Appeals to the Fire Marshal

The Fire Department recognizes there are times when it is difficult, if not impossible, to comply with the letter of the code.  When it has been determined that there are practical difficulties in carrying out the provisions of the current code, the Appeals process is the method used to allow a possible deviation from the requirements.  The Phoenix Fire Prevention Code, Chapter 1 allows the Fire Department to grant such appeals.

Appeal Process

1)   Complete Appeal & Engineering Interpretation Application Form

2)   Submit application

 Include with submittal:

    • Letter explaining the purpose of appeal and proposed solution
    • One copy of the site plan
    • $250 Payment (cash, credit, or check made payable to City of Phoenix)
    • Appellant and Building Owner signature.
      If the building owner is not available for signature, a notarized letter is required stating the owner is aware of the appeal and has no objections to it

3)  Mail or submit the appeal and payment to:

Phoenix Fire Department

Attn: Fire Prevention

150 South 12th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85034-2301

Submittal and payment must be received by noon on Tuesday in order to be heard the next day Wednesday.

Decision of Fire Marshal
Based upon the Appellant’s proposals, detailed information or documentation submitted and the Fire Department recommendation, the Decision will be one of the following:

  • Approved
  • Approved with Stipulations - The stipulations will document if further action is required by the Appellant and a recheck date to allow time for compliance.
  • Denied
  • See Attachment - May apply when “Approved with Stipulations” or “Denied” apply.

For assistance or information, please contact us.


Following are the 2012 Phoenix Fire Code Sections governing Appeals to the Fire Marshal

Section 104.8 Modifications.  Whenever there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this code, the fire code official shall have the authority to grant modifications for individual cases, provided the fire code official shall first find that special individual reason makes the strict letter of this code impractical and the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of this code and that such modification does not lessen health, life and fire safety requirements. The details of action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the files of the Department of Fire Prevention.

Section 104.9 Alternative materials and methods.  The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. The fire code official is authorized to approve an alternate material or method where the fire code official finds that the proposed design, use or operation is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.


What the Appeals Process is:

  • A method to approve alternate materials that comply with the intent of the code
  • A method to approve alternate method of work performed or operation that complies with the intent of the code, at least equivalent to that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety
  • Approvals by the Fire Marshal of alternate material or method shall be subject to the approval of the building official whenever it involves the Building Code
  • A method to approve ways of carrying out the provisions of the code, provided that the spirit of the code shall be complied with, public safety secured and substantial justice done.
  • What the Appeals Process is Not
  • A forum to complain, criticize, or protest
  • For providing financial relief
  • A forum to challenge or debate established codes, policies or regulations
  • To ask for forgiveness for past disregard of existing fire and building codes and request to be grandfathered in now.