Fire Marshal's Office

In This Section

    A person working within the Fire Marshal’s Office is no longer someone who just attempts to prevent fires. What was once made up of former firefighters who provided only fire prevention inspections in the city’s business areas has now become a complex division, which provides many aspects of emergency and non-emergency services. To meet today’s standards, our personnel must be trained in many fields and must be proficient in many areas of technical expertise and customer service.

    Over the years we have become responsible for providing more diverse services. These different levels of service were dictated by the rapid growth in our business community and the cost-effective use of limited city resources.

    A few of the public safety services provided are:

    • Fire Prevention Periodic Inspections
    • Fire Code Enforcement
    • Fire/Arson Investigations
    • Hazardous Materials Management
    • Public Fire & Life Safety Education
    • New Construction Inspections
    • Site Development and Public Fire Safety Planning
    • Training for Pre-incident Response
    • Fire Suppression/Rescue Operational Fill-in

    These duties are provided within three sub-sections. These include Administration, Fire Inspections, and Fire/Arson Investigations.

    Division Administration

    Division Chief Joe Meadows provides the day to day supervision of the division’s personnel. He is responsible for administering the programs assigned to this division, including the implementation, administration and enforcement of the provisions of the NC State Fire Prevention Code. Requirements that are essential for the public safety of an existing or proposed activity, building or structure, or for the safety of the occupants, which are not specifically provided for by the fire code are determined by the fire marshal or his designee. He is also delegated with the authority to render interpretations of the city fire protection ordinance, and to adopt policies, procedures, rules and regulations in order to clarify the application of its provisions and the State Fire Code as well. His office is located at 100 Court Plaza in the Headquarters Station 1.

    Fire Prevention Inspections

    This section is supervised by Deputy Fire Marshals (DFM), geographically assigned into Battalion areas, with a staff of Assistant Fire Marshals working under them.

    Their Assistant Fire Marshals (AFM) are responsible for conducting periodic fire prevention inspections, as established by the NC Office of State Fire Marshal for existing premises, as well as new construction permit inspections. Asheville City Council adopted a fee schedule for periodic fire inspections. These fees are based on a cost recovery basis. Each assistant fire marshal conducts fire inspections of every commercial premise located within the City of Asheville. Inspections are also conducted for Certificates of Compliance for altered existing structures, new construction, or those buildings with new occupants. Confidence or acceptance testing of fire protection and life safety systems is also managed under this section. Operational fire prevention permits for various regulated activities are inspected by the section.

    Inspection compliance is achieved through the utilization of adopted codes, standards, and ordinances of the City of Asheville, NFPA National Fire Codes, and the NC State Fire Prevention Code. As a part of our local ordinance, each structure is inspected and the hazards found are listed for the owner / occupant. Also, their enforcement of the fire code allows for identification of unsafe property such as open, vacant structures, which are a danger to the community and firefighters. Several items, which are of primary importance to life safety, are fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, means of egress, and other fire extinguishing systems. Our offices are located at:

    100 Court Plaza in Station 1 for Battalion One which covers the North/East area.

    7 Rocky Ridge Rd in Station 11 for Battalion Two which covers the South/West area.

    161 S. Charlotte Street in Development Services for the Fire Plans Examiners for both Battalions

    Link to GIS Area Maps

     

    Fire Marshal’s Staff Directory

    Administration

    Division Chief Joseph Meadows                jmeadows@ashevillenc.gov      828-232-4511     

    Battalion One

    Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Payne                     jpayne@ashevillenc.gov              828-259-5441

    Deputy Fire Marshal Kelly Hinz                      khinz@ashevillenc.gov                828-251-4010

    Assistant Fire Marshal Amy Pollard              apollard@ashevillenc.gov          828-259-5497    

    Assistant Fire Marshal Rusty Freck               tfreck@ashevillenc.gov               828-259-5531

    Assistant Fire Marshal Rodger Martin           rmartin@ashevillenc.gov            828-259-5537

    Battalion Two

    Deputy Fire Marshal Brian Ronie                  bronie@ashevillenc.gov              828-251-4012

    Deputy Fire Marshal Trevis Allen                  tallen@ashevillenc.gov               828-259-5650

    Assistant Fire Marshal Andrew Cowan       ccowan@ashevillenc.gov             828-251-4079

    Assistant Fire Marshal Tracy Coggins          tcoggins@ashevillenc.gov          828- 232-4588

    Assistant Fire Marshal Jeb Freeman           jfreeman@ashevillenc.gov         828-251-4066

     

    Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Inspections

    Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Vacant Commercial Premises.

     

    Development Services

    A Deputy Fire Marshal reviews applications for commercial construction, tents, and temporary uses. They are responsible for ensuring code compliance for site plans, building plans, exit door hardware, fire protection systems, hood system installations, and any plans associated with Fire Prevention Code Construction Permits. For questions regarding new construction, please visit Development Services.

     

    Open Burning

    Open burning is allowed only when specifically permitted by the WNC Regional Air Quality Agency. In their letter to City Manager Jim Westbrook dated June 5, 2001, the agency states it cannot allow open burning within municipalities where public trash pick-up is available. This is defined in their rule 1903(b)(1)(B).

    Fines range from $500 to $10,000, excluding the costs associated with extinguishment of the fire ($250 per hour).

    Machine piled debris or the use of an air curtain device for land clearing burning may be allowed under a special permit issued by their office and a permit issued by the Asheville Fire Dept.  The owner of the property must apply for the permit where the burning will occur per section 307.2 of the NC Fire Code.

    Recreational fires are exempt from a permit, if in compliance with section 307.3.2 and 307.4 of the NC Fire Code. A recreational fire cannot exceed 3 feet in diameter or 2 feet in height and must not contain rubbish, trash, or building materials. The fire must be constantly attended and have a 4-A fire extinguisher, water hose, or other fire extinguishing material available for immediate use. Recreational fires must be a least 25 feet away from structures or combustible materials.Debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires in North Carolina and trash burning is illegal within the Asheville city limits. Asheville Fire and Rescue urges citizens to be extremely careful if they choose to use outdoor grills or recreational fires.

     

    Periodic Fire Code Inspections are required by the NC State Fire Code section 106

    “In order to preserve and to protect public health and safety, and to satisfy the requirements of General Statute General Statute 160A-424, political subdivisions assuming inspection duties, as set out in General Statute 160A-411, shall have a periodic inspection schedule for the purpose of identifying activities and conditions in buildings, structures, and premises that pose dangers of fire, explosion, or related hazards.”

    These fire inspections are required for all premises, except one and two family dwellings, and are scheduled based on your type of occupancy as defined by the State Fire Code.  The examples below illustrate the minimum frequency rate of inspections; however, it is not an all inclusive list.

     

    North Carolina Tier II Reporting Requirements

    Tier II Administration: North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
    Contact Information

    Address:
    4714 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-4714
    Phone: 919-733-3327
    E-Mail: nc-sara@ncem.org
    Website:  NC Tier II E-Reporting   

     

    For more information, contact our office at 828-259-5640, or click on the links below

    1 Year Inspections - FAQ

    Assembly - Restaurants, clubs, gyms, and places of entertainment, etc.

    Hazardous - Hazardous materials, flammable liquids and explosives facilities, etc.

    Institutional - Hospital, nursing homes, licensed care facilities, jails, etc.

    Residential – Apartments, hotels, motels, dormitories, etc.

    High-Rise Buildings – all use types.

     

    2 Year Inspections - FAQ

    Factory-Industrial Facilities – manufacturing and assembly plants, etc.

    Educational Facilities – Private schools, except public schools are inspected every six months.

     

    3 Year Inspections – FAQ

    Assembly –with an occupant load less than 100

    Businesses – Banks, barber and beauty shops, gas stations and self-service, educational occupancies above the 12th grade, print shops, professional service offices (architects, attorneys, dentists, physicians, engineers), etc.

    Mercantile- Department stores, drug stores, markets, retail or wholesale stores, etc.

    Storage Facilities – Warehouses, garages, hangers

    Churches and Synagogues

    Miscellaneous – Tanks, silos, greenhouses, etc

     

    Details of all Fire and Rescue Department Fees and Charges

     

    Important information on our Citation Program that addresses when civil fines may be issued for fire code violations.

    You may view and print a Fire Lane Appeal Form and/or a Fire Code Citation Form.

    For more information regarding permits, visit Development Services

    For more information regarding trade show regulations, visit . Fire Codes on Trade Show Regulations.

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