Business Safety Inspections

Are you opening a new business in Petaluma or moving your existing business to a new location within the city limits?

The City’s Fire Prevention and Building Divisions will need to visit your business and complete a Business Safety Inspection before the City will issue your business license.

Below is a list of items that are part of the inspection. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact [email protected].

Note: Please make sure your business space is ready for inspection before scheduling an appointment.

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Your building address must be clearly visible from the street, including the suite number or letter printed on the door.  In multiple tenant buildings, all rear doors must also be identified.


A fire extinguisher 2A-10BC (minimum size) mounted no higher than 5 ft. on a clearly identifiable wall with an identifying sign mounted above.  One extinguisher is required for every 3000 sq. ft. and  / or one for every 75 ft. of travel.


There shall be no holes or open areas permitted in walls, ceilings, floors, or celing tiles.  In addition, ceiling tiles must be in place as designed.


The use of extension cords is prohibited; if there is a need to extend power to a location, an approved surge protector can be used.  If one does not reach the location, a new receptacle may be needed. (A permit is required for all new electrical work.)


Electrical outlets in bathrooms or within 6 feet of any water source must be ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles. More info about GFCI’s here.

All electrical outlet panels must have cover plates and all knock-outs must be covered (no tape) and no exposed wiring is permitted.


The area in front of the electrical panel (breaker box) must remain clear at all times.


Exit signs must be installed over doors that exit directly to the exterior of the building (illuminated signs are not required unless your type of business requires them). Exit doors and paths must be kept clear at all times.  Double-keyed cylinder locks cannot be used for required exit doors.

An existing sign over the front entrance door that reads: “DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED DURING BUSINESS HOURS” is required.  If a new sign is needed it should read: “THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED WHEN BUILDING IS OCCUPIED,” in letters 1 inch high on a contrasting background.


There may be additional requirements if your business is consider a place of assembly (50 or more person occupancy). In such cases, the building department will determine these requirements.

If your business requires an extension from the Health Department, you will need to contact them directly. Go to their website for more information.

Any new construction or remodeling may require a separate building permit; contact the building department for more info at 707-778-4301.

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