Annual Fire Inspections

The Forsyth County Fire Department is responsible for enforcing the regulations of the 2006 North Carolina Fire Code and ordinances adopted by the County of Forsyth. The jurisdictional area covers all schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System and all businesses, institutions, assemblies and multi-family dwellings outside of the town limits of Kernersville and the City of Winston-Salem.

It is the goal of the Forsyth County Fire Department to inform and assist the property owner and citizens with information and guidance in order to comply with the various Fire and Lifesafety Codes and Regulations. The intent of the regulations is to provide a reasonable level of safety to the property owner, occupants, general public and our emergency responders. The inspection also serves to maintain our Emergency 9-1-1 data base for fire and medical emergencies. Maintaining this level of safety has a positive affect on our economy and quality of life.

The employees who perform fire inspections must maintain annual competencies and are sworn to uphold State regulations. But more importantly, these individuals are your neighbors and fellow citizens that are fire service professionals who regularly see the injuries, deaths, property loss and financial burdens created by fire and other hazards that are so often easily preventable. In order to assist you in complying with Fire Code issues, we have listed various information, common hazards and helpful hints that will enhance your protection and increase the efficiency of your annual inspection. You may contact us at 336-703-2550 during the regular office hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may also contact us using this form.

Common Hazards and Violations

  • Exits and Overcrowding are a major concern. Throughout history improper exits and occupancy have resulted in large loss of life. Designated exits must be unlocked, unobstructed and marked. This includes the path to the exit and the discharge on the exterior. Exit signs and lights must be in proper working order. Buildings are designed and permitted for certain occupancy and number of people. The occupancy limits must be adhered to. Venues of entertainment, places of assembly and dining are subject to spot inspections due to the serious threat that overcrowding creates. Severe fines, closure and legal actions may result even for initial violations.
  • Fire extinguishers must be present, mounted in a visible location and unobstructed. Fire extinguishers must be inspected and tested annually by a qualified service company and display a current tag to indicate same.
  • Extension cords may not be used in place of a need for proper permanent wiring. Extension cord use is limited to filling a need to power a temporary portable appliance or device while in use and the cord must be of proper size to handle the load. Extension cords may not be attached to the structure or run through walls, floors or floor coverings. Cords may not be subject to physical or environmental damage.
  • If you have required emergency power failure lighting, you must inspect and test the devices monthly and perform a 90 minute annual test for battery life. This document must be available for the Fire Inspector.
  • If you have a fire alarm system or a fire sprinkler/ suppression system, the systems must be maintained and tested by a qualified service company annually.The documents must be available for the Fire Inspector. Please assure that your Fire/Security Alarm Monitoring Company has current information for your property and the appropriate contact numbers.
  • If you have a Fire Department emergency access “Knox Box keybox” please assure the keys contained within are current and contact our office if changes are made to your locks.
  • If you make alterations, additions or deletions to your walls, doors, plumbing, heating, ventilation, electrical, etc. you should obtain permits through the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Inspections Division. This includes changes in the use or purpose of the property.