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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

13VAC5-51-91. Section 109 Inspection.

A. 109.1 Inspection. The fire official may inspect all structures and premises for the purposes of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire, contribute to the spread of fire, interfere with firefighting operations, endanger life, or any violations of the provisions or intent of the SFPC.

Exception: Single family dwellings and dwelling units in two family and multiple family dwellings and farm structures shall be exempt from routine inspections. This exemption shall not preclude the fire official from conducting routine inspections in Group R-3 or Group R-5 occupancies operating as a commercial bed and breakfast as outlined in Section 310.2 of the USBC or inspecting under § 27-98.2 of the Code of Virginia for hazardous conditions relating to explosives, flammable and combustible conditions, and hazardous materials.

B. 109.1.1 Right to entry. The fire official may enter any structure or premises at any reasonable time to inspect subject to constitutional restrictions on unreasonable searches and seizures. If entry is refused or not obtained, the fire official may pursue recourse as provided by law.

Note: Specific authorization and procedures for inspections and issuing warrants are set out in §§ 27-98.1 through 27-98.5 of the Code of Virginia and shall be taken into consideration.

C. 109.1.2 Credentials. The fire official and technical assistants shall carry proper credentials of office when inspecting in the performance of their duties under the SFPC.

D. 109.2 Coordinated inspections. The fire official shall coordinate inspections and administrative orders with any other state and local agencies having related inspection authority, and shall coordinate those inspections required by the USBC for new construction when involving provisions of the amended IFC so that the owners and occupants will not be subjected to numerous inspections or conflicting orders.

Note: The USBC requires the building official to coordinate such inspections with the fire official.

E. 109.3 Other inspections. In accordance with § 9.1-207 of the Code of Virginia, the State Fire Marshal, upon presenting proper credentials, shall make annual inspections for hazards incident to fire in all (i) residential care facilities operated by any state agency, (ii) assisted living facilities licensed or subject to licensure pursuant to Chapter 18 (§ 63.2-1800 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia which are not inspected by a local fire marshal, (iii) student-residence facilities owned or operated by the public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth, and (iv) public schools in the Commonwealth which are not inspected by a local fire marshal. In the event that any such facility or residence is found to be nonconforming to the SFPC, the State Fire Marshal or local fire marshal may petition any court of competent jurisdiction for the issuance of an injunction.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 20, eff. September 15, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 3, eff. November 16, 2005; Volume 24, Issue 14, eff. May 1, 2008; Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018; Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. July 1, 2021.

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