Fire Inspection Tips

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How to Prepare for your Fire Inspection

What to expect during a fire inspection:

The inspection will begin with a visit from a uniformed Hillsboro Fire & Rescue Department Inspector who will evaluate the fire and life safety condition of the premise. In order to properly conduct an inspection, the inspector will need to access all interior and exterior locations. Potential problems, life safety concerns, and fire code violations will be identified during the inspection. The inspector will provide education on any violations found as well as possible corrective solutions.

After the inspection, a fire inspection notice will be mailed or sent via email outlining any necessary corrective actions. A re-inspection for compliance will normally occur in 30 days. Any identified violations must be corrected as soon as possible.

Why does the Fire Department conduct inspections?

There are two general reasons why fire and life safety inspections are conducted:
  1. To ensure that any building in which the general public enters is maintained in a fire safe status.
  2. Fire and life safety inspections provide the owner and occupants of the building an indication of fire and life safety hazards so they may correct the hazards to reduce their liability and potential for loss due to a fire.

Statutory authority is given to the fire department to inspect buildings within their jurisdiction. The fire inspections are conducted under the Oregon Fire Code which has been adopted through the Hillsboro Municipal Code 11.28.010.

The following is a list of common and easily correctable code violations that you can look for to help you pass your fire inspection.

Building Exterior

  • is the address visible from the street or main entrance?
  • Are trash dumpsters at least 5 feet away from buildings?
  • Are fire hydrants and Fire Department Connections (FDC) clear and accessible?

Building Interior

  • Do exit doors open with a single motion with no extra or unapproved locks, latches, bolts, flush bolts or chains?
  • Are obstructions and storage clear from all exits?
  • Are floors, walls or ceilings free from holes or open penetrations?
  • Are doors with self-closing hinges (Fire Doors) maintained in the closed position (not blocked open)?
  • Are exit signs illuminated and visible?


  • Are electrical panels accessible and clear from storage?
  • Are all circuit breakers, electrical panels and electrical room doors labeled?
  • Are power taps or power strips connected directly to permanently installed receptacle(s)?
  • Are extension cords used only for temporary use? 

Fire Extinguishers

  • Is the travel distance from all portions of the building less than 75-ft. to a fire extinguisher?
  • Are fire extinguishers visible and access unobstructed?
  • Have the fire extinguisher(s) been serviced and tagged by a fire extinguisher company within the last 12 months? (required by NFPA 10) 

Fire Suppression and Alarm Systems

  • Have fire sprinklers and fire alarm systems been serviced in the last 12 months and reports submitted to the Fire Department?
  • In commercial cooking applications, has the hood suppression system been serviced in the last six months and is the hood cleaned at intervals to prevent the accumulation of grease?