How Fire & Life Safety Codes are Adopted and Enforced

These rules and regulations are adopted under Chapter 120-3-3 "Rules and Regulations of the Safety Fire Commissioner" and known as "Rules and Regulations for the State Minimum Fire Safety Standards." Other 120 Rules are also adopted for specific areas of fire safety code adoption and enforcement. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and the International Fire Code (IFC) are adopted under these 120 rules. According to 25-2-4 O.C.G.A., these codes have;

“Such rules and regulations shall have the force and effect of law and shall have state-wide application as being the state minimum fire safety standards” and shall not require adoption by a municipality or county. The governing authority of any municipality or county in this state is authorized to enforce the state minimum fire safety standards on all buildings and structures.

The City of Perry has adopted these state minimum standards, local enforcement comes from the City of Perry Fire Marshal’s Office. The Fire Marshal interprets, applies and enforces all Fire Safety Standards, Codes and Ordinances for the protection of all residents and visitors of the City of Perry.

Title 25, Chapter 2, of the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) allows the Safety Fire Commissioner of Georgia to adopt rules and regulations to promote fire safety. The primary task of the Fire Marshal's Office (FMO) is enforcing these "Rules and Regulations for the State Minimum Fire Safety Standards" as adopted by the State Fire Commissioner.

Based on Title 25, Chapter 2 O.C.G.A., the FMO has three major responsibilities:
1. Conduct fire & life safety inspections of existing buildings and structures.
2. Review plans and specifications for proposed buildings and structures, issue joint building permits with the Building Departments when plans are approved, and conduct fire & life safety inspections of such buildings and structures.
3. Issue joint Certificates of Occupancy with the Building Department when all appropriate inspections have been approved.

The City of Perry Fire Marshal's Offices conducts inspections and plan reviews utilizing adopted standards, codes and ordinances to ensure:
1. Potential fire and life safety hazards are identified and mitigated.
2. Reliable egress for occupants from structures.
3. Fire protection and life safety systems are installed and maintained to operate in an effective manner.
4. Buildings are accessible and "user-friendly" to aid responding fire crews to quickly mitigate any fire or life safety emergency.
5. Areas for new development or redevelopment are arranged and constructed to support the life safety and property preservation of all persons within its boundaries and for public safety access to mitigate emergencies.

Enforcement of fire and life safety codes begins with education, highlighting life safety dangers during onsite inspections and at pre-construction meetings with developers and business owners. During the plan review process blueprints and drawing are compared to code standards and ordinance requirements, items not compliant are documented and returned to architects and designers to make corrections before construction permits are approved. Enforcement actions can escalate to fines and court appearances to lastly work stoppages, business closures and revocation of business licenses or certificates of occupancy and the removal of utilities.

If you want to report potential fire and life safety problems, need information, have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the City of Perry Fire Marshal's Office at (478) 988-2759 or e-mail Michael.paull@perry-ga.gov.