Business Safety Inspections

Jessica Power, Petaluma Fire Marshal

To protect you and your customers, Petaluma inspects new and relocating businesses for several safety standards before issuing a business license.   To be sure that your business is safe, an inspector may need to visit your business before a business license is issued.  City inspectors will look for minimum requirements that protect you and your employees and allow easy access to your business for emergency responders.

As the City’s Fire Marshal, it is my job to keep the community safe.

See the list below for a list of items that are on the top of the Business License Inspection Check List.

Building Address

Your building address must be clearly visible from the street, including the suite number or letter printed on the door.  In multiple tenant buildings, all rear doors must also be identified.

Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher 2A-10BC (minimum size) mounted no higher than 5 ft. on a clearly identifiable wall with an identifying sign mounted above.  One extinguisher is required for every 3000 sq. ft. and  / or one for every 75 ft. of travel.

Walls, Celings & Floors

There shall be no holes or open areas permitted in walls, ceilings, floors, or celing tiles.  In addition, ceiling tiles must be in place as designed.

Extension Cords

The use of extension cords is prohibited; if there is a need to extend power to a location, an approved surge protector can be used.  If one does not reach the location, a new receptacle may be needed. (A permit is required for all new electrical work.)

Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets in bathrooms or within 6 feet of any water source must be GFCI recepticles.

All electrical outlet panels must have cover plates and all knock-outs must be covered (no tape) and no exposed wiring is permitted.

Electrical Panel

The area in front of the electrical panel (breaker box) must remain clear at all times.

Exit Signs

Exit signs must be installed over doors that exit directly to the exterior of the building (illuminated signs are not required unless your type of business requires them). Exit doors and paths must be kept clear at all times.  Double-keyed cylinder locks cannot be used for required exit doors.

An existing sign over the front entrance door that reads: “DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED DURING BUSINESS HOURS” is required.  If a new sign is needed it should read: “THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED WHEN BUILDING IS OCCUPIED,” in letters 1 inch high on a contrasting background.

Additional Requirements

There may be additional requirements if your business is consider a place of assembly (50 or more person occupancy). In such cases, the building department will determine these requirements.

If you business requires an extension from the Health Department, you will need to contact them directly by email or phone at 707-565-6565.

Any new construction or remodeling may require a separate building permit; contact the building department for more info at  707-778-4301.



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