In Sandy Springs, the commercial building permitting process is streamlined to make the process easier for developers and property owners. A plan review and inspection by the Fire Marshal’s office is part of that process.
Applying for a Fire Plan Review and Inspection
The Sandy Springs Fire Department evaluates all new and renovation construction projects for code compliance in the following areas:
- Site and zoning plans
- Architectural plans
- Fire sprinkler plans
- Fire alarm plans
- Alternate fire suppression systems
The review of site plans examines emergency vehicle access and fire hydrant location. Building construction (new and renovation) plan review checks for compliance pertaining to the NFPA Codes and Standards which includes the Life Safety Code, the rules and regulations of the 2012 International Fire Code with State of Georgia Amendments, the International Fire Code and any applicable City Ordinance. Plans for fire sprinkler protection systems are reviewed for all buildings where required in both commercial and multifamily residential applications. Fire plan reviews are conducted concurrently with site and building submittals (no separate submittal is required). Fire alarm and fire sprinkler shop drawings are reviewed at a later time.
Site and architectural plans are reviewed by the Fire Marshal’s office concurrently with the Building and Development Division of the Sandy Springs Department of Community Development. Drawings submitted to the Building and Development Division are routed internally to the Fire Marshal’s office.
Plan Submittal Requirements
All building plans must bear the seal of a Georgia registered architect or engineer, unless exempted by State Law. When a variance or waiver of compliance with the state minimum fire safety standards is requested, the designer is required to adhere to procedures. If the designer or contractor believe that the codes are misapplied or misconstrued, he or she may seek an appeal to the Board of Appeals as permitted by the City of Sandy Springs Ordinance.
Plan review by the Fire Marshal’s office usually takes three to five business days. Code violations are identified in the Letter of Permit Requirements (LOPR) that is issued by the Building and Development Division through e-mail correspondence. Upon submission of corrected drawings, their office will contact the submitter to arrange pick up of the approved drawings.
The fee for building plan review and inspection is included in the building permit application. There is no fee for sprinkler or fire alarm drawings if the work is associated with a previously permitted building project.
During the construction or renovation process the fire department requires inspections to ensure conformity to the approved plans and compliance to all applicable codes and ordinances. A fire department inspector conducts an on-site inspection at least twice: at the 80 percent stage and then at 100 percent completion of the project. At final inspection, the contractor shall have the listed documents as applicable. Normally, we will perform an inspection the day following the request. If a project fails an inspection, we will schedule another time to re-inspect. Once a project passes the final inspection, a certificate of occupancy is issued from the Community Development office. The inspections are not sequential with the building department.
Currently the Fire Marshal’s Office is enforcing the following codes and standards:
- 2012 Life Safety Code with State of Georgia Amendments
- 2012 International Fire Code with State of Georgia Amendments
- All applicable National Fire Protection Association Standards and Rules and Regulations of the Safety Fire Commissioner as adopted by the State of Georgia
The types of fire inspections are:
- Site Inspections: Periodically, an inspector will visit the site to inspect for fire department access and fire hydrant access and location.
- New construction: Conducted when any type of construction has taken place in an existing building or a new building. Within this category there may be several types of inspections conducted.
- 80 percent: Inspection of fire rated assemblies (where applicable), plenum spaces, firestopping, etc. before the ceiling is installed. A complete set of approved plans (including fire sprinkler and alarm plans) and specifications shall be maintained on the construction site at all times.
- 100 percent: When all work is complete. This inspection must be scheduled upon completion of all building inspections conducted by Community Development. All appropriate paperwork must be presented to the inspector.
- Sprinkler system – 80 percent: Inspection of piping, hangers and head spacing and valves before the ceiling is installed.
- Sprinkler system – 100 percent: Installation is complete, all acceptance tests have been conducted by the sprinkler contractor, above ground and underground materials test certificates (where applicable) have been provided to the inspector and the system monitoring is operational and tested.
- Annual: Conducted on existing buildings and individual tenant spaces within the City of Sandy Springs. During this inspection any code violations that are noted will be communicated to a representative of the business. This is accomplished with a written form that is left with the business.
- Special / Courtesy / Complaint: Conducted any time a suspected fire or life safety hazard is reported to our office. These inspections include hazardous condition of an occupancy representing an immediate threat to life safety (i.e. assembly overcrowding, blocked exits, compromised fire protection and detection systems, etc).
- Fixed suppression systems, fire alarms and grease hoods: These components are inspected to ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards. The Fire Marshal’s Office requires certification letters and/test documentation on the following:
- Sprinkler installation or alteration,
- Fire alarms
- Commercial cooking hoods
- Underground and above ground piping
- Fixed fire suppression systems
To schedule a fire inspection, please call the Fire Marshal's Office New Construction Inspections Request Line at 770-206-4362