Multi-Family Residential Inspections

Multi-family residential property inspections are requirements set forth by the State Fire Marshal to ensure compliance with the general fire and life safety provisions. All multi-family residential properties in the state of California, consisting of three or more units will be inspected by the local fire authority. The routine annual inspection will be conducted on your property with a primary goal of minimizing any potential fire and life safety hazards.

For additional information, contact the Alhambra Fire Department – Community Risk Reduction Division at 626-570-5193. 

Frequently-Asked Questions

1. Why is my multi-family property/building being inspected by the Fire Department?

The California State Fire Marshal determined that all multi-family residential buildings in the State of California consisting of three or more units shall be inspected annually by the local Fire Department throughout the state. To meet the requirement, set forth by the State Fire Marshal, the Alhambra Fire Department (AFD) has developed, evaluated, and implemented a uniform and equitable plan to inspect all properties in its jurisdiction that fall within these criteria.

2. When will my property(ies) be inspected?

Inspections are being conducted on a systematic basis, with consideration of the building density and potential for fire, life, and panic emergencies. The Alhambra Fire Department’s compliance plan has a minimum performance goal of completing all associated multi-family residential annual inspections and follow-up compliance inspections each “calendar year”. You can anticipate that your property will be inspected beginning January 1st thru December 31st. 

3. What am I required to do prior to the inspection?

As the property owner/management company, you are encouraged regularly conduct thorough walk-throughs of your property with a focus on identifying potential hazards and correcting them. Please view the “Top Five Considerations Regarding the Multi-Residential Inspections.” 

4. What are the areas of focus during the Fire Department inspection?

A routine fire and life safety inspection will be conducted on your property. The inspector will focus on the building perimeter and common areas (open areas, carports, assembly rooms, amenity spaces, stairwells, laundry rooms, etc.). 

5. Is there a cost associated with the Fire Department inspection?

Yes, the inspection fee to property owner(s) is $50 per 30 minutes of inspection. A typical inspection can take 30 minutes to one hour or more, depending on the size of the property.  An invoice will be generated and mailed to the mailing address for the property owner or management company on file.  The fee will be payable by check in the mail or by cash, check, or credit card in person at the City of Alhambra Finance Department.   

6. How will I know the results of the inspection on my property?

The Alhambra Fire Department will mail property owner(s) an inspection report upon completion of the inspection.  If you would like to update your contact or mailing information, please click on this form and e-mail to

7. Why have I received a “Notice of Violation” (NOV) from The Alhambra Fire Department?

If your property is found to be in violation of any fire codes during your annual inspection, you will receive additional compliance inspections until your property is found to be compliant with the fire code. Any additional re-inspections will be billed to the property owner at the established city rate; a fine of $500 may be imposed, and is subject to legal action by the City Attorney.