North Carolina Fire Prevention Code Requirements

The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal's Office is the authority having jurisdiction for the towns of Pineville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson, their unincorporated areas, and the Charlotte Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Properties and areas located within the city limits of Charlotte are serviced by the Charlotte Fire Department, which is a separate agency and Fire Marshal jurisdiction.

The fire code currently enforced is the 2018 North Carolina Fire Prevention Code , which is the 2015 International Fire Code (IFC) with NC amendments.

The fire code is applicable to all new and existing commercial properties, with the exception of single and two family dwellings.

Fire inspection intervals are set forth as mandated by the fire code depending on occupancy use and hazard.

While the fire code is comprised of many detailed fire and life safety requirements as specific to various occupancy classifications, there are many fire code requirements that are frequently common and applicable to most commercial properties.

Please reference this inspection check sheet for some of these requirements and to help you prepare for your next inspection:

The following is a list of common violations observed and/or cited during a routine fire inspection:

  • Fire extinguishers not provided, not serviced annually, not properly mounted, or obstructed.

  • Exit signs not illuminated, or emergency lights not properly working in power failure mode.

  • Fire alarm and/or fire sprinkler systems not being serviced annually, or discovered to be impaired.

  • Commercial cooking equipment not protected by code compliant commercial exhaust hood and automatic fire suppression system, both of which are required to be serviced every six-months.

  • Marked exits being obstructed or blocked and/or improper means of egress.

  • Excessive use of temporary extension cords and/or multi-plug power strips.

Apartment and condo buildings with common exit areas are considered commercial (multi-family) properties and are therefore subject to the requirements of the fire code, however individual living or dwelling units cannot be inspected unless the owner and/or tenant would like to have their living unit inspected by a Fire Marshal. The fire code is only applicable to the common areas within these buildings.

The fire code generally prohibits storage or use of open flame devices, grills, or 20-lb propane cylinders on or within 10' of any combustible balconies or patios, with some exceptions for buildings with decks or balconies protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system. Please contact the Fire Marshal's Office for additional information or see frequently asked questions for Grills and heaters in apartments and condos.


If you have any questions regarding Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal inspections, please contact us at:  

Phone: (980) 314-3070 

Email: [email protected]