The cost of preventing fire losses are much less than the potential costs of an actual fire and possible litigation.

Owners need to take an active role in fire prevention. These are ONLY minimal standards. Inspections should be a learning experience and a chance to share information. Playing the game of “gotcha” makes more work for both the owner and inspector. It does not add value to anything. The codes of today are the results of lessons learned from past tragedies involving death or injury of innocent people. Proactive compliance saves the owner hassles from lawsuits and liability-minded individuals. It minimally protects the property investment and saves priceless lives in the end.

Why Inspections?
It is the law. State and local fire codes require that every business receive a fire inspection regularly. These inspections will greatly reduce the occurrence of injury and fire in your business.  

What can I do?
The best way to prepare for your upcoming inspection is to start following the preventative measures section if you are not already, and walk through your business following the commonly found fire code violations pre-inspection check off list, checking off what is in compliance.  

What can I expect?

  • A phone call to set up an inspection date and time that would be convenient for you during business hours.

  • A clearly typed or written inspection report with an explanation of the results with a re-inspection date assigned, if needed.

  • To fully understand the results of your inspection. The inspector is there to help you and will be glad to answer any questions that you may have.  

Preventative Measures 

Good Housekeeping:

  • Keep hallways, corridors, and isles clear of storage and clutter

  • Keep Exit doors clear and free of clutter

  • Do not store combustibles within 36” of a heat producing appliance

  • Remove trash daily  

On the Outside:
  • Keep outside brush and weeds away from building

  • Clear and visible fire lanes

  • Clear and visible street numbers in front and rear

  • Keep fire sprinkler control valves, fire hydrants, and fire department connections accessible. Maintain a 36” clearance to these connections.  

Be Prepared:
  • Post your buildings evacuation plan

  • Know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to use them

  • Avoid blocking or locking exit doors  

Common fire code violations/Pre-inspection checklist
This checklist is designed to help you prepare for your official inspection. Please conduct your own pre-inspection, prior to our visit, utilizing the following checklist, when you have completed it please email include a good contact number so I can call and schedule a time to come out and do an official inspection. You are not required to use this pre-inspection check list but an inspection of your business will be required by a certified fire inspector.  

  • Extension cords cannot be used to provide power to permanent devices. They cannot extend into concealed spaces or travel through walls or doorways. Adding extension cords to a circuit increases resistance and heats up the wires in which fires occur. A store bought circuit breaker strip plug UL listed can be used for minor electrical equipment. 

  • Cover Plates are required on every electrical outlet and light switch.

  • Electrical Panel box must have a clear access path of 36 inches from the panel When a short occurs in an electrical circuit, the energy is hot enough to melt the wire and send a piece of 2000° F molten metal flying across a room. That is a significant fire and injury risk. That is why electrical panels and circuits are confined in grounded metal cases. Bare wires contain the potential energy to release these “fire balls” any time a face plate is missing or a panel is left open. 

  • Combustible storage is not allowed in electrical or HVAC rooms or within 18 inches of any water heater or gas fired appliance.
  • Storage height cannot be stored within 24” of the ceiling in a building without a fire sprinkler system and combustible storage cannot be within 18” of the sprinkler in a fire sprinkled building. High stacked stock can block exit lights and interfere with sprinkler systems. These limits assure minimal function of sprinkler systems and safe exit routes for people.

  • Required fire extinguishers must be a minimum 5 pound, 2A10BC rated extinguisher. It must be mounted in the path of egress no higher than 52 inches to the top of the extinguisher from the floor. Each fire extinguisher must be inspected by a licensed fire extinguisher service company annually to assure continued proper operation. Dry Chem units need to be emptied and refilled every 6 years by the licensed service company and pressurized water units require hydrostatic testing every 5 years.

  • Kitchen hood and duct fire suppression systems above cooking areas shall be inspected and tagged by a licensed service company every 12 months. The filters must be cleaned as often as necessary to remove any grease buildup.  

  • All exit corridors must be maintained clear of any storage or obstructions. No exceptions. Many fatalities occur when exit routes are blocked. Common violations are: furniture in hallways and appliances in stairwell.

  • Exit doors cannot be locked during business hours and cannot have any special knowledge device installed on the door.

  • Exit lights must be operational at all times. Exit signs identify the safest routes out of a building. An exit sign that is defective or burned out will not identify the safe routes of travel, through dark and smoky conditions. Burnt out bulbs should be replaced immediately. New technology in long lasting bulbs and exit signs is available.  

The Waxahachie Fire Prevention Administration Office
407 Water St.
Waxahachie, TX 75165

For questions concerning these guidelines or particular concerns about your business contact

Fire Prevention Offices
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fire Marshal
Brent Fuller

Fire Inspector
Gary Myers