The Code Enforcement Section ensures that new commercial structures and places of public assembly and access built within the unincorporated areas meet standards as outlined by the International Fire and Building Codes, as well as, NFPA Standards adopted by the Hays County Commissioners Court. This process begins with the submission of an application for building permit along with design plans for the proposed structure or remodel.
These plans are reviewed to ensure compliance and when approved a building permit is issued. Inspections are conducted during each phase of the construction project, and when the building is complete, a Certificate of Compliance is issued. This process is also required for the installation or modification of any Fire Protection System.
On December 17, 2019, the Hays County Commissioners Court approved the adoption of the 2018 International Fire and Building Codes. All new commercial and public buildings are required to have a building permit and comply with the new International Codes, which became effective on January 1, 2020. This has contributed to safer buildings, benefiting both citizens and firefighters. The Code Enforcement Division completes detailed plan reviews and conducts on-site construction inspection. The Fire Marshal issues building permits and Certificates of Compliance for the Enforcement of the Fire and Building Codes.
This division of the County Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for the following activities:
Fire Code Compliance
The Fire Code Compliance Inspector conducts the necessary inspections of various buildings constructed in unincorporated areas to ensure the structures have been built with the appropriate levels of fire resistance and public health and safety measures as required by the adopted fire and building code.
Fire Code Enforcement
Where a violation of the County Fire or Building Code exists, and voluntary compliance measures have failed to remedy the situation, the Fire Code Compliance Inspector conducts the investigation of the code violation, prepares the associated civil and/or criminal case for presentation to the district attorney, and takes other corrective actions as may be mandated by County Commissioners Court, Civil Court, or Criminal Court.
Building Plan Review & Permitting
The HCFMO Fire Code Compliance and Enforcement Section is responsible for issuing building construction permits for construction of commercial and public accessible buildings and multi-family dwellings. All construction plans are reviewed to ensure the proposed building meets the minimum fire and life safety requirements of the 2018 International Fire and Building Codes, Hays County local amendments as adopted by the Hays County Commissioners Court, the National Fire Protections Association (NFPA), where applicable, and other Nationally accepted construction standards.
Fire Protection System Plan Review & Permitting
The HCFMO Fire Code Compliance and Enforcement Division is responsible for issuing system permits for installation of required fire protection systems in new construction as well as updated/remodeled facilities. Each fire protection system plan is reviewed to ensure the specialized fire system meets minimum NFPA and appropriate engineering specifications and standards.
The Fire Code Compliance Inspector conducts the necessary inspections of all buildings constructed in unincorporated areas to ensure that certain installed equipment meets the minimum requirements of the fire code. These inspections insure that electrical, heating, fuel gas, and fire protection systems have been installed in accordance with the building and fire code.