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Multi-family/Residential Occupancy Inspection Program (R2)

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Beginning 2020, the City of Chula Vista Fire Department will be conducting annual fire and life safety inspections for all apartment buildings containing three or more dwelling units. Once the apartment inspection program is established, the Fire Department will move forward with fire and life safety inspections for all condominium buildings containing three or more dwelling units.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How will this program benefit me?
Fire and life safety inspections are completed to educate and protect property owners and residents from the devastating effects of fire. By promoting a safe living environment in these types of occupancies, the chance for fire, injury, and death decreases.  Fire can kill, disable, destroy property, and disrupt lives. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), 387,000 (78%) of all structure fires reported in 2018 occurred in residential properties; 86,500 of the 387,000 fires occurred in apartments. Three out of every four fire deaths, or 2,720 civilian deaths, resulted from residential structure fires.

Q. Are these inspections required?
Yes. Inspections must be conducted annually for all properties containing three or more dwelling units, and includes hotels, motels, lodging houses, and congregate residences. The California Health and Safety Code, Sections § 13146.2 / 17921 mandate that the inspections be completed annually and further provides the City legal authority to charge property owners to recover costs for providing these inspections.


Q. When will these inspections happen?
Inspections will be conducted by Fire Inspectors Monday through Friday during normal business hours from 8:00am until 5:00pm. Each property is inspected at approximately the same time of year. Larger complexes may be contacted to arrange inspection dates and times in an effort to ensure access to fire protection system components and facility personnel responsible for their maintenance. 

Q. What will be the areas of focus during the Fire Department inspection?
A routine annual inspection will be conducted on your property with a primary goal of public education. A typical fire and life safety inspection of R – 2 occupancies include, but aren’t limited to, checking for fire hazards specific to access, exiting and exit system components, fire protection equipment, fire extinguishers, storage, housekeeping, utilities, and hazardous materials.

Q. Will the Inspector enter individual units?

Generally, Fire Inspectors will not examine the interior of units. However, if a tenant is home, they may request the Inspector check their smoke alarm and perform an interior assessment. Inspectors may check smoke alarm in vacant units if the owner or manager is present and provides consent.  

Q. How will I know the results of the inspection on my property?
During the routine inspection, the Inspector will make a reasonable effort to obtain the owner’s and/or manager’s contact information (email, hard copy or phone). This data will allow the Inspector or support staff to establish direct contact with the responsible party of the property and forward inspection results and all related documents. 

Q. How can I prepare for my inspection?
Your property should always be maintained in good condition.  For example, common areas and exit hallways should be clear of stored items. Laundry rooms maintained, address and unit numbers clearly visible, exit signs well-maintained, fire hydrants - fire sprinkler systems and utility valves shall be clearly identifiable and kept clear of vegetation and or obstructions. Fire extinguishers must be serviced and tagged annually by a certified contractor. Smoke alarms and batteries should be checked regularly.  Fire sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems must be serviced annually. Please see the Multi-family/Residential Occupancy Pre-inspection Checklist under the resources heading.

Q. How much does this cost?
The fees vary according to the time required to complete the inspection; the inspection time includes inspection and re-inspection time, training, supplies, and office support. The following fees have been provided for your information but are subject to change based on updates to the City’s Master Fee Schedule. 

R-2 Residential Occupancies

3 – 25 Units


26 – 50 Units


51 – 100 Units


< 100, Each Additional Group of 100 Units



Q. Where can I get more information?
Additional information is available at the Fire Prevention Division office located at 276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, Ca 91910.  Our phone number is 619-691-5029.


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