UPDATE- Building or business operators please note the following when temporarily vacating buildings:
Temporarily unoccupied buildings, structures, premises, or portions thereof, including tenant spaces, shall be safeguarded and maintained in accordance with the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC).
Key points from the SFPC are identified below. For the full text visit:
311.2 Safeguarding Vacant Premises Temporarily unoccupied buildings, structures, premises, or portions thereof, shall be secured and protected in accordance with the SFPC.
311.2.1 Security Exterior and interior openings accessible to other tenants or unauthorized persons shall be boarded, locked, blocked, or otherwise protected to prevent entry by unauthorized individuals. The fire code official is authorized to placard, post signs, erect barrier tape or take similar measures as necessary to secure public safety.
Keys for emergency entry shall be maintained in the building Knox box and/or fire department key box located in the fire control room.
311.2.2 Fire Protection Fire alarm, sprinkler, and standpipe systems shall be maintained in operable condition at all times.
- as authorized by the fire code official in accordance with the SFPC.
311.2.3 Fire separation Fire-resistance rated partitions, fire barriers, and fire walls separating vacant tenant spaces from the remainder of the building shall be maintained.
311.3 Removal of combustibles Persons owning, or in charge or control of, a vacant building or portion thereof shall remove therefrom all accumulations of combustible materials, or combustible waste, or rubbish and shall securely lock or otherwise secure doors, windows, and other openings to prevent entry by unauthorized persons. The premises shall be kept clear of waste or hazardous materials.
- Buildings undergoing repairs, alterations, or change of occupancy in accordance with the applicable building code.
- Seasonally occupied buildings.
311.4 Removal of hazardous materials Persons owning or having charge or control of a vacant building containing hazardous materials regulated by chapter 50 of the SFPC shall comply with the facility closure requirements of section 5001.6.
Please see this Procedural Guideline – Vacating Buildings For more information.
Arlington County enforces the 2015 Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code and Arlington County Fire Prevention Code for the protection of life and property from fire and explosive hazards. Call 703-228-4644 with any questions for the Fire Marshal’s Office.
Quick Guide to Select Sections of Fire Prevention Code:
- Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI)
- Open Burning, Warming Fires and Grilling
- Smoke Alarms
- LP-Gas Heating Appliances
- High Rise Structures
- Stairway Identification
- Fire Safety Plans and Evacuation Drills
- Mobile Food Preparation Vehicles (Food Trucks)
- Commerical Kitchen Ventilation Hood Systems
Arlington Restaurant Initiative
In an effort to increase safety for citizens and to provide restaurant owners and staff with resources to maximize their safety and viability, the Arlington County Police Department has partnered with County agencies to establish the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI). The Arlington County Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) collaborated in the development of the effective practices and ARI standards.
The primary focus of the FMO in the initiative is working with businesses to provide guidance on fire safe practices for businesses and Assembly occupancies, such as proper maintenance of mechanical and fire protection equipment, maintaining safe capacity levels in compliance with the Statewide Fire Prevention Code and the approved capacity certificate, and ensuring safe and efficient access and egress is properly maintained.