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Annual Business Inspections and Preplans

Milton Fire Department representatives will visit your business at least twice per calendar year.  During the course of the year, we will be conducting:

  • Annual Business Safety Inspections; and

  • Pre-incident planningM/p>

Although both are coordinated by the Fire Marshal’s Office, these seemingly similar activities have very different purposes.

Both of these activities are mandated by both codes and insurance standards (and the Fire Marshal’s Office receives regular calls from insurance companies on business code compliance and inspections).

Business Safety Inspection

Each commercial/public occupancy and certain types of residential occupancies must have annual inspections according to city ordinance and the state fire code. 

The fire code is generally set at the state level, and includes portions of the International Fire Code, the Life Safety Code, and several codes that specifically address fire sprinklers, fire alarms, electrical safety, hazardous materials, and other specialized standards.

These annual Business Safety Inspections are conducted by a representative of the Fire Marshal’s Office.  Milton’s Inspectors are state and nationally certified and must maintain their knowledge of building and fire codes through an annual continuing education program.

Most often, any issues that need to be addressed by the business owner — including possible code violations — are outlined by the inspector to the business representative. The business owner is encouraged to voluntarily come into compliance, because our first and foremost concern is the safety of the community.

Should any violations of the fire code be discovered during your inspection (that do not pose an immediate risk to health and safety of the community), your inspector may propose a follow-up to the initial inspection. This will allow the business to correct the problem.  In some cases, citations or temporary closure of the business may be required if there are repeat violations of the safety codes. However, the Milton Fire-Rescue Department will always try to work with the community member to ensure safety, leaving enforcement as a last option.

During inspections, some basic things we look at include:

  • Current inspection tags on fire extinguishers (must be recertified annually)
  • Current inspection tags on fire sprinkler riser, if you have one in your business (must be recertified annually)
  • Current testing/inspection on an alarm system, if you have one in your business (must be recertified annually)
  • Current testing/inspection on a fire pump and emergency generator, if you have one in your business (must be recertified annually)
  • Current testing/inspection on a kitchen hood vent for restaurants (annually)
  • Sprinkler heads cannot be obstructed or have any items within 18 inches of the deflector
  • All exit lights and emergency lights must be working (in many cases, there is a test button to check this)
  • Electrical closets must be clear and not used for storage
  • Electrical wiring must be safe
  • Exits cannot be blocked or locked during business hours
  • Exit hallways and aisles cannot be blocked

These are the primary items we look at, though the inspector may also address any other safety hazard addressed by the state minimum fire safety code.

Annual Pre-Incident Plans

In addition to inspections, our firefighters conduct preplans of all commercial business in the community. 

This visit will be conducted by a fire engine in your area.  These are also usually the firefighters who will be first on scene of any emergency at your business. 

They are not there to conduct a formal inspection, but instead, they are there to familiarize themselves with the layout and hazards in our community.  That way, if you have an emergency, they do not have to try to take time trying to figure out where the doors are, where your alarm and sprinkler controls are, where any hazardous materials are located, and so on, instead of dealing with your emergency.

Knowing our business community helps them to serve you better when there is a fire or medical emergency and seconds count.  It also keeps our firefighters safe.


Name Position Contact
Capt. Johnny Gomez Public Education Coordinator
Alex Fortner Fire Marshal