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Monday, July 25, 2016


Inspections of businesses are required by North Carolina general statutes based on the type of occupancy.

Schedule for inspections:

  • One year: hazardous, institutional, high rise, assembly and residential (except for one and two dwellings and only interior common areas of dwelling units of multi-family occupancies)
  • Two year: industrial and educational (except public schools)
  • Three year: business, mercantile, storage, churches and synagogues

All permitted businesses are inspected annually. The permits are required by the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code. A fee is charged depending on the type of operation or storage in a business. Examples of permits include but are not limited to: places of assembly, repair garages and storage of flammable and combustible liquids.

Permit applications and information are available for download.


All fires are required to be investigated to N.C. General Statutes. If an engine company cannot determine the origin and cause of a fire, a fire investigator can be requested. Other reasons to request a fire investigator include an incendiary fire, large dollar loss or fatality.

The Wilmington Fire Department is also a member of the Wilmington Fire Investigative Task Force. Other members include the Wilmington Police Department, State Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), New Hanover County Fire Services and New Hanover County Sheriff's Dept.

The Fire Investigative Task Force will be requested by the fire investigator if needed.

To obtain a copy of a fire report, call 910-341-7846 or

Reward - Stop Arson 1-800-334-3000

Plan Reviews

If you have any questions concerning the fee schedule and payment options, contact the Division of Fire and Life Safety at 910.343.0696 or 910.343.3918. The permit fee schedule is available for download. 

The Fire and Life Safety Division conducts plans reviews for all site development, commercial construction, fire alarms, fire sprinklers and other suppression systems, and aboveground / underground storage tanks. 

New commercial construction permits are issued by New Hanover County Inspections (910.798.7151).  Within the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County Inspections conducts building, mechanical, electrical and plumbing code inspections. 

The Fire and Life Safety Division enforces the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code for plan reviews and works in conjunction with New Hanover County Inspections during the review process for new construction and alterations.  All commercial permits require the Fire and Life Safety Division’s approval before a permit is issued.

Separate reviews are also conducted for fire alarms, fire sprinklers, suppression systems and site development.  All permits must be obtained prior to construction. Permit applications and plan review information for fire alarm, sprinkler and suppression systems are available for download.

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Wilmington, North Carolina 28402-1810
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