Q: The above sticker is on my business door, what does it mean?
A: When last visited by the Gastonia Fire Department Life Safety Division, the permises was found to be vacant and the state mandated fire inspection could not be be performed. This notice informs potential occupants that inspections need to take place before occupying the dwelling. All vacated commercial premises or buildings will require a fire inspection before the business can open.
Q: How can I contact the Fire Marshal's Office?
A: Call 704 866 6807 during regular business hours. You can also Email Assistant Fire Marshal Terry Revis at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Fire Marshal Chris Stowe at: Stowe_Chris@cityofgastonia.com.
Q: If I call can you tell me exactly what I need to open for business?
A: In most cases yes, however in some instances the Gaston County Building Inspections Department, and City of Gastonia Zoning will need to be involved. The prior use of the building, and the intended use will depend on what is necessary for the business to open. For example if a buidling was built to be a warehouse, and the intended use of the new business is a nightclub, then a change of use will have to be done by the potential occupant.
Q: If I need a occupancy change of use how do I go about doing that?
A: This will be a two-setp process. The first step is to fill out a City of Gastonia Zoning Application (information can be found at CityofGastonia.com), and once that is applied for and approved, a separate submittal will need to be made to Gaston County Building Inspections.
Q: How will the city obtain compliance through the use of these stickers?
A: The number one goal of the Gastonia Fire Marshal's Office is compliance through educating the public, owners, and potential occupants. Our hope is that the stickers will encourage potential occupants to contact us before occupying the building. If needed the Fire Marshal's Office is authorized by state law to institue appropriate actions to prevent unlawful construction, or to restrain, correct or abate a violation; or to prevent illegal occupany of a structure on or about any premises. This will typically be done by issuing written correction orders, however in some cases monetary fines, disconnection of utilities, and in rare occassions criminal charges may be assessed depending on the severity of the situation.
Q: I want to open a business, what should I do first?
A: Fill out a zoning compliance application.
Any questions or concerns, call the Gastonia Fire Marshal's Office at 704 866 6807.