Code Compliance (Ugh!)

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Thinking about selling after the holidays?  I

Did you know that if you live in unincorporated St Louis County, or a fire district or municipality that requires an occupancy inspection when you sell your home, your life will be much less stressful if you have that inspection before you are under contract when you are selling your home.  (My apologies to Sister Marie Therese for that nasty run on sentence!)


Here's a list of common compliance violations that our friends at Metro West Fire have put together.  (I love those guys, by the way.  They are always super helpful!)

ps, it's not as scary as it looks!


NOTE: These are common violations found during inspections. 

Other violations that are not listed may be noted during the inspection. 
Street address number signs - Each structure shall have the address number so displayed in a position easily observed and readable from the public right-of-way.  All numbers shall be in Arabic figures. Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch.  All such numbers shall be a contrasting color to the background to which they are mounted. Trees and bushes may need to be trimmed.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors – One (1) approved carbon monoxide detector shall be installed outside the area of sleeping rooms when the residential occupancy is heated by a fossil fuel (wood burning or gas)powered heating unit fully contained within the interior of the building or contains an attached or enclosed garage.
Smoke Detectors –  Single or multiple-station smoke detectors shall be installed and maintained in residential occupancies at all of the following locations; 1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms. 2.  And In each room used for sleeping purposes. 3. And on every floor of the dwelling unit, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics.
Bedroom Windows – All bedroom windows must remain in the open position when raised without any other type of support. Locks installed on windows must be able to be opened without keys, special knowledge or effort.
Locks on Egress Doors – The interior lock must be able to be opened without keys, special knowledge or effort. Thumb turn locks are permitted. Hardware height – Door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operating devices shall be installed 34 inches minimum and 48 inches maximum above the finished floor. Locks (chain/slide catch, swing type) used only for security purposes and not used for normal operation are permitted at any height. Manually operated flush bolts or surface bolts are not permitted.
Handrails – Handrail shall be on one side of each continuous flight of steps having four or more steps. Height – Measured vertically from the step nosing, handrail shall be not less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches.
Guards – Open sides of interior stairs with a total rise of more than 30 inches above the floor shall have guards not less than 34 inches in height measured vertically from step nosing.
Vacuum System - Vacuum system piping passing through a separation wall between the house and garage must be a steel pipe and fire caulked in the annular space at the pipe penetration.  If a plastic pipe is used a UL approved fire collar with the annular space at the pipe penetration caulked must be installed in accordance with the manufactures recommendations on the garage side.
Clothes Dryer Exhaust – Dryer exhaust systems shall convey the moisture to the exterior of structure.
Fireplaces – The interior walls of the firebox shall not have any large cracks. Fill with mortar or UL approved caulk.
Garage Opening Protection - Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted.  Other openings between the garage and the residence shall be equipped with solid core wood doors no less than 1 ¾ inch in thickness or a twenty (20) minute labeled fire-rated door.
Garage Attic Access – Attic access opening must be 22 x 30 inches minimum in size. Access panel shall not have any broken edges or gaps. Panel shall be the same thickness of what exists over rest of garage, ½ or 5/8 inch type X drywall. If there is an attic pull down stairs system installed, the wood panel must be covered with ½ or 5/8 inch drywall to maintain fire rating. Also, a frame constructed of 2x4 lumber is required around the stairs to maintain the fire rating.  
Garage Duct Penetration - Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings are not allowed to be left exposed. Only No 22 thru 26 gage or higher sheet metal is acceptable. They must be covered with the same material covering the walls and ceiling.  Opening from the duct work into the garage is not allowed.
Garage Door Opener – All garage door openers must plug directly into an outlet. Extension cords are not permitted. 
Flashing – Flashing is required around all plumbing pipes in basement. Utilize No 22 thru 26 gages or higher sheet metal, aluminum is not acceptable.
Separation required - The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than 1 layer of 5/8 inch type X gypsum board applied to the garage side.  Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8 inch type X gypsum board or equivalent.  Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall also be protected by not less than 5/8 inch type X gypsum board or equivalent. (The drywall size will vary with age of structure)
Electrical Panel Box - No double lugging allowed within the panel box. One wire per breaker or fuse will be allowed. If holes exist at missing breakers, install blank covers.
Receptacles - All electrical outlets shall have a cover plate and be secured to wall. All grounded type outlets (three prongs) must be properly wired.   
Receptacles - All receptacles within six feet of the kitchen sink measured along the wall.  All bathroom receptacles, all receptacles in an unfinished basement, all outside receptacles, all garage receptacles and all receptacles in the crawl space shall be protected by ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
Multi Plug adaptors – Multi plug adaptors are not allowed. These are devices that convert 2 outlets to 3 or 6 outlets.
Extension Cords – Extension cords are not allowed for any type of permanent wiring service. 
Junction Boxes – All electrical junction boxes shall have cover plates installed.
Electrical System Hazards - Where it is found that the electrical system in a structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants or the structure by reason of inadequate service, improper fusing, insufficient outlets, improper wiring, installation, deterioration, damage, or for similar reasons the Fire Marshal shall require the defects to be corrected to eliminate the hazard.