Business occupancy permits are issued by the Cottleville Fire Protection District for those moving into an occupancy that does not require construction renovations to be completed for a new business to open, or at the end of the construction process.
Q: Why do I need an occupancy permit through the fire district when I have a permit through the City or Municipality?
A: State statutes assign the responsibility of fire protection and fire safety to Fire Protection Districts. Therefore, Fire Protection Districts are responsible for adopting and enforcing Fire Codes. Occupancy Permits enable Fire Protection Districts to perform inspections that ensure your building and property complies with the adopted Fire Codes for fire and life safety.
To help insure the safety, health and welfare; and, in general, to secure safety to life and property from all hazards incident to the design, construction, repair, or use and occupancy of all buildings, structures or premises in the Cottleville Fire Protection District , we have adopted Ordinance No. 23 – The Fire Prevention Code.
Cottleville Fire Protection District requires all of our Inspectors to be Missouri State Certified Fire Inspectors. This assures that we have the expertise to recognize potential fire hazards, and to help provide solutions to mitigate these hazards. Further, Cottleville Fire Inspectors have expert knowledge regarding the principles of combustion and fire growth such as the combustion process or how fire works, phases of fire, heat transfer, flame spread, factors affecting fire growth, fire resistance in construction, fire loads, fire containment in buildings, elimination of ignition sources and many other fire related matters.
Q: Am I required to get a new permit every year?
A: No you do not have to get an occupancy permit every year. An occupancy permit is valid from the time of issuance until such time that there is a change in business operations or ownership. Some municipalities require business licenses that have an annual renewal.
Q: What will happen if I don’t get an occupancy permit?
A: Failure to obtain an occupancy permit is considered an “Unlawful Act” based on Section 114.1 of the 2015 International Building Code as adopted by Ordinance No. 23, and you will be subject to violation penalties of up to $500.00 per day as outlined in Section 111.5.
Q: If I add additional space (i.e. take over another suite as the business expands or add an addition to my building) am I required to get a new permit?
A: Yes, adding additional space will require an occupancy permit for the new area. The permit certificate shows the number of people (occupancy load) that can be in the space along with the square footage of the space. The addition or subtraction of space changes the occupancy load thereby rendering the existing certificate invalid. The new space will also require an occupancy inspection to verify compliance with the fire codes.
Q: If I relocate to a different suite in the same building am I required to get a new permit?
A: Yes a new permit is required. An occupancy permit is issued to a specific address and/or suite and is not transferable to another location. A new occupancy permit and an occupancy inspection are required for the new location.
Q: If I relocate to a different suite in the same building, can I move the suite number to my new location so that I don’t have to change my letterhead, business cards, etc.?
A: No, neither the occupancy permit nor the address are transferable. You will be required to obtain a new occupancy permit for the new location. In accordance with Section 505.1.1 of the 2015 International Fire Code which states; “It shall be unlawful to add, change, and/or relocate any assigned address number(s) for a building, suite, tenant space, etc. as assigned by the agency or department responsible for assigning said address without said assigning agency/department and fire department approvals”.
Q: If the business changes owners but the business name stays the same what do I need to do?
A: A change of ownership of a business will require a new occupancy permit to be issued which will require an occupancy inspection to be conducted.
Q: If just the name of the business changes what do I need to do?
A: A change in just the name of the business and nothing else will require the replacement of the Occupancy Permit Certificate. A new certificate showing the new name will need to be issued; there is a ten ($15) dollar charge for the permit card replacement. You will need to fill out an occupancy permit application showing the new name and submit it along with payment as well as supporting documentation explaining that it is just a business name change.
Q: What type and how many fire extinguishers will I need?
A: There are several factors that affect what type and how many fire extinguishers are needed for a particular business i.e. the size of the building or space, the type of business, the materials or products being used or stored within the building, etc. It would be difficult to try to provide that information given all of the variables involved. We suggest that you contact this department and we will help you determine what you will need for your specific business and location.