Frequently Asked Questions About Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions iconQ: When do I call for an Inspection?

A: The Fire Marshal's Office of the Cottleville Fire Protection District conducts the following inspections after a fire permit for construction work has been issued and posted conspicuously (i.e. in a front window, construction trailer, etc.) Please note not all the listed inspections may pertain to your project.


  1. Rough or Framing Inspection
    This inspection is required when all framing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work is completed, and before walls and/or ceilings are insulated or covered.
  2. Final Fire Inspection
    A final fire inspection must be made when the permitted work is completed and before being furnished, stocked, or occupied. (Exception: At the discretion of the Fire Official, approval for furnishing can be granted if all fire protection systems are in service, and are monitored (if required), and other items as deemed appropriate have been completed, (i.e. exit and emergency lighting, fire alarm systems, no open electrical, etc.) Tests and inspections for all required fire protection and alarm systems, exit and emergency lighting must be conducted before occupancy. A final inspection must be approved before occupancy.

Private Fire Service Mains

  1. Inspection of Piping
    Pipe joints shall be assembled by persons familiar with the particular materials being used and in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and specifications. All bolted joint accessories shall be cleaned and thoroughly coated with asphalt or other corrosion-retarding material after installation and prior to our inspection. All tees, plugs, caps, bends, and hydrant branches shall be restrained against movement in accordance with Section 10.8 of NFPA 24 and shall be in place prior to our inspection.
  2. Flushing of Underground Private Fire Service Main.
    This inspection is required prior to connection is made to the sprinkler system risers. (If provided or required). The flow required shall be in accordance with Table of NFPA 24.
  3. Testing of Piping
    The trench shall be back filled between joints before testing to prevent movement of pipe. Joints shall be left uncovered to be able to check for any possible leakage from the joints during the hydrostatic test.
    All new private fire service mains shall be tested hydrostatically at not less than 200 psi pressure for two hours or at 50 psi in excess of the maximum static pressure when the maximum static pressure is in excess of 150 psi.
  4. Operating Test
    Each hydrant shall be fully opened and closed under system water pressure and dry barrel hydrants checked for proper drainage.
    All control valves shall be fully closed and opened under system water pressure to ensure proper operation.

Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems

  1. Flushing of Underground Main and Lead-in
    This inspection is required before connection is made to sprinkler piping.
  2. Hydrostatic Test of all interior piping and attached appurtenances
    This should be conducted prior to concealing the sprinkler piping, fittings, etc. If the piping will be concealed on the final inspection all sway bracing shall be completed at this time also for inspection.
  3. System Operational Test of all water flow switches, pressure switches, control valve tamper switches, alarms (interior and exterior), main drain, etc.
    This testing is usually conducted on the final inspection, and shall also include the inspection of valve identification, spare head and wrench cabinet, hydraulic reference placards, and all other required components. (All devices shall have been tested and working properly prior to scheduling the inspections.)

Automatic Fire Alarm Systems

  1. Operational Acceptance Test of all devices shall be conducted in Accordance with NFPA 72.
    This testing is usually conducted on the final inspection, and on systems that are required to transmit alarm and trouble signals to an approved Central Station System, remote-station system, etc. the off-site monitoring shall be installed and in service prior to the inspection by this office. (All devices shall have been tested and working properly prior to scheduling the inspection).

Commercial Kitchen Hoods

  1. Exhaust duct Weld Inspection is required prior to concealing the ductwork
    Welds shall be liquid tight; no holes for grease to escape. (This inspection should be conducted with the duct on the floor).
  2. Fire Suppression System Dump Test
    This inspection is required prior to utilizing the kitchen exhaust hood and food heat processing appliances for cooking purposes. The system shall be tested in accordance with the appropriate NFPA Standard, and the installing contractor shall have the appropriate manuals to verify adequate flow rates per nozzle.
    Due to the nature of commercial construction it is not uncommon to have separate inspections for both wall cover and ceiling cover. Also phase rough and final inspections are possible for projects. Please talk with the Fire Inspector assigned to your project about phase inspections, or contact the fire marshal's office.
    If a plan approval contingency letter was generated, all items listed on the letter must be resolved before calling for an inspection that may pertain to that contingency item. A copy of the approved plans and a copy of the plan approval contingency letter must be at the job site at the time of inspection.

Q: Do I need to have city and/or county inspection approval before calling for the Fire District Inspection?

A: The Fire District does not require anyone else's approval, such as, electrical or plumbing Inspector approval, prior to being called for an inspection. You can request a Fire District inspection once the work is complete. However, please be aware that the Inspection order and sequence is important and required by some of the city /county code enforcement agencies located within the Fire District, so check with those agencies.

Q: Who do I call to request an Inspection?

A: Please call 636-447-6655 after the phone answers, dial 2, follow the directions and leave a voice mail message.

Q: What information do I give when I call to request an Inspection?

A: The following information is needed to schedule an inspection:

  1. The day/date you need the inspection, e.g., Wed., July 11th;
  2. The Cottleville Fire Protection District permit number, e.g., BP2011-22
  3. The address of the project and suite number, if applicable;
  4. The type of inspection, e.g., wall or ceiling - rough, re-rough; final, re-final, etc.;
  5. Your name and phone number; and
  6. Any comments or instructions, such as, Go around to the rear door, etc.

Q: How soon after I call can I expect my Inspection?

A: A request for inspection must be received at least one day in advance. The inspection will be scheduled for Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Calls for inspections for the same day will only be made if the schedule allows, and cannot be guaranteed. We will do what we can to accommodate your request if our schedule will allow it.

Q: Can I request a specific time for my Inspection?

A: We are unable to schedule a specific time for most Inspections due to the volume of inspections requested each day. However, you may request an AM (08:30 a.m. to Noon) or PM (Noon to 4:00 p.m.) inspection and we will make every attempt to meet the request.
If the inspection needs to be scheduled for a specific time due to the testing of a fire suppression and/or detection system, please leave this information on the Fire District Inspection Request Line. If we cannot make it at the time requested we will contact you.

Q: How do I cancel an inspection after I made the request?

A: During normal business hours, please call 636-447-6655, dial 0. After normal business hours please call the Inspection Request Line and leave a voice message.

Q: Must I be present when the Inspector comes?

A: Rough Inspections - we recommend that someone familiar with the project be on site for the Inspection so that any necessary corrections can be explained.
Final Inspections - in most cases someone familiar with the project must be on site to shut off power to exit signs and emergency lighting and/or to conduct other systems testing.

Q: What needs to be on-site for the Inspection?

A: The Fire District approved plans and any plan approval contingency letter, if applicable, and permit card must be at the job site at the time of inspection. We will not be able to do the Inspection if the Fire District approved plans are not on site, and a $100.00 extra Inspection fee will have to be paid before a re-inspection can be scheduled.

Q: If I need to talk to my Inspector, when can he/she be reached?

A: The Inspectors availability in the office varies day-by-day due to the inspection requests. However, the best time to reach the Inspectors in the office is on Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. If your Inspector does not answer the phone, please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Q: What do I do if I have a code related question during the day when an Inspector is not available?

A: Please call 636-447-6655, dial 8703 or 8709 and if no one is available leave a detailed voice message and an Inspector will call you back as soon as possible.

Q: How do I know if my inspection was approved?

A: Please look at the Fire District Permit Card. The Inspector will either sign the card approving the inspection or will leave detailed notes as to what corrections need to be made in order to obtain inspection approval.

Q: What will happen if my inspection does not pass?

A: Once the needed corrections are made you will need to call the Inspection Request Line to schedule a re-inspection.

Q: How will I know what corrections to make?

A: The Fire Inspector will create an inspection report form of the violations found. The Fire Inspector in most cases will also leave a red self-adhesive -Not Approved- sticker on or near the window or area by the permit card, which is also where a copy of the report form is left, if no one accompanies the inspector during the inspection.

Q: What do I do if I don't understand the required corrections?

A: Please call 636-447-6655, dial 2 and leave a message on the inspection mailbox and your call will be returned.

Q: Will I have to pay any additional fees if I do not pass the Inspection?

A: An additional $100.00 inspection fees will only be charged when an inspection has been scheduled but cannot be conducted due to:

Building, or portion(s) of the building requiring access for the inspection are locked or inaccessible,
Building or surrounding area is unsafe, as determined by the Fire Official,
Fire District approved plans, permit card and/or other construction documents are not on the work site,
Work is not complete enough for an inspection, or corrections have not been made as noted, as determined by the Fire Official, or
The area to be inspected has been covered or concealed in any manner without first obtaining the approval of the Fire Official.

The fee for replacement of the Fire District Permit Card is $15.00.

Q: How can I pay for the additional fees and when will I get a re-inspection?

A: Any additional fees, exact cash or check, will need to be paid at the Fire District Administration office. No fees will ever be collected in the field. Once the fees are paid an Inspection can be scheduled as soon as the next business day. The owner or contractor must request a re-inspection as the inspection will NOT be automatically rescheduled.

Q: When can I move in furniture, fixtures, equipment, and/or supplies?

A: Items that can be moved in or installed at any time include:

Equipment that is permanently attached, wired or plumbed, such as movable systems furniture, ice makers coolers, freezers, etc.
Shelves that have to be attached to the floor.
Walls or counters that are built into the building.
Certain items may be allowed to be brought in with the proper protection features being operable. Consult the fire inspector or the Fire Marshall for special approval.

Items that must wait until certain life safety items are inspected and approved include:

Typical retail fixtures.
Movable desks, chairs, and file cabinets.
Restaurant small wares.
Supplies of any type

Q: When can I occupy or use the area covered by the Fire District Permit?

A: Please be aware that you will need approval to occupy or use the area covered by your permit from both the Cottleville Fire Protection District and the city and/or county code agencies involved with your project.

Q: When can I request a final or occupancy inspection?

A: As soon as all of the work has been completed.

Q: If I contract with a builder for the construction, who is responsible to call for final inspections and occupancy approval?

A: While the property owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the final Inspection and occupancy approval are obtained, he or she may by contractual arrangement assign those duties to the contractor, architect or other authorized agent.