Inspection Services

The mission of the Pasadena Fire Department Fire Prevention and Environmental Safety Division is to prevent injury to people and prevent damage to the natural and built environment within the City of Pasadena. We use a customer-centered approach to public education, plan review, code development, and inspections, which is designed to prevent harm to our community. We support the success of all Department employees through sound financial practices, staff support, and personnel services.

The fire department is responsible for the safety and preservation of the built environment. We inspect new buildings for compliance with the plans that were approved to code. We inspect approved changes to existing buildings. We conduct periodic inspections of all business, public assembly, school and multi-family residential occupancies. We also conduct annual brush clearance inspections during the spring and summer.

Candles and Open Flames

The following guidelines are to be adhered to:


Candles
  • The use of candles in any occupancy classified as a public assembly requires a permit.
  • The diameter of the base should be at least one-half the height of the candle.
  • The use of legs is not permitted unless the holder is stable.
  • The flame shall be enclosed, with the following exceptions:
    • Openings on the side shall not be more than 3/8 inch in diameter.
    • Openings on the top shall not exceed two inches in diameter.
    • There shall be a minimum of two inches between the top of the flame and top of the shade of chimney.
  • The candle must be securely attached to the base.
  • The shade or chimney must be securely attached.
  • Any base, attached display, shade or chimney must be of non-combustible materials.
  • Holders shall be constructed to prevent the spilling of wax.
  • A model or picture must be submitted to the Fire Prevention Bureau for approval.
  • The Fire Chief is authorized to halt the use of candles is such candles are determined to constitute a hazardous condition.
  • Candles shall not be left unattended when lit.
  • Hand held candles shall not be permitted.
  • The use of candles may require a standby fire safety officer.
  • Permits are not required for battery operated simulated candles.
Requirements for candles used in religious ceremonies
  • Candles used in churches and similar places of worship shall be limited to areas out of reach by those not associated with the religious ceremony.
  • Candelabra shall be secured in a fashion to prevent being tipped over.
  • Candelabra shall be high enough that clothing cannot come in contact with lit candles.
  • The use of candles may require a standby fire safety officer.
  • Permits are not required for battery operated simulated candles.
Requirements for open flame devices
  • The use of open flame devices in any occupancy classified as a Public Assembly requires a permit.
  • Class I and Class II liquids are prohibited.
  • There shall be no means to adjust the height.
  • Liquid or solid fuel devices must self extinguish when tipped over.
  • All materials within six inches of the open flame device shall be non-combustible.
  • Fuel canisters shall be securely contained within a holder or affixed so as to prevent being tipped over.
  • The use of open flame devices may require a standby fire safety officer.
  • The Fire Chief is authorized to halt the use of open flame is such open flame devices are determined to be a hazard.
  • Open flame devices shall not be left unattended when lit.

Thank you for taking the time to review theses guidelines. Please keep in mind that these are only guidelines and individuals are responsible to check with the Fire Department to obtain all necessary permits and pay any fees. For an open flame permit, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau:

Pasadena Fire Department
Fire Prevention Bureau
175 N. Garfield Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
Map and Directions >>

Special Events Inspector
Ph: (626) 744-7049
Fax: (626) 585-9466

Complaint Inspections

Residents can call the fire department to report any conditions they feel are hazardous and a Complaint Inspection Request will be filled out. If they wish, they may leave their contact information or they may remain anonymous. The time and date of the call are recorded, as well as the name of the person taking the complaint. The caller will be asked to give the address of the complaint location along with a brief description of the conditions they feel pose a fire hazard. The information collected is then faxed to the station that inspects that district.

Procedure:

  • Upon receipt of Complaint Inspection Request form, the station should schedule an inspection based on the request description and ability to complete it. Should the shift on duty not be able to complete the inspection, it should be left for the next shift to complete. (All Complaint Inspection Request should be completed within 7 days)
  • Once the inspection is completed, the ‘Report of Action Taken’ should be filled out, and then signed and dated by the inspector. If needed and available ‘Owner Information’ should obtained. The completed “Complaint Inspection Request Form” should then be sent back to FESD.
  • If a violation is issued, a copy of the violation should be sent with the completed Complaint Inspection Request form to the Fire and Environmental Safety Division.

Proper re-inspection should be completed for all issued violations. If there is non-compliance after the re-inspection is should be referred to the Fire and Environmental Safety Division.

Download the Complaint Inspection Notice

Forms & Standards

Approved test documents are to be submitted to Brycer, The Compliance Engine at www.thecomplianceengine.com

For technical support, please contact Brycer directly: 1 (630) 413-9511

All contractors are responsible to submit NFPA form(s) as proof of maintenance/testing.

NFPA forms can be obtained below. Cover sheet must be included with form(s) submittal to Brycer, The Compliance Engine at www.thecomplianceengine.com

Emergency Responder Radio Coverage

Fire Zone Map

Installation of Commercial Sprinklers

Installation of Residential Sprinklers

Fire Alarm Certification Form

NFPA Form – Continuation Form for Deficiencies & Comments

NFPA Form – Cover Sheet

NFPA Form – Fire Pumps

NFPA Form – Private Fire Main Systems

NFPA Form – Sprinkler System

NFPA Form – Standpipe System

NFPA Form – Water Spray Fixed Systems

NFPA Form – Water Storage Tanks

NFPA Form- Foam Water Sprinkler Systems

PFD Construction Inspection Form

Hazardous Brush Inspections

“Flammable weeds, trees or vegetation” or “flammable vegetation” shall mean those weeds, trees and vegetation which, because of reduced moisture content, concentration or location, are combustible to a degree sufficient to accelerate, spread or intensify a fire. Pasadena Municipal Code Sec. 14.29.020

Standards:

  • Remove all dead trees and keep grasses and weeds mowed within 200 feet of any structure, 10 feet of any combustible fence and 10 feet of any street, alley or driveway, whether publicly or privately owned.
  • All trees within 30 feet of any structure or within 10 feet of any street, alley or driveway, whether publicly or privately owned shall be kept free of combustible ground cover, twigs and braches within 3 feet of the ground. Living evergreen trees are excluded.
  • All trees and shrubs shall be kept free of dead foliage.
  • No vegetation shall be located within 10 feet of any chimney opening, (chimney spark arrester) whether or not the fireplace is in use.
  • The roofs of all structures shall be kept free of twigs, needles, eaves and other combustible foreign matter.
  • A vertical clearance of 5 feet shall be maintained between the roof of any structure and any surrounding foliage.
  • No flammable vegetation will be permitted to cling or be attached. Pasadena Municipal Code Sec. 14.29.040
  • No vegetation shall be permitted to grow over any street or alley less than a height of 13.5 feet from the edge of the street or alley. Pasadena Municipal Code Sec. 14.29.040
  • All address numbers shall be no less than 4 inches high and 2 inches wide and will not be hidden from view by trees, bushed or shrubs. Pasadena Municipal Code Sec. 14.20.040
  • It is unlawful for any person to maintain property in such a manner that the following conditions exist: The accumulation of litter, salvage materials, discarded furniture, the storage of dismantled non-operational vehicles and nuisances that are dangerous to children. Pasadena Municipal Code Sec. 14.50.040
  • Street numbers, abandoned vehicles and discarded junk are common problems found when conducting brush surveys. Familiarize yourself with the Online Municipal Code

Downloads:

Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map

Hazardous Vegetation Inspection Notice

Hazardous Vegation Brochure

High Rise Inspections

High-rise structure

Every building of any type of construction or occupancy having floors used for human occupancy located more than 75 feet above the lowest floor level having building access, except buildings used as hospitals as defined in H&S Code Section 1250.

Existing High-Rise Structure

A high-rise structure, the construction of which is commenced or completed prior to July 1, 1974.

New High-Rise Structure

A high-rise structure, the construction of which is commenced on or after July 1, 1974.

High-Rise Building Access

An exterior door opening conforming to all of the following:

  1. Suitable and available for fire department use.
  2. Located not more than 2 feet above adjacent ground level.
  3. Leading to a space, room or area having foot traffic communication capabilities with the remainder of the building.
  4. Designed to permit penetration through the use of fire department forcible entry tools and equipment unless other approved arrangements have been made with the fire authority having jurisdiction.

Life Safety Surveys

LIFE SAFETY SURVEYS

All Pasadena Fire companies will conduct Fire Life Safety Inspection every 60 days or as conditions warrant such as holidays and special events. Each shift shall list all “A” occupancies inspections on their Monthly Activity Report Form PFD2004MAR.

The fire company will also complete the Life Safety Survey Form PFD2004LSS as part of their inspection. The Life Safety Survey Form will by kept with the station/shift fire prevention files.

Download the Life Safety Survey Inspection Notice below:

Life Safety Inspection Notice

Nuisance Alarm Inspections

Goal:

  • To reduce and work to eliminate unwanted and unnecessary fire system activations.
  • Discretion of company officer

Description:

The purpose of the Nuisance Alarm Program is to encourage business owners and fire alarm companies to properly use and maintain the operational effectiveness of fire alarm systems in order to improve the reliability and reduce or eliminate nuisance alarms. This program governs fire alarm systems intended to summon fire department personnel. It gives the fire department the ability to assess a fee for excessive false alarms and nuisance alarms within a calendar year.

A false alarm or nuisance alarm means the activation of any fire alarm system, which results in the response by the fire department, caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, malicious intent, improper installation, lack of proper maintenance or any response for which the fire department personnel are unable to determine the apparent cause of the fire alarm activation. In addition, it covers responses caused by negligent action on the part of building occupants, owners, security personnel, maintenance workers or other contact workers hired by the building owners or occupants.

No fee shall be assessed for the first three (3) false alarms at the same premise responded to by the fire department during each calendar year. Thereafter, the owner shall pay a fee that has been mandated by the City of Pasadena City Council.

Procedures: Fire False Alarm or Nuisance Fire Alarm

  1. In the event the on scene fire official deems the activation of the fire alarm system a false alarm or nuisance alarm, the building owner or responsible party shall be served with a Notice of Nuisance Alarm.
    • If for any reason, the building owner or responsible party is not present at the time of activations the fire company shall conduct a follow up inspection to the location during normal business hours to meet with the building owner or responsible party.
    • The Notice of Nuisance Alarm should include:
    • Correct Location of Alarm
    • Incident Number
    • Time of Alarm
    • Fire Company Responded
    • Type of Alarm NFIRS Codes
    • Brief Narrative
    • Signature of Company Officer
  2. Notice of Nuisance Alarm. Routing
    • Copy to owner/responsible party/left on scene
    • Copy to Fire Company Station File
    • Copy sent to Fire and Environmental Safety Division

Download the Nuisance Alarm Inspection Notice below:

Nuisance Alarm Inspection Notice

Occupancy Types

  • A occupancies
  • B occupancies in buildings not classified as high-rise (under 75 feet)
  • E occupancies
  • H occupancies
  • I occupancies
  • M occupancies in buildings not classified as high-rise (under 75 feet)
  • R occupancies (R-1 only) in buildings not classified as high-rise (under 75 feet)

Download a detailed list of Occupancy Types below:

Occupancy Types in Detail

OCCUPANCY NOTIFICATIONS

January 2008 – Residential Inspection Fee Notification

January 2007 – Business & Mercantile Occupancies Fee

OCCUPANCY FORMS

‘A’ Occupancy Inspection Forms

‘B, M & R’ Occupancy Inspection Forms

Inspection Notifications

All fees represented in this calculation work sheet are for fire department plan review only and do not include permit fees for the project. For permit fees, contact (626) 744-6885 and request the total fire department fee amounts for your project.

Click here to view Fee Schedule

Knox Box

Property owners wanting to provide access for the Fire Department may purchase and install one of many difference secure key boxes, known as Knox Boxes.  In certain circumstance, property owners may be required to provide a Knox Box for their property.  In the past, individuals wanting to purchase Knox Rapid Entry System products were required to obtain a signed form from the Pasadena Fire Dept.  Now, property owners in Pasadena are allowed to use Knox’s online eApproval process from any web browser.

It’s as easy as:

Step 1 – Visit www.knoxbox.com .  Select the GREEN ShoppingCart / Place Order link.
Step 2 – Select the product series category from the menu on the left.
Step 3 – Enter “Pasadena F” in the Department search field and select “Pasadena Fire Department” from the returned list.
Step 4 – Select product for purchase, enter installation address, and proceed with checkout or eApproval.

Once you submit your order for eApproval, the request will be forwarded to the Pasadena Fire Department where it will be reviewed.  If it is denied, you will receive an explanation.  If it is approved, you will continue to complete and pay for the order.  Once you receive and install your Knox product, gather an extra key or keys and contact Fire Prevention at 626-744-4288 for an appointment to lock your keys securely in the Knox Box, where they will remain safe and secure until needed by the Fire Department during an emergency.

Special Events

To apply for a special event permit, please submit a completed application two weeks prior to the event date.

Applications are to be submitted to Jenny Martinez at jmartinez@cityofpasadena.net

Outdoor Dining

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of businesses while granting them the ability to temporarily expand into approved outdoor areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Any business seeking to expand its operating area with the use of the sidewalk, parklet, alley, private property or street dining shall apply through the City of Pasadena’s re-opening permit portal. Please note that the use of a tent, canopy or propane requires an additional application and fire permit prior to the usage of such.

Outdoor Tent Guidelines

Re-Opening Permit Portal