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Foster Home Regulations - Effective June 24, 2016

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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of facilities does the Office of State Fire Marshal inspect?

Government Related

    • State owned facilities
    • Public schools
    • Group homes
    • Foster homes
    • Department of Disabilities and Special Needs facilities
    • Local detention facilities
    • State prisons

Business Related:

    • Fire Equipment Dealer facilities
    • LP Gas installations
    • Firework displays
    • Explosive storage magazines
    • Explosive blasting sites

How long after requesting an inspection will it take before a deputy will inspect my facility?
The typical waiting period is usually less than 30 days from the date the request is received until the deputy inspects the facility. In many instances, the waiting time is less than 30 days depending on a variety of circumstances.

Who is my deputy and how do I contact that person?
Deputies are assigned territories or regions based on population and growth. To find the deputy assigned to your area, please call (803) 896-9800.

Do I have to conduct a wet system dump test on all new UL-300 suppression system installations?
Yes. The Office of State Fire Marshal requires a functional discharge test on all new systems in order to ensure proper installation and functional operation of the system. National Fire Protection Association 17A 6.4.3 states, “Where required by the authority having jurisdiction, the approval tests shall include a discharge of wet chemical to verify that the system is properly installed and functional.”

Does the Office of State Fire Marshal issue building permits and Certificates of Occupancy?
No. That is typically the function of local building departments.

I have a complaint concerning questionable fire and life safety practices done at a particular establishment, how do I report this?
You can report a complaint to our office by calling (803) 896-9800. The complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate party for investigation. Please be prepared to give specifics on the possible violation and the establishment’s name and address. You may also be asked for your name and a phone number in order to contact you for any further information.

Are security protection systems incorporating the emission of non-toxic fog and high intensity strobe lights approved for use in South Carolina?
These installations cause a direct hazard to building occupants and first responders due to decreased visibility and disorientation. After an Office of State Fire Marshal investigation, the results revealed that systems that emit fog, smoke, strobe lights and other devices that diminish or obscure visibility are not in compliance with the code and such systems are prohibited.
To prohibit future installations and to have existing systems removed, the local AHJ may utilize Sections 401.5 and 507.3 of the 2006 edition of the International Fire Code (IFC).
Please contact your local Deputy State Fire Marshal, or the main office at (803) 896-9800, if additional information or assistance is required.

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Jonathan Jones,   State Fire Marshal
141 Monticello Trail, Columbia, SC 29203
(803) 896-9800 | Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. | Monday - Friday except State Holidays