General Building Services
The Building/Fire Safety Department provides for the community’s safety through administration of the City’s building code, which includes provisions for building, plumbing, mechanical and fire safety during land development, building construction, and for the life of the building thereafter. In achieving the departments mission we consult with our clients on code requirements, interpretations, and proposals for the use of new materials and methods of construction throughout the life of their property; and coordinate closely with other City departments as well as other federal, state and local agencies and organizations having similar missions and responsibilities to promote consistency in application and transparency in code development.
Our building safety mission involves working with clients to assure that their development and construction projects are safe, durable and in compliance with the International Building Code and International Residential Code as adopted by the City. In this regard we review plans and other documents for code compliance; issue permits approving construction; inspect for compliance during construction; and issue a Certificate of Occupancy certifying the projects compliance at the time of final approval.
Our plumbing safety program assures the safety of plumbing systems connected to local commercial water and sewer systems from plumbing related health hazards and contaminants that degrade our waste water treatment system’s effectiveness, as well as assuring the safety of other plumbed systems such as medical gas, vacuum, and fuel gas systems. In this respect, the department administers the Uniform Plumbing Code by reviewing plans, issuing permits and performing inspections on all plumbing projects, from complete building systems to the change out of water heaters.
Our mechanical program is similar to the others in that the department works to assure the safety and health of the internal built environment as well as verifying compliance with state codes mandating energy conservation and indoor air quality. The department enforces the International Mechanical Code through the review of plans, approval of permits and inspection of mechanical systems installed within the City. This includes mechanical systems installed in both commercial and residential structures.
Our fire safety program includes both fire code enforcement and fire cause determination components. The City enforces the International Fire Code (IFC) for both construction requirements and maintenance of required fire and life safety systems. In addition, the City administers an operational permit program pursuant to the IFC which regulates certain high risk uses and processes. Finally, the City provides for fire cause and arson investigations in the event of fires or explosions occurring within the City limits and cooperates with Pierce Co. Fire District 5 on public awareness and information programs on fire safety and prevention.