Construction Overview

Our Construction Overview page is designed to provide you with all the necessary and pertinent information you might need during your construction project.

It includes the following sections:

  • Fire Code & District Amendments
  • Plan Review
  • Permit Applications
  • Inspections
  • Site Plan Review Checklist & General Notes to Contractor
  • Business Safety Checklist
  • Fee Schedule

Please thoroughly review all information provided and contact us if you have any remaining questions.

Construction Guidelines

These guidelines are provided by the Picture Rocks Fire and Medical District to provide answers to frequently asked questions regarding construction inspections, fire code requirements and detailed specifications relevant to new construction sites, tenant improvement projects and existing businesses in need of updated signage, etc.

Fire Code & Amendments

The Fire Code was developed to establish the minimum requirements consistent with nationally recognized good practice for providing a reasonable level of life safety and property protection from the hazards of fire, explosion or dangerous conditions in new and existing buildings, structures and premises, and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

The Picture Rocks Fire and Medical District (PRFMD) has adopted and enforces the 2006 International Fire Code with local amendments that establishes the minimum fire and life safety requirements for a wide range of activities within the District.

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 for work and play.

Local Amendments

Local amendments address issues unique to the District’s firefighting capabilities and equipment. These amendments also include provisions designed to address local fire problems identified through a review and analysis of the District’s loss experience. It is also based on the risk analysis conducted for the Commission on Fire Service Accreditation.

The Fire Code referenced above is applicable to all new and existing construction. The provisions also apply to all commercial businesses operating within District. Provisions in the code include:

  • General precautions against fire
  • Fire protection systems
  • Means of egress (exits)
  • Emergency planning and preparedness
  • Fire department access roads and water supplies
  • Fire hydrant requirements
  • Fire-rated construction
  • Decorative materials and interior finishes
  • Flammable and combustible liquids
  • Hazardous materials
  • Motor fuel dispensing facilities / repair garages
  • Special occupancies
  • Special processes

I'm building within the District, do I need sprinklers?

The short answer to this is yes, you do. Per Section 903.2: As required approved automatic sprinkler systems in new buildings and structures shall be provided throughout all Group A, B, E, F, H, , M, R, and S occupancies for every facility, building or portion of a building hereafter constructed within or moved into the jurisdiction.

I'm adding on to my home, do I need sprinklers?

The short answer to this is yes, you do. Per Section 903.2: As required approved automatic sprinkler systems in new buildings and structures shall be provided throughout all Group A, B, E, F, H, , M, R, and S occupancies for every facility, building or portion of a building hereafter constructed within or moved into the jurisdiction.

Keep in mind that per section 903.6.2 if the addition totals 25% of the increased square footage the entire home will need to have an automatic sprinkler system installed.

Do I need to have plans reviewed and inspections performed by the District? Does that cost anything?

The short answer is yes, plan reviews and inspections must be performed by the District, and yes, there is a cost.

Please review our Plan Review, Permit Applications, and Inspections sections for more detailed information regarding each step of the construction process.

I have more questions, who do I contact?

Please contact our Administration Offices at 520-682-7878 extension 3 to leave a message for the fire marshal. Your call will be returned as quickly as possible.

Plan Review

If you are embarking on construction of any type, you’ll need your plans reviewed and approved by the District, as well as follow up site inspections throughout the process.  Please review our inspection and permit application sections for more information.

Plans may be submitted to our administration office during normal business hours.  No plans will be accepted at Station 121.

What’s required:

  • 2 sets of plans – hard copy, NO electronic copies accepted
    • 1 copy will be kept in our records, 1 copy will be returned with stamped approval or rejection.

Review our Fee Schedule below for the cost of plan review.

Turn-around time:

We do our best to get your plans back to you as quickly as possible, and usually under two weeks is average, but you will receive notification if your review will take any longer.

Permit Applications

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 Picture Rocks Fire and Medical District, our 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 Picture Rocks Fire and Medical 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:

Construction Permits

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
  • Flush
  • Water Main Ext./Fire Hydrant Flow Test
  • Standpipe* Please pretest these systems before scheduling an inspection.
Operational Permits

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. 

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 Picture Rocks Fire and Medical District Prevention and Safety Fee Schedule outlines specific fees for plan reviews, inspections, construction permits, operational permits and variance requests.

Please contact us at 682-7878 extension 3 with questions, concerns or comments.

Inspections

Prevention and Safety is the inspection, education and enforcement division of the District providing fire and life safety services through code enforcement and inspections during the new business development process, general fire inspections, operating and special use permitting and complaint investigation – all with an eye toward keeping our community safe.  We have trained inspectors who review plans for new construction and inspect existing businesses and special events.

There are two main types of inspections:

Construction Inspections

Inspections that take place during new construction and remodel projects. Inspectors provide technical expertise in reviewing construction plans for sprinkler and alarm systems. They also conduct final inspections of fire protection systems prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy by the Town or County Building Department.

We have collected important information for construction professionals in our Construction Guidelines.

Existing Occupancy Inspections

The Picture Rocks Fire and Medical District conducts fire and life safety inspections throughout the boundaries of the District.

This program assists building owners, managers and occupants identifying and resolving fire and life safety issues that could cause injury to people and damage to property or businesses.

Education and proper prevention methods are discussed during regularly scheduled inspection visits across a mix of buildings including apartments, churches, light industry, commercial, retail, office, schools, motels, hotels and other similar buildings

Fire Inspection Scheduling Procedures

Complete and submit the Fire Inspection Request form or call our administration office to schedule a fire inspection at (520) 682-7878 extension 3.

If you call to schedule an inspection the following information must be provided in your message:

  • Permit Number
  • Address
  • 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 for your scheduled inspection.

Please ensure to have approved plans bearing the Picture Rocks Fire and Medical Fire District stamp on the job site. No inspections or tests will be conducted without them.

The contractor is responsible for inspecting their own work to ensure it conforms to the approved plans, maintaining approved plans on site for the inspection,  pretesting any system(s) to ensure they function properly and verifying that the work to be inspected is in all manner ready for inspection prior to scheduling the inspection.

Inspection Request

Need to schedule an inspection?  Please refer to our Scheduling Procedures for more information.

All inspections requests are reviewed and the requester notified of the scheduled inspection date within 3 business days.

Site Plan Review Checklist

To simplify your site plan review process, please find two documents contained here that offer helpful information for contractors and a checklist of the standard review items considered. Please select the documents below to view the details of each.

Site Plan Review Checklist

Site Plan Review Checklist – A Printable Checklist (please download to your computer before filling in information)

General Notes to the Contractor

A single sheet of information for contractors to ease the Plan Review process, including Tenant Improvement Projects.

Business Safety Checklist
  • 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.

This information is not intended to identify all the hazards that may exist in your workplace. Inspectors are available to discuss ways to address fire code violations and safety hazards. Please be aware, however, that is is your responsibility to meet all code requirements and resolve hazards. Please contact Picture Rocks Fire and Medical District at 520-682-7878 extension 3 with any questions.

Fee Schedule - Coming Soon

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