The City of Napa has adopted a program to improve our annual fire and life safety inspections at all properties containing three or more dwelling units, hotels, motels, lodging houses, bed and breakfast facilities, and congregate residences. The fire department considers fire and life safety inspections at these types of occupancies to be a benefit to the owners/operators, their tenant and guests. The inspection also addresses unsafe conditions that could result in business interruptions.


How Will This Program Benefit Me? 
Are These Inspections Required?
When Will Inspections Happen?

The Inspection Process....
What Will The Inspector Look For?
Will The Inspector Enter Individual Units?
How Can I Prepare For My Inspection?
How Much Does This Cost?
Why Not Charge Fines Instead Of Fees?
Do Other Businesses Pay Inspection Fees?
Where Can I Get More Information?
Questions Or Comments?
Email and telephone contacts

Additional Information and printable handouts
Residential Inspection Program Informational Brochure
Residential Occupancy Self Inspection Brochure
Information about Licensed Contractors Providing Fire Protection Services in Napa
Emergency Contact form

How will this program benefit me?
Fire and life safety inspections are done to protect property owners and residents from the devastating effects of fire. By promoting a safe living environment in these types of occupancies, the chance for fire decreases.  Fire can kill, disable, destroy property and disrupt lives. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) seventy-nine percent (412,500) of the 524,000 structure fires reported in 2006 occurred in residential properties, including homes, hotels, motels, rooming houses and dormitories; 76% (396,000) occurred in homes. (NFPA uses the term “home” to include one- and two family dwellings, apartments and manufactured housing.) Residential structure fires rose 4% in 2006 from the 381,000 reported in 2005. Four of every five fire deaths resulted from Residential structure fires. Eighty percent (80%) of the 3,245 civilian fire deaths reported in 2006 were caused by residential structure fires.  

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Are these inspections required?
Yes. These inspections must be conducted annually for all properties containing three or more dwelling units, hotels, motels, lodging houses, bed and breakfast facilities, and congregate residences.  . The California Health and Safety Code, Section 13146.2 (a) mandates that the inspections be completed annually while the California Health and Safety Code, Section 13146.2 (b) provides the City legal authority to charge property owners to recover reasonable costs for providing these annual inspections.

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When will these inspections happen?
Inspections are schedule to begin in January 2008. Inspections will be conducted by Fire Prevention Inspectors Monday through Friday during the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Each property is inspected at approximately the same time of year. Large occupancies may be contacted to arrange inspection dates and times in an effort to ensure access to fire system components and facility personnel responsible for their maintenance.  

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The inspection process:
An initial inspection will be conducted by a Fire Inspector. At the conclusion of the inspection a report detailing any violations that need correction will be mailed to the property owner. Violations shall be promptly corrected by the property owner or their representative. A 1st re-inspection will be conducted on or after 30 days of the initial inspection. At this time individual violations will be cleared if corrective action has been taken. If violations still exist, a 2nd re-inspection will be required and additional inspection fees will be charged. 
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What will the Inspector look for?
A typical fire and life safety inspection at these type occupancies include checking for fire hazards specific to access, exiting and exit System components, fire protection equipment, fire extinguishers, storage and housekeeping, and utilities (gas and electric). 

Fire lanes obstructions, Property identification numbers, Key box access and contents, Utilities (gas and electrical service) access, Hydrant access. 
Exit system components including:Exit signs and lightingExit access doors including hardware, function and fitStaircase and railing conditionHallway and/or corridor obstructionsSecurity window bars and gates. 
Utilities (Gas and electric):
Utilities identification, Extension cords, Wire condition and installation. 
Storage and Housekeeping in common areas:
Excessive storage, Hazardous materials storage, Fire Hazard Clearance. 
Fire Protection equipment:
Smoke Detectors, Fire alarm systems, Fire sprinkler systems, Fire extinguishers, Fire protection system signage.
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Will the Inspector enter individual units?
Generally, inspectors will not examine the interior of units.  However, if a renter is home, they may request the inspector check their smoke detector.  Inspectors may check smoke detectors in vacant units if the owner or manager is present and gives consent.   

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How can I prepare for my inspection?
Your property should be maintained in good order.  For example, common areas and exit hallways should be clear of stored items; laundry rooms keptclean; address and unit numbers clearly visible; exit signs well-maintained; hydrants, fire sprinkler systems and utility valves kept clear of vegetation.Fire extinguishers must be serviced and tagged annually by a certified contractor. Smoke detectors and batteries should be checked regularly.Fire sprinkler systems require service every five years and fire alarm systems must be serviced annually.  A self inspection handout is available at the Fire Prevention Division Office. 

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How much does this cost?
The fees vary according to the time required to complete the inspection and reflect the fee needed to recover the costs of the inspection. The current rate used to recover the costs of these inspections is $95.00/hr and will be charged in ½ hour increments. The following estimated charges have been prepared for your information but are subject to change based on the number of inspections required to abate any violations. Inspection hours include field time and office support. 

Occupancy                                 Inspection hours                                    Cost                 
4 unit apartment                                   2                                              $190.00
15 unit apartment                                 3                                              $285.00
100 rm. Hotel/Motel                              7                                              $665.00 

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Why not charge fines instead of fees?
The Fire Department’s goal is to achieve compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.  The purpose is not to penalize property owners, but to educate and gain compliance.  The Fire Department’s ultimate goal is to have citizens living in safe multi-unit dwelling properties.  Funding the program through fines would create an unpredictable revenue source, which might not produce full cost recovery for staffing.  It could also be interpreted as unfairly targeting individual property owners for the sole purpose of bringing in revenues.
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Do other businesses pay inspection fees?
Yes, several types of businesses pay Fire Department inspection fees, which cover the cost of inspections. Fees are charged for the following types of inspections: service stations, restaurants, spray booth operations, woodworking, schools, engine company referrals, and care facilities. Additional information is available at the Fire Prevention Division Office located in the Community Services Building, 1600 First Street, Napa, Ca 94559. Additional information includes self inspection handouts, FAQ’s, and a list of licensed Fire Protection Service Contractors.

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Where can I get more information?
Additional information is available at the Fire Prevention Division Office located in the Community Services Building, 1600 First Street, Napa, Ca 94559. Additional information includes self inspection handouts, FAQ’s, and a list of licensed Fire Protection Service Contractors.  
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Questions or comments?
Feel free to contact the Residential Occupancy Inspection Program Inspectors with any comments or questions: 

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                 By phone: 707-257-9626

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