments to maintain, test and use private hydrants.

Pyrotechnic special effects material. An operational permit is required for use and handling of pyrotechnic special effects material.

Pyroxylin plastics. An operational permit is required for storage or handling of more than 25 pounds (11 kg) of cellulose nitrate (pyroxylin) plastics and for the assembly or manufacture of articles involving pyroxylin plastics.

Refrigeration equipment. An operational permit is required to operate a mechanical refrigeration unit or system regulated by Chapter 6.

Repair garages and service stations. An operational permit is required for operation of repair garages and automotive, marine and fleet service stations.

Rooftop heliports. An operational permit is required for the operation of a rooftop heliport.

Spraying or dipping. An operational permit is required to conduct a spraying or dipping operation utilizing flammable or combustible liquids or the application of combustible powders regulated by Chapter 24.

Storage of scrap tires and tire byproducts. An operational permit is required to establish, conduct or maintain storage of scrap tires and tire byproducts that exceeds 2,500 cubic feet (71 m3) of total volume of scrap tires and for indoor storage of tires and tire byproducts.

Temporary membrane structures and tents. An operational permit is required to operate an air-supported temporary membrane structure or a tent.

Exceptions:

1. Tents used exclusively for recreational camping purposes.

2. Tents and air-supported structures that cover an area of 900 square feet (84 m2) or less, including all connecting areas or spaces with a common means of egress or entrance and with an occupant load of 50 or less persons.

Tire-rebuilding plants. An operational permit is required for the operation and maintenance of a tire-rebuilding plant.

Waste handling. An operational permit is required for the operation of wrecking yards, junk yards and waste material-handling facilities.

Wood products. An operational permit is required to store chips, hogged material, lumber or plywood in excess of 200 cubic feet (6 m3).

D. 107.3 Application for permit. Application for a permit shall be made on forms prescribed by the fire official.

E. 107.4 Issuance of permits. Before a permit is issued, the fire official shall make such inspections or tests as are necessary to assure that the use and activities for which application is made comply with the provisions of this code.

F. 107.5 Conditions of permit. A permit shall constitute permission to store or handle materials or to conduct processes in accordance with the SFPC and shall not be construed as authority to omit or amend any of the provisions of this code. Permits shall remain in effect until revoked or for such period as specified on the permit. Permits are not transferable.

G. 107.6 Annual. The enforcing agency may issue annual permits for the manufacturing, storage, handling, use, or sales of explosives to any state regulated public utility.

H. 107.7 Approved plans. Plans approved by the fire official are approved with the intent that they comply in all respects to this code. Any omissions or errors on the plans do not relieve the applicant of complying with all applicable requirements of this code.

I. 107.8 Posting. Issued permits shall be kept on the premises designated therein at all times and shall be readily available for inspection by the fire official.

J. 107.9 Suspension of permit. A permit shall become invalid if the authorized activity is not commenced within six months after issuance of the permit or if the authorized activity is suspended or abandoned for a period of six months after the time of commencement.

K. 107.10 Local fees. In accordance with § 27-98 of the Code of Virginia, fees may be levied by the local governing body in order to defray the cost of enforcement and appeals under the SFPC. However, for the city of Chesapeake no fee charged for the inspection of any place of religious worship designated as Assembly Group A-3 shall exceed $50. For purposes of this section, "defray the cost" may include the fair and reasonable costs incurred for such enforcement during normal business hours but shall not include overtime costs, unless conducted outside of the normal working hours established by the locality. A schedule of such costs shall be adopted by the local governing body in a local ordinance. A locality shall not charge an overtime rate for inspections conducted during the normal business hours established by the locality. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a private entity from conducting such inspections, provided the private entity has been approved to perform such inspections in accordance with the written policy of the fire official for the locality.

L. 107.11 State Fire Marshal's office permit fees for explosives, blasting agents, theatrical flame effects, and fireworks. Complete permit applications shall be submitted to and received by the State Fire Marshal's Office not less than 15 days prior to the planned use or event. A $500 expedited handling fee will be assessed on all permit applications submitted less than 15 days prior to the planned use or event. Inspection fees will be assessed at a rate of $60 per staff member per hour during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and at a rate of $90 per hour at all other times (nights, weekends, holidays). State Fire Marshal's Office permit fees shall be as follows:

1. Storage of explosives and blasting agents, 12-month permit $250 first magazine, plus $150 per each additional magazine on the same site.

2. Use of explosives and blasting agents, nonfixed site, 6-month permit $250 per site, plus inspection fees.

3. Use of explosives and blasting agents, fixed site, 12-month permit $250 per site.

4. Sale of explosives and blasting agents, 12-month permit $250 per site.

5. Manufacture explosives (unrestricted), blasting agents, and fireworks, 12-month permit $250 per site.

6. Manufacture explosives (restricted), 12-month permit $20 per site.

7. Fireworks display in or on state-owned property $300 plus inspection fees.

8. Pyrotechnics or proximate audience displays in or on state-owned property $300 plus inspection fees.

9. Flame effects in or on state-owned property $300 plus inspection fees.

10. Flame effects incidental to a permitted pyrotechnics display $150 (flame effects must be individual or group effects that are attended and manually controlled).

Exception: Permit fees shall not be required for the storage of explosives or blasting agents by state and local law enforcement and fire agencies.

M. 107.12 State annual compliance inspection fees. Fees for compliance inspections performed by the State Fire Marshal's office shall be as follows:

1. Nightclubs.

1.1. $350 for occupant load of 100 or less.

1.2. $450 for occupant load of 101 to 200.

1.3. $500 for occupant load of 201 to 300.

1.4. $500 plus $50 for each 100 occupants where occupant loads exceed 300.

2. Private college dormitories with or without assembly areas. If containing assembly areas, such assembly areas are not included in the computation of square footage.

2.1. $150 for 3500 square feet or less.

2.2. $200 for greater than 3500 square feet up to 7000 square feet.

2.3. $250 for greater than 7000 square feet up to 10,000 square feet.

2.4. $250 plus $50 for each additional 3000 square feet where square footage exceeds 10,000.

3. Assembly areas that are part of private college dormitories.

3.1. $50 for 10,000 square feet or less provided the assembly area is within or attached to a dormitory building.

3.2. $100 for greater than 10,000 square feet up to 25,000 square feet provided the assembly area is within or attached to a dormitory building, such as gymnasiums, auditoriums or cafeterias.

3.3. $100 for up to 25,000 square feet provided the assembly area is in a separate or separate buildings such as gymnasiums, auditoriums or cafeterias.

3.4. $150 for greater than 25,000 square feet for assembly areas within or attached to a dormitory building or in a separate or separate buildings such as gymnasiums, auditoriums or cafeterias.

4. Hospitals.

4.1. $300 for 1 to 50 beds.

4.2. $400 for 51 to 100 beds.

4.3. $500 for 101 to 150 beds.

4.4. $600 for 151 to 200 beds.

4.5. $600 plus $100 for each additional 100 beds where the number of beds exceeds 200.

5. Facilities licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services based on licensed capacity as follows:

5.1. $50 for 1 to 8.

5.2. $75 for 9 to 20.

5.3. $100 for 21 to 50.

5.4. $200 for 51 to 100.

5.5. $300 for 101 to 150.

5.6. $400 for 151 to 200.

5.7. $500 for 201 or more.

Exception: Annual compliance inspection fees for any building or groups of buildings on the same site may not exceed $2500.

6. Registered complaints.

6.1. No charge for first visit (initial complaint), and if violations are found.

6.2. $51 per hour for each State Fire Marshal's office staff for all subsequent visits.

7. Bonfires (small and large) on state-owned property.

7.1. For a small bonfire pile with a total fuel area more than 3 feet in diameter and more than 2 feet in height, but not more than 9 feet in diameter and not more than 6 feet in height, the permit fee is $50. If an application for a bonfire permit is received by the State Fire Marshal's office less than 15 days prior to the planned event, the permit fee shall be $100. If an application for a bonfire permit is received by the State Fire Marshal's office less than seven days prior to the planned event, the permit fee shall be $150.

7.2. For a large bonfire pile with a total fuel area more than 9 feet in diameter and more than 6 feet in height, the permit fee is $150. If an application for a bonfire permit is received by the State Fire Marshal's office less than 15 days prior to the planned event, the permit fee shall be $300. If an application for a bonfire permit is received by the State Fire Marshal's office less than seven days prior to the planned event, the permit fee shall be $450.

N. 107.13 Fee schedule. The local governing body may establish a fee schedule. The schedule shall incorporate unit rates, which may be based on square footage, cubic footage, estimated cost of inspection or other appropriate criteria.

O. 107.14 Payment of fees. A permit shall not be issued until the designated fees have been paid.

Exception: The fire official may authorize delayed payment of fees.

P. 107.14.1 State Fire Marshal's office certification and permit fees not refundable. No refund of any part of the amount paid as a permit or certification fee will be made where the applicant, permit or certification holder, for any reason, discontinued an activity, changed conditions, or changed circumstances for which the permit or certification was issued. However, the permit or certification fee submitted with an application will be refunded if the permit or certification is canceled, revoked, or suspended subsequent to having been issued through administrative error, or if a permit being applied for is to be obtained from a locally appointed fire official.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 16, Issue 20, eff. September 15, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 07, eff. January 17, 2001; Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; Errata, 20:1 VA.R. 39 September 22, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 03, eff. November 16, 2005; Volume 24, Issue 14, eff. May 1, 2008; Volume 24, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2008; Volume 27, Issue 02, eff. March 1, 2011; Change in Effective Date, 27:5 VA.R. 533 November 8, 2010; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 12, eff. March 1, 2011; Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; Errata, 30:24 VA.R. 2698 July 28, 2014; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018; Errata, 35:1 VA.R 128 September 3, 2018.

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