Plan Review, Systems Testing and Occupancy

This page contains information related to building construction, testing of life-safety systems, and building occupancy.  Click on any of the links at left under this category to find more information.

Fees for construction-related Services
Fire Prevention has fees in place for two construction-related services:

  • Fire Safety Systems Retest - for systems (smoke alarms, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, etc.) that have failed a previous functionality/compliance test. In many cases, we find that, due to pressures to move the project forward, the contractor has not pre-tested the system; in other words, contractors are using the first City test as their pre-test.  We encourage contractors to perform their own pre-test to avoid having to pay a retest fee. The fee is $300 for the first retest and $500 for each subsequent retest. (There is no change for initial acceptance testing unless you need to schedule the testing for a time outside normal business hours.)
  • Contractor-paid Overtime / Standby Personnel - for fire safety system inspections or fire safety systems acceptance testing that the contractor has requested be conducted outside normal business hours. The hourly fee is $80. In accordance with Denver Fire Code Section 106.2.9, this fee also applies to standby personnel.

Both fees can be avoided by a contractor’s diligent preparation (i.e., pre-testing systems) and scheduling of all inspections and testing during normal business hours.

Plan Review & Testing Services

The City and County of Denver requires that plans and specifications be reviewed by plan review experts prior to approval of building or installation permits. The purpose is to provide safety through ensuring compliance with local ordinances, including the fire code.
The plan review process involves personnel from a number of different agencies, so in most cases you will need to start elsewhere--not directly with the Fire Department--and the appropriate portions of the review will be directed to us. 
Here are some general guidelines:

If you are planning . . .

  Please see:

a multi-family or commercial construction project

  Denver Development Serviceswebsite

a single-family residence or small project

to install life-safety systems (fire alarm, fire sprinklers, smoke detection, carbon monoxide detection, smoke control, emergency communications systems, etc.) that are not part of a larger, overall construction project
  Fire Department Plan Check unit
       ---  OR  ---  
  Over the Counter / Walkthrough Plan 
  Check service
 (for small systems)

If you would like to discuss specific issues or design questions about your project with our Plan Review personnel before submitting formal plans

  Pre-Application Plan Review Service

If you are a design professional, contractor, member of the building trades or just a member of the community who would like to engage the consulting services of our Fire Protection Engineers


 Denver Fire Department Fire Protection Engineers and uniformed firefighters in the plan review unit review:

  • Site plans
  • Water plans
  • Building and life safety system plans and specifications


They are also equipped to prepare recommendations or consult with individuals involved in building construction, remodeling or renovations. They contribute a high level of technical ability to the plan review process, interpretations, consultations, and the preparation of recommendations for a broad range of complex fire protection problems, and their expertise is recognized by architects, engineers, builders, and other professionals involved in the building process.

If you are planning a small project, for example, an addition to an existing fire alarm or fire sprinkler system, you may qualify to use this service. The Denver Fire Department Fire Protection Engineering personnel can generally complete over-the-counter plan checks within one (1) hour.
Please come to the Development Services Plan Check counter at 201 West Colfax, second floor. We do not accept appointments—this type of plan check is on a first- come, first-served basis, with plans checked into the system and placed in queue for review.
Complex plans or plans too extensive for an over-the-counter (walk-through) plan review will be checked for completeness and accepted into the plan review queue for a more detailed review at a later date.
If you have specific questions about the requirements of city ordinance and how they affect specific design issues in your project, Fire Prevention personnel will provide interpretations of specific code sections and review and comment on specific design issues prior to application for a permit or entering into a property lease or sale.
Note: Prior to scheduling a plan review meeting, please provide your specific questions in writing, along with plans that accurately reflect the proposed project or building occupancy use (rack storage, hazardous materials use, storage or manufacture, high-piled storage, etc).
There is no fee for an informal meeting to discuss specific issues; however, a fee is charged in cases where a thorough pre-application plan review is requested. 
To request a plan review meeting, please contact the Plan Check unit:
Fire Department Plan Check 
Denver Development Services
201 West Colfax Avenue, 2nd floor
Denver, CO 80202     
The public looks to Fire Prevention for answers and advice concerning many issues, including building construction. Due to its unique ability to provide this information, the Denver Fire Department Fire Protection Engineering unit provides consulting services to the community. 
The Fire Protection Engineering unit explains the codes and application of specific standards to help design professionals, contractors, and members of the building trades in their duties. Fire Prevention maintains a library of up-to-date reference materials that is available to the public to review in the Fire Prevention office. There is no fee for this service. 
To request pre-construction project coordination service, please contact the Plan Check unit:
Fire Department Plan Check 
Denver Development Services
201 West Colfax Avenue, 2nd floor
Denver, CO 80202     
After a life-safety system has been installed, inspection personnel from the Fire Prevention unit must conduct an inspection to determine that is has been installed properly and is functional. 
Life-safety systems that require testing include:
  • fire alarms
  • fire sprinklers
  • smoke detection and alarms
  • carbon monoxide detection and alarms
  • smoke control
  • public-address systems
  • firefighters emergency communications systems
  • emergency generators
  • fire pumps
  • radio enhancement systems
  • kitchen hood extinguishing systems
  • special extinguishing systems
  • emergency elevator recall

A successful life-safety systems acceptance test usually results in a temporary or permanent certificate of occupancy.
There is no charge for initial acceptance testing unless you need to schedule the testing for a time outside normal business hours. If initial acceptance testing occurs outside normal business hours, a fee is charged. A fee is also charged for any re-tests (i.e., in cases when the initial test or subsequent tests determined that the system did not function in accordance with applicable standards). 
Refer to the installation permit for details about timing of and arranging for a post-installation inspection, or contact the Life-Safety Systems Acceptance Testing Group at 720-913-3480 or

Plan Check Services

If you are planning to install life safety systems (fire alarm, fire sprinklers, smoke detection, public-address systems, etc.) that are not incorporated into a larger construction project, please contact us directly at:

Fire Department Plan Check 

Denver Development Services
201 West Colfax Avenue, 2nd floor
Denver, CO 80202