City of Winston-Salem Fire Marshal’s Office
The Winston-Salem Fire Marshal’s Office conducts annual fire inspections of all occupancies in Winston-Salem (excluding one- and two-family dwellings) to ensure these properties comply with the NC Fire Prevention Code which addresses hazards and life-safety issues which can endanger business owners, employees, patrons, and firefighters. These properties include, businesses, hospitals, restaurants, day cares, group homes, churches, LJVM Coliseum, and Wake Forest University, just to name a few. Inspectors document violations and inform the responsible party on how to correct the violation. Life-safety violations must be corrected immediately. Other types of violations must be corrected within ten business days. The fire inspector then re-inspects the property to ensure the violations have been corrected.
The Fire Marshal’s Office assists with the investigation of fires. If the cause of a fire cannot be determined, is suspicious, or involves a fatality, a fire investigator will assist with the investigation. The staff members rotate on-call responsibilities, providing accessibility 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Fire Marshal’s Office consists of 10 fire investigators, 3 fire inspectors, one Deputy Fire Marshal and One Fire Marshal. The Winston-Salem Fire Marshal’s Office is also privileged to have a K-9, (a black Labrador Retriever) and an Investigation Response Team. The K-9 has been trained to detect fuels commonly used to accelerate fires.
The Fire Marshal’s Office issues permits and conducts inspections for various kinds of hazardous events around the city. These events include: open-flame-producing devices such as flame dancers, floating candles on tables, or Raku pottery firing, bonfires, blasting operations, removal /abandonment of combustible liquid tanks, burns used by the fire department for training exercises, haunted houses, all gasoline-powered vehicles, such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, etc., that are placed inside a building, all pyrotechnic displays, indoors and outdoors, and tents having an area in excess of 200 square feet or a canopy in excess of 400 square feet. They also inspect every cooking booth at the Dixie Classic Fair.
The Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for reviewing new and up fit construction plans to ensure they are designed in compliance with the NC Fire Prevention Code. They also review fire protection equipment plans such as fire alarm, sprinkler, and extinguishing systems for accuracy and compliance prior to their installation. When construction and installation of fire protection equipment are complete, the property is given a final inspection to ensure that all fire protection equipment works properly, all exits are properly marked, emergency lighting works, fire extinguishers are in place, address posted properly, secured key boxes are installed, and etc.
Robert Owens, CFI
Fire Prevention Staff