Effective March 24, 2020: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, virtual inspections will be the preferred fire protection system acceptance related inspections, conducted by the Office of the Fire Marshal, available until further notice. This includes fire sprinkler, fire alarm, and any alternative fire extinguishing system.
Virtual inspections are conducted between a customer and a county fire marshal by using a video call on a smart phone or tablet.
- All Acceptance-related inspections may be considered for virtual inspections; however, base on the size and/or complexity of the project, it may be possible to conduct virtually. Note:
- Inspection complexity will be determined by the inspector.
- For inspections deemed too complex for virtual inspection, the county will accept third-party inspections per the County’s policy on Third-Party Inspectors.
- Customers must have a smartphone or tablet connected to WiFi or 4G wireless service.
- FaceTime (Apple OS devices) or Zoom (all devices) is required to host the video call. Check your mobile device’s app store to download Zoom.
1. Schedule your inspection. All virtual inspections must be scheduled in advance:
- By phone: 703-246-4821
- By email: Fire.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ensure you leave on-site contact information (name and phone number) for your inspector.
- All currently scheduled inspections will be conducted virtually. You do not need to re-schedule.
2. Prepare for your virtual inspection:
- Ensure you have the necessary tools (based on the inspection type) readily available. For example, a tape measure, level, step ladder, and/or flashlight.
- Make sure you have completed the appropriate acceptance testing paperwork required by the relevant standard. For example, NFPA 13 requires the Contractor’s Material and Test Certificate for Aboveground Piping for NFPA 13 sprinkler systems. The paperwork is required for final approval.
- Make sure your mobile device is fully charged.
- Turn off phone or tablet notifications. Notifications can freeze the video feed during the call and could cause delays or require the inspection to be rescheduled.
3. Inspection day: When the inspector contacts the on-site contact, provide him/her the following information:
- Permit number
- Type of inspection
- Cell phone number of the person that will be walking the inspection site
- Email the address of the person that will be walking the inspection site
- Method of video call you intend to use (FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp)
4. Accept the incoming call initiated by your inspector at the scheduled time.
5. Walk through your inspection with your inspector, noting the following (if applicable):
- Follow directions from your inspector.<
- Begin at street view looking at structure with the address showing.
- Walk the inspection in a clockwise direction.
- Walk the inspection as directed by the inspector
- Make note of any items that require correction.
- Your inspector will tell you during the video call if the inspection has passed or failed.
- Results will be processed in FIDO by the end of the day on which the inspection occurred, pending receipt of the contractor’s paperwork.
If the inspection fails:
- Comments will be available in FIDO the following day.
- The inspector will determine if a re-inspection is required.