After the Inspection

We continue to serve
307 W. Hines Street
Wilson, North Carolina  27893
PH: (252) 399-2880
FAX: (252) 399-2893


The Wilson Fire/Rescue Service's mission is to assist the public in protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, and potential disasters or events that effect the community and environment.

The N.C. Fire Prevention Code is a set of minimum mandatory Fire-Safety Standards that apply to all occupancies in North Carolina with the exception of one and two family dwellings.  The Fire Prevention Code is uniformly enforced in all areas of the state, and applies to both new and existing buildings.
AFTER THE INSPECTION has been developed to assist you in better understanding fire safety issues from a code enforcement standpoint.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Wilson Fire/Rescue Service Fire Prevention Program.  This booklet was designed to provide our customers/citizens basic information about the N.C. Fire Prevention Code.  We hope this booklet will assist you by better understanding this important program.
If you have any questions, or concerns, or need a fire safety program or consultation, please contact the Fire Marshal's Office during normal business hours (399-2880).
Don Oliver, Fire Chief
Wilson Fire/Rescue Services


  • Signs stating the maximum occupant content shall be posted by building owners in each assembly room, auditorium, or rooms used for similar purposes.  These signs will be provided by the Inspections Department.


Within the City Limits it is illegal to burn the following items:

· WIRE                                                 · TIRES AND OTHER RUBBER PRODUCTS
· PLASTICS                                        · GARBAGE
· HEAVY OILS                                   · ASPHALT MATERIALS
· PAINTS                                             · BUILDING MATERIALS, ESPECIALLY ASBESTOS
· LEAVES/COMPOST (where pickup is provided)
By obtaining a burning permit from your local fire department you are allowed to burn certain items, under certain conditions.  For more information on burning permits and how to obtain one, call your local Fire Marshal's office.


Any business required to have a fixed hood extinguishing system must have the system serviced at intervals not more than 6 months apart by a trained person who has the necessary qualification to reliably perform the maintenance and testing procedures according to the manufacturer's instructions.


The actual placement of fire extinguishers can best be accomplished through a physical survey of the area to be protected.  In general, locations should be selected that will:

(A)       Provide uniform distribution
(B)       Provide easy accessibility
(C)       Be relatively free from blocking by storage and equipment, or both
(D)       Be near normal paths of travel
(E)       Be near entrance and exit doors
(F)       Be free from the potential of physical damage
(G)       Be readily visible
(H)       Be installed on a floor-by-floor basis
(I)        Have a travel distance not over 75 feet in any direction


Businesses having a fire alarm system must make sure their system is tested and maintained on a regular basis.  Alarm monitoring agencies should be notified before any test or maintenance is performed in order to prevent any false alarms from the Fire Department.  The Wilson Fire/Rescue Services will be happy to assist your company in planning, conducting, and evaluating a Fire Drill.


  • Visually check your sprinkler heads each month to ensure 18" clearance is maintained from all stock, etc.
  • Do not hang anything from the sprinkler heads.
  • Do not hit or tamper with the sprinkler heads.
  • The Fire Department must be notified immediately when any malfunction occurs in an automatic sprinkler system.
  • An annual inspection must be conducted by a qualified agency.  A copy of your sprinkler certification should be forwarded to the Fire Marshal's office.
  • Do no paint any sprinkler head.  This reduces the efficiency of your system.  Any painted Sprinkler Head must be replaced.
  • Main control valves must be secured in the open position at all times.
  • Fire Department connections must be clearly marked and free from obstruction at all times.


The use of any liquid fueled unvented heating appliance such as kerosene heaters shall be permitted in one and two family residences only.  All other types of heating appliances must be installed and conform to the requirements outlined in the NC Mechanical Code.

Keep all heating appliances at least THREE FEET away from all combustibles.


  • Use all-metal, welded seam, vapor-proof cans with flame arresters and pressure release valve, or spring closing lids with spout covers, or approved plastic containers
  • Containers should be labeled clearly, stored in a well-ventilated area away from any flame or heat source.
  • Check with the Wilson Fire Prevention Bureau for the maximum allowable storage amounts and container size.
  • Gasoline should be locked away when not in use -- OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN!
  • NEVER store gasoline in glass or unapproved plastic containers, or in a metal can with any plastic parts.


  • All entries and exits must always provide free and unobstructed movement from any part of the building in case there is a fire or other emergency.
  • All exits within an occupied building must be illuminated.  This lighting can be provided through natural or artificial means depending on the situation.
  • In many cases a separate emergency source of illumination is required to allow normal exiting of a building in the event normal lighting fails.
  • Exits must be properly marked and visible from any direction of the access corridors.  Readily visible signs must mark all access ways to guide occupants to exits when the exit is not immediately visible to the occupants.
  • Any area of a building that is occupied by tables, chairs, or other moveable furniture, must maintain at minimum 36 inches clear isle space as to provide immediate access to exit doorways.
  • All exits must be identified and illuminated as outlined in the fire code.


There must be a minimum clear working space of 30 inches in front of all electric equipment such as switchboards, control panels, switches, circuit breakers, motor controllers, relays, and similar equipment.


Extension cords are permitted only for use with portable appliances or fixtures while in immediate use:  Temporary wiring for electrical power and lighting shall not exceed 90 days.

  • Each extension cord shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle and shall, except for approved multiplying extension cords, serve only one appliance or fixture.
  • The current capacity of the cords shall not be less than the rated capacity of the appliance or fixture.  A good rule of thumb is any extension cord should not be smaller in diameter than the appliance cord it is supplying.
  • The extension cord shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration, or damage.
  • The extension cord shall be of the grounded type when servicing grounded appliances or fixtures. (THREE PRONG TYPE)


This marking system is designed to provide firefighters and other emergency responders a basic-understanding of what degree of hazard is present when responding to an emergency.  This information enables them to more quickly decide on evacuation and emergency control procedures.

704 Placarding


Due to the flame spread characteristics of some materials, some occupancies are required to treat many of the decorative materials used in their businesses.  The following is a partial list of materials that may need to be treated:

  • Drapes/Curtains
  • Fireplace Rugs
  • Paper and Cardboard decorations
  • Wall Decorations
  • Natural Christmas Trees
EXCEPTION:  Christmas Trees located in areas protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system are not required to be treated.


Class C fireworks are generally sold in convenient stores, grocery stores, and discount stores.  Due to the accessibility to these types of fireworks, the misunderstanding exists that there are no restrictions to their use and purchase... however the following rules apply:


  • For any Class C Fireworks to be sold to anyone under eighteen (18) years of age.
  • For anyone to distribute Class C  Fireworks to anyone under eighteen (18) years of age.
  • For anyone under eighteen (18) years of age to possess or use any Class C Fireworks without adult supervision.

The Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Mission is...

to assist the public in the protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, and potential disasters or events that affect the community and environment.  To aid in this mission we have five fire stations strategically located through-out the city, and our department employs 82 full-time personnel.

  • The Life Safety Operations Branch provides fire suppression, emergency medical service response, hazardous materials incident response, and specialized rescue.  Fire prevention activities of response companies include pre-incident survey inspections and public education programs. 
  • The Fire Prevention Bureau provides life and property safety through public fire education, inspections, code enforcement and plans review of construction, including fire protection systems installation.  Our current fire prevention jurisdiction includes the city limits of Wilson and the designated planning and zoning area outside of the city. 

The Fire Prevention Bureau consists of the Fire Marshal, and three Fire Inspectors.  Members of the Bureau are certified Level III Fire Inspectors by the North Carolina Code Official's Qualifications Board.  Each Inspector has undergone extensive education and experience to provide you quality service.  Not only are inspectors certified to perform code enforcement, they are also certified as a North Carolina Firefighter.  These certifications enable our staff to bring you a clear understanding of fire behavior.

Fire Inspectors call on businesses within our service area and follow the prescribed schedule set-forth by the State of North Carolina and the City Council of Wilson.  Inspections must occur every six months on Day Cares and Public Schools.  Facilities classified as Hazardous, Institutional, High Rise, Assembly (except Churches & Synagogues) and Residential (only interior common areas of dwelling units of multi-family occupancies) must be inspected every year.  Industrial and Educations facilities (except public schools) must be inspected every two years and finally those occupancies classified as businesses, mercantiles, storage facilities, churches, and synagogues will be inspected every three years.

We hope this overview provides you a better understanding of our service and operations.