AFD is responsible for conducting annual inspections of multi-family residential and commercial occupancies, and inspections of licensed facilities.
Annual Maintenance Inspections
There are a number of occupancies within the City of Austin that receive regular fire and life-safety inspections. General ocupancies, such as banks, business offices, and retail spaces receive an annual inspection of common fire and life-safety hazards. The department also ensures that all fire protection systems within structures (sprinklers, alarms, elevators, etc.) in the City receive an annual inspection by an independent third-party contractor (this is a state requirement enforced by local municipalities).
The AFD inspects all multi-family residential occupancies within the City, including fraternity and sorority houses. Due to the unique risks posed by multi-family residential structures, AFD has made them a priority for regular fire and life-safety inspections. These inspections are done by firefighting crews during their shifts and are often referred to as "in-service inspections" within the department. AFD conducts more than 12,000 fire and life safety inspections of targeted properties a year.
“Public Assembly” refers to any structure or occupancy that is designed for 50 or more people to meet for entertainment, worship, dining or amusement. Since so many people are present at these venues (convention centers, bars/restaurants, theaters, etc.), it is necessary to meet strict fire code requirements and to ensure that the requirements are maintained over time. AFD maintains regular inspection rotation(s) of places of public assembly.
Temporary Change of Use to Public Assembly/Operational Permit (TCOU)
The Temporary Change of Use to Public Assembly/Operational Permit is required for structures or portions of structures used as public assemblies that do not currently have a “Certificate of Occupancy” for that type of use.