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Business Owner Checklist

Follow these self-inspection guidelines to decrease the chances of a destructive fire. Remember, fire safety inspections focus on maintaining a safe work environment and keeping businesses in business.

General Information

  • Make sure address numbers and letters are clearly visible from the street.
  • Remove combustibles, trash and other debris from around the building's exterior.
  • Keep storage, furnishings and merchandise three feet (3') away from heat producing equipment to minimize fire risk.
  • Maintain two feet (2') of clearance between stored materials and the ceiling and eighteen inches (18") below sprinkler heads.
  • Keep storage orderly and secure so exits from the building will not be blocked.
  • Repair holes in walls; replace ceiling panels and other breaches where portions of walls or ceilings have been damaged to maintain the fire resistive integrity of the building's original construction.

Protection Systems

  • A minimum of one, 2A10BC fire extinguisher is required to be installed in every business.
  • One fire extinguisher may serve a maximum of 6,000 square feet and be spaced not more than 75 feet (75') from any location in the business.
  • Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible, wall mounted between three to five feet from floor.
  • Extinguishers installed in commercial and multi-family buildings must be serviced and tagged annually by a licensed contractor.
  • No obstructions are allowed around standpipes, fire hose cabinets, sprinkler valves and hydrants.
  • Keep designated fire lanes around the business, clear at all times.
  • If required to have a smoke alarm, test it monthly and replace the batteries once a year.


  • Three feet (3') of clear space is required in front of every exit door. The exit may not be obstructed with storage, trash, shelves, cabinets or equipment.
  • Exit doors, with the exception of the main exterior door, may not be equipped with any kind of dead bolt or latch which requires the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort to open the door from the inside.

Flammable Liquids & Hazardous Materials

  • Excessive storage of flammable or combustible liquids should be removed from all businesses. Without a fire use permit, businesses are allowed to store, handle and use up to 5 gallons of flammable liquids inside and 10 gallons outside of the building.  Without a fire use permit, businesses are allowed to store, handle and use 25 gallons of combustible liquids inside and 60 gallons outside of the building.
  • Flammable and combustible liquids may only be stored in their original or approved containers.
  • Compressed gas cylinders must be adequately secured to prevent them from falling or being knocked over. Each cylinder must be labeled with its contents.


  • Extension cords cannot be used permanently in any business in the City of Carlsbad.
  • Only UL or FM listed fused or circuit breaker surge suppressors may be used for non-permanent appliances like calculators, desk lamps, typewriters and computers.
  • Large fixed appliances like refrigerators, table saws and other large equipment cannot be permanently powered by extension cords or power strip.
  • Extension cords and fused electrical cords cannot be permanently attached to walls, floors or ceilings.
  • No wiring or cords may extend through walls, ceilings, floors or under doors.
  • Replace worn or frayed wires to minimize fire hazard.
  • All electrical receptacles must have cover plates.
  • Thirty inches (30") of unobstructed access area is required in front of electrical panels.