Posted on 5/23/2019 by Steve Robbins
Fire Safety Inspections
If you are selling a condominium or a multi-family home or rent out any residential unit, you are subject to the State of Vermont Fire and Building Safety Code. In fact, all “Public Buildings” fall under this requirement.
The enabling legislation is Vermont Statute Title 20, Chapter 173; Prevention and Investigation of Fires.
Single family, owner occupied homes and accessory dwelling units are not considered public buildings.
Read the state definition of public buildings.
Why does this matter?
Especially since the fire that ripped through Mountainside Condominiums in 2014, we have seen an increased awareness of fire safety by purchasers. It is now common for purchasers to request a safety inspection as a condition of Purchase Contract. This is beyond the general inspection conducted by a licensed property inspector.
These inspections are performed by a state Fire Marshal (Dept of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety) The fire marshal will focus on safety issues including, smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected outlets and lights in wet areas, graspable hand rails on stairs, emergency egress windows and more.
Like a general inspection, the resolution of issues discovered under a safety inspection may be negotiated between buyers and sellers. However, it is now common in the Purchase and Sale Contract to require the seller to address fire safety deficiencies identified by the inspection.
For this reason, sellers in some markets (Champlain Valley for instance) are completing the inspection (and repairs) in advance of bringing a property to market.
View the inspection request form.
The moral of this story is an ounce of prevention is much better than a pound cure!