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The Prevention and Safety team are your resource when you are involved in new construction (residential or commercial), renovations or modifications. We provide guidance to property owners or authorized agents who intend to conduct an operation or business, install or modify systems and equipment that is regulated by the Fire Code, or to cause any such work to be done.
Upon obtaining the required permits (for operation, equipment, use or construction) from the Northwest Fire District, the Prevention and Safety staff conduct inspections and provide other resources to ensure conformance with the previously approved plans.
A permit cannot be issued until the specific plans and specifications have been reviewed and approved by the Northwest Fire District and the Town of Marana or Pima County depending on where your project or business is located.
There are two (2) types of permits that we issue:
Building Safety Into Your Project
Construction permits are required for all new construction and remodels. Construction permits are based on mandatory fire codes and building codes within the Town of Marana or Pima County, depending on where the project is located.
Below are some examples of new construction permit inspections performed:
- Final Inspection Required for CO
- Sprinkler System Rough Inspection*
- Temporary CO Inspection
- Sprinkler System Pressure Test*
- Fire Alarm Inspection*
- Sprinkler Underground*
- Preliminary Inspection
- Sprinkler System Final*
- Fire Suppression System*
- Inspection Fire Pump Start Up*
- Entrance Features
- Water Main Ext./Fire Hydrant Flow Test
- Standpipe* Please pretest these systems before scheduling an inspection.
To request an inspection, please call the NWFD Construction Inspection Line, 520-887-1010, ext. 5051. All inspection requests must be made at least two business days in advance.
Please provide the following information:
- Permit Number
- Exact address including suite number
- Name of project and type of occupancy
- Purpose for requiring an inspection
- A call back phone number, name of company and contact person’s name.
You will receive a confirmation of the date and time slot (morning or afternoon) for your scheduled inspection.
Please ensure that approved plans bearing Northwest Fire District’s stamp are present on the job site. No inspections or tests will be conducted without them.
For More Information
Maintaining Safety in Your Business
Operational permits are based on fire code and are required for conducting an operation, a business or event; or pertaining to processes and materials used on a regular basis. In most cases, operational permits must be renewed annually or for a prescribed period. In either case, a renewal fee must be provided and an on-site inspection will be done.
All state licensed facilities must obtain operational permits. Those facilities include hospitals, assisted living facilities, medical and behavioral health facilities, commercial day care centers and juvenile and foster group homes.
Operational permits are typically considered annual permits that are effective for 12 months from the date of issue (unless otherwise stated on the permit). Once you have a permit in place, we will automatically contact you to renew it in subsequent years. Please contact us if there are any changes that would affect the status of your permit.
Our goal is create a safer community and reduce the impact of fire, loss and injury through fire engineering, fire inspections, education and fire code enforcement. We work to create a partnership with business and property owners. By working cooperatively, we can find solutions and create a safe environment to work and play.
Below are some examples of Operational Permits inspections Performed:
- State Licensed Facilities
- Tents and Membrane Structures
- Seasonal Sales (Christmas Tree, Pumpkins, Valentines, Fireworks etc sale lots)
- Fireworks/Pyrotechnic Displays
- Special Events
Site plans and aerial photographs of the special events, tents, seasonal sales and fireworks display shall be required.
The Northwest Fire District Prevention and Safety Fee Schedule outlines specific fees for plan reviews, inspections, construction permits, operational permits and variance requests.
Please contact us at 887-1010 extension 5000 with questions, concerns or comments. We look forward to hearing from you.
Burn permits within the District are granted by Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ).
Burn Permit Chart
PDEQ Contact Info
Open Burn Guide
|Permit Required by PDEQ||Illegal Burn|
|Residential Occupancies||Outdoor fires with total fuel area less than 3 feet wide and 2 feet high used for:|
- only cooking food
- providing warmth for human beings
- the branding of animals
- the heating of orchards
- the proper disposal of flags
- a religious ceremony
|Outdoor fire with a total fuel area greater than 3 feet wide and 2 feet high|
•Burning of debris, waste, cut vegetation removal
|Burning of garbage or materials considered dangerous or hazardous (i.e.: plastics, synthetics, aerosol cans, household wares etc.)
•Bonfires – large fire usually associated with a crowd
|Commercial Occupancies||Training - Live Fire||•Burn by air curtain|
•Agricultural crop burning
•Debris, cut vegetation burns
Outdoor Fire Regulations
A. Outdoor fires that are illegal:
– Burning of garbage or materials considered dangerous or hazardous (ie: plastics, synthetics, aerosol cans, etcÛ) as the smoke released can cause severe health problems and release unsafe chemicals into the air.
B. Outdoor fires that require a permit:
– Vegetative materials, but not including household waste or prohibited material.
C. Outdoor fires that do not require a permit include those with a total fuel area less than 3 feet wide and 2 feet high used for:
– only cooking food
– providing warmth for human beings
– the branding of animals
– the heating of orchards
– the proper disposal of flags
– a religious ceremony
Outdoor fires that do not require a permit are guided by fire code to ensure the safety of our residents. The NWFD Fire Code that addresses recreational burns is contained below:
Recreational fires shall be in accordance with the NWFD Fire Code Section 307.
- Definition. Recreational Fire is the burning of materials other than rubbish where fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill or barbecue pit and with a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking or similar purposes.
- Section 307.4.2 Recreational fires. Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
- Section 307.5 Attendance. Open burning or recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.
- Maintain a clear and unobstructed fire lane for emergency vehicle access. Keep all fire lane signage or painted curbs maintained for visibility.
- Your portable fire extinguisher(s) need to be easily seen and readily accessible near the path of exiting. They shall not be mounted higher than five feet above the floor. Do not block them with merchandise or storage items. Also, make sure your employees know where the extinguishers are located, and how to use them.
- Fire extinguishers require annual re-certification and tagging by a company licensed in Arizona to provide the service. Companies are listed in your local telephone directory or online.
- Emergency escape out of your business is through the identified exit doors. Do not lock them during business hours. Make sure to keep storage and merchandise clear of the exits at all times. Exit doors required by the building codes with panic hardware installed are not allowed to have deadbolts or other locking devices installed on them.
- Observe and test your exit signs and emergency lighting to verify the bulbs and internal batteries all function properly. Should you lose electricity to the building these lights will automatically operate to assist with safe exiting.
- Poorly maintained electrical wiring, cords and appliances are one of the causes of fires in businesses. Extension cords are allowed for portable appliances or temporary use only and not intended to substitute for permanent wiring needs. Multi-plug outlets must be of an approved type, such as a power strip with a circuit breaker. Make sure all electrical cords are in good condition, without any cuts, nicks, splices, or loose connections.
- Verify that all of the circuit breakers in your electrical panel are labeled and that there are no missing breakers or openings in the panel front.
- Keep the height of storage items at least two feet from the ceiling to allow firefighters better access during interior firefighting. If your business has an automatic fire sprinkler system, this clearance allows for effective distribution of water from the sprinkler head to control a fire.
- Electrical, mechanical, or equipment rooms should be kept free of any combustible materials, including papers, boxes, cleaning materials, rags, etc.
- If you have flammable or combustible liquids in excess of 30 gallons, they must be kept in an approved storage cabinet. Some examples of what can be stored in the cabinet are: cleaning solvents, paints or thinners, adhesives, aerosol spray cans, gasoline or diesel fuel.
- Remove combustible trash from your business as it accumulates to reduce the presence of easily ignitable materials.
- If space heaters are used ensure they are a safe distance away from combustible materials such as cardboard boxes, wastebaskets, etc. Unplug the unit after daily use to ensure it’s off when not needed.
Code Variance Request Form
What the variance request process is:
- A method to approve alternate materials that comply with the intent of the code.
- A method to approve an alternate method of work performed or operation that complies with the intent of the code, at least equivalent to that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.
- A method to approve ways of carrying out the provisions of the code, provided that the intent of the code shall be complied with, public safety secured and substantial justice done.
- A system that allows for Variance Approvals by the Fire Marshal. Please note that any alternate material or method is also subject to approval by the building official whenever the variance involves the Building Code.
- Use of alternate materials or methods may also require third party technical assistance or testing by an agency approved by the District to determine acceptability of the method or materials at no cost to the District.
documentation for variance request
- Obtain a Variance Request Form:
- PDF version of the form is available here.
- Forms may also be picked up at the Northwest Fire District Administration via the Prevention and Safety Division
- Form Submittal Package Should Include:
- Original signed Variance Request for each code subject you are appealing or code for which you are requesting interpretation
- Site plan (if applicable)
- Letter explaining the purpose of variance and your proposed solution
- $341 payment (cash, credit, or check made payable to Northwest Fire District) for review of the request, including research, staff time and possible additional requests for information or meetings with the applicant. The $341.00 payment is non-refundable and does not guarantee the request will be approved.
Decision of Fire Marshal
- Approved with Stipulations – Requires further actionby the Requestor; a recheck date is given to allow time for compliance
- Denied – Please contact the Northwest Fire District (NWFD) Prevention and Safety Division with questions.