Engineering and Plan Review

The fire engineering office reviews permits and performs inspections on kitchen hood, fire suppression, fire alarm, smoke control, and special suppression systems. Fire sprinkler and fire alarm contractors must be licensed by the state of Minnesota. Once a permit is applied for and meets the threshold for a plan review, a fire systems inspector or engineer reviews plans for sprinkler systems, alarm systems, kitchen hood, and special suppression systems. The fire engineer also reviews building plans in conjunction with the building plan review department for other life-safety systems, including exiting and separations.

Current thresholds for plan review:

  • Sprinkler permits over 25 heads
  • Alarm permits over 100 devices
  • All kitchen hood installations
  • All clean agent systems 
  • All smoke control systems

The engineer consults with design professionals, building owners, and other City agencies to assure conformance with all fire and life-safety requirements in Saint Paul buildings. The engineer also is available to consult with Fire Prevention Inspectors for code correction assistance and advice.

Permit Process

**New applications effective June 2020**

Online Permits

Each contractor must be pre-registered in order to use the  Saint Paul Online Services portal (https://online.stpaul.gov/stpaulportal/sfjsp?interviewID=Apply-permit), the City's online permit application system. Only one person per company may be registered online and must hold a current license. Once registered, you can use the system for any permit. If plans are required, the contact listed on the permit will receive an email to upload plans to the City’s Electronic Plan Review platform. Most file types are accepted. Permit fees will be accepted prior to plan review.

Your online fire alarm permit application will automatically be created when you fill out your electrical permit application.

After filling out the required information, our staff will ensure the correct documents have been received before approving the application. The contact on the application will receive a notification once the application has been accepted. The review will not begin until the application has been accepted. You must receive an approved permit before commencing work.

Fax or email in the inspection request form to receive an inspection. An inspector will respond to the request within 2 working days to get an inspection scheduled.

Fax: 651-266-9124
Email: DSI-EG@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Paper Permits

Contractors are encouraged to submit plans electronically, but paper plans will still be accepted for the time being.

Permits not requiring a plan review will still be accepted in hard copy. Click on the links below to obtain a paper permit application. The application, along with any plans or submittals, can either be mailed or dropped off in person at the DSI office (375 Jackson Street, 2nd floor).  At least two copies of the plans are required. The City keeps one set of plans and returns the rest to you. Only provide one set of submittals or hydraulic calculations as we do not return any copies to you. Please make checks out to City of Saint Paul. You must receive an approved permit before commencing work.

Fax or email in the inspection request form to receive an inspection. An inspector will respond to the request within 2 working days to get an inspection scheduled.

Fax: 651-266-9124
Email: DSI-EG@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Alterations to Existing Fire Alarm Systems

Existing fire alarm system panels and components will eventually become obsolete.  Because fire alarm requirements have changed throughout the years, replacing existing systems can present a challenge in existing buildings.  The 2020 Minnesota State Fire Code is silent regarding the replacement of existing fire alarm systems.  It is the intent of this guide to provide a clear path for contractors and inspectors when determining what and how much of the system to replace.

  1. Fire Alarm Control Panel Only Replacement

    1. This section shall only apply to systems requiring a fire alarm control panel to be replaced.
    2. When replacing a control panel, if all other initiation and notification devices are compatible, then nothing else is required to be upgraded.  The installation of the new fire alarm control panel shall be installed to current code under permit.
      1. If singular initiation or notification devices are found to be nonfunctional, they may be individually replaced without bringing all of the initiation and notification up to current code.
      2. If there is not currently a smoke detector above the fire alarm control panel, a new one shall be installed.  The rest of the existing initiation devices shall not be required to be brought up to current code.

 

  1. Initiation Device Replacement

    1. If initiation devices are being changed due to a building modification, alteration, or a fire alarm system failure; fire alarm system initiation devices shall meet and be approved to current code requirements.  This may mean additional smoke detectors and/or other devices are required.  It also could mean the removal of devices depending on the makeup of the building and other fire protection features present in the building.

 

  1. Notification Device Replacement

    1. If notification devices are being changed due to a building modification, alteration, or a fire alarm system failure; the fire alarm system notification shall meet and be approved to current code requirements.  This may mean additional horns/strobes, low frequency sounders, and/or speakers are required.  It also could mean the removal of devices depending on the makeup of the building and other fire protection features present in the building.

 

  1. Unique situations which are not covered by the above scenarios shall be approved, in writing, on an individual basis.  Considerations for approval include but are not limited to: building type, building use, demographics of building occupants (children, elderly, ambulatory), other fire protection features, previously approved alternate methods of compliance, or planned future construction.

Forms

Fire Suppression

Fire Alarm

Smoke Control

Sprinkler Financial Program

Last Edited: January 11, 2021