Navigate Up
Sign In


    Annual Operational Fire Permits are required for businesses involving the handling, storage or use of substances, materials or devices regulated by the City of Grand Rapids Fire Code, 2012 International Fire Code, conducting processes which produce conditions hazardous to life or property, or establishing a place of assembly. The Fire Code Official (Fire Chief and/or designees) determines whether the operation in question is a significant hazard that requires a permit.

    The Operational Permit Application (PDF) is available to download and print. Please check all Operational Permits that apply to your business and fill out the application completely. Mail or fax the completed application to:

    Operational Permits
    Grand Rapids Fire Department
    38 LaGrave Ave SE
    Grand Rapids, MI  49503

    Fax #: 616-456-4061

    Once we have received your Operational Permit Application the application will be processed. A
    Fire Inspection will be scheduled and conducted if required. Operational Permits do require an annual fee (PDF) and are valid for one year. The permit cycle is based on a calendar year from January to December. An Operational Permit Invoice will be mailed to you and once we have received full payment the actual Operational Permit will be sent to you to keep on file. Once your business is permitted, annually we will send out a notice when it is time to renew your permit.

    Clicking on an item in the list below will take you to an abbreviated explanation of the parameters that determine whether a facility needs to apply for a permit for that operation. In the event that further information is required, the applicant should consult the appropriate section in the International Fire Code, 2012 Edition, referenced in the explanation.

    Aerosol Products

    A product that is dispensed from an aerosol container by a propellant.

    Aerosol products are classified by means of the calculation of their chemical heats of combustion into Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The Level of the aerosol is printed on at least one side of the shipping carton.

    The permit is required to manufacture, store or handle a total (aggregate) of more than 500 lbs. of Level 2 and/or Level 3 aerosol products.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 28]
    Amusement Buildings

    A building that:

    • is temporary, permanent or mobile
    • contains a device or system that conveys passengers or provides a walkway along, around or over a course in any direction as a form of amusement
    • the course is arranged so that the egress path is not readily apparent due to visual or audio distractions or an intentionally confusing egress path, or is not readily available because of the mode of conveyance through the building or structure.
    [IFC-2012, Sec. 202 (Definitions); Sec. 907.2.11; Sec. 903.2.15; Michigan Building Code-2003, Sec. 411]
    Aviation Facilities

    The permit is for the use of a building for aircraft servicing and/or repair and aircraft fuel-servicing vehicles.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 11]
    Battery Systems

    A system which consists of three interconnected subsystems:

    1. A lead-acid battery.
    2. A battery charger.
    3. A collection of rectifiers, inverters, converters, and associated electrical equipment as required for a particular application.
    [IFC-2012, Sec. 602]
    Carnivals & Fairs

    The permit is required to conduct a carnival or fair.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 2401.3]
    Cellulose Nitrate Film

    The permit is to store, handle or use cellulose nitrate film in a theater.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 306]
    Combustible Dust-Producing Operations

    The permit is for operations that produce dust (finely divided particles of 420 microns or less) that, when dispersed in air, could be ignited by a flame, spark, or other ignition. Combustible dust will pass through a U.S. No. 40 standard sieve.

    The types of operations which produce this kind of dust are: grain elevators; flour starch mills; feed mills; plants that pulverize aluminum, coal, cocoa, magnesium, spices, or sugar; woodworking plants, and others.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 13]
    Combustible Fibers

    The permit is required to store or handle 100 cubic feet (4' X 5' X 5') of readily ignitable and free-burning fibers, such as cocoa fiber, cloth, cotton, excelsior, hay, hemp, henequen, istle, jute, kapok, oakum, rags, sisal, Spanish moss, straw, tow, wastepaper, certain synthetic fibers or other like materials.

    Agricultural storage is excluded from this provision.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 29]
    Compressed Gases

    The permit is required for storage, use, or handling of:

    1. 200 or more cubic feet (at Normal Temperature & Pressure) of a Corrosive Gas;
    2. 200 or more cubic feet (at NTP) of a Flammable Gas, except Cryogenic Fluids and LP-Gas;
    3. Any amount of Toxic or Highly Toxic Gas;
    4. 6,000 or more cubic feet (at NTP) of Inert and Simple Asphyxiant Gas; and/or
    5. 504 or more cubic feet of an Oxidizing Gas (including Oxygen).
    [IFC-2012, Ch. 30]
    Covered Mall Buildings

    The permit is required for:

    1. the placement of retail fixtures and displays, concession equipment, displays of highly combustible goods and similar items;
    2. the display of liquid- or gas-fired equipment in the mall; and/or
    3. the use of open-flame or flame-producing equipment in the mall.
    [IFC-2012, Sec. 308]
    Cryogenic Fluids

    The permit is required to produce, store, transport on site, use, handle, or dispense:

    1. More than 1 pound indoors or 60 pounds or more outdoors of a Flammable Cryogenic Fluid.
    2. 60 or more pounds indoors or 500 pounds or more outdoors of an Inert Cryogenic Fluid.
    3. 10 or more pounds indoors or 50 pounds or more outdoors of an Oxidizing Cryogenic Fluid (includes Oxygen).
    4. Any amount indoors or outdoors of Physical- or Health-Hazard Cryogenic Gas not indicated above.
    [IFC-2012, Ch. 32]
    Cutting & Welding Works

    The permit is required to conduct cutting and/or welding operations.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 26]
    Dry Cleaning
    [IFC-2012, Ch. 12]
    Exhibits & Trade Shows

    The permit is required to operate exhibits and trade shows. The principal concern is to identify hazardous materials and highly flammable materials that could be involved.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 105.6.14]

    The permit is required to manufacture, storage, handling, sale, or use of any quantity of explosive, explosive material, fireworks, or pyrotechnic special effects regulated under IFC-2012, Chapter 33).

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 33]
    Flammable & Combustible Liquids

    The permit is for quantities and operations including, but not limited to:

    1. To use or operate a pipeline for the transportation within facilities of flammable or combustible liquids.
    2. To store, handle or use Class I Liquids in excess of 5 gallons (19L) in a building or in excess of 10 gallons (37.9L) outside of a building.
    3. To store, handle or use Class II or Class IIIA liquids in excess of 25 gallons (95L) in a building or in excess of 60 gallons (227L) outside a building.
    4. To operate tank vehicles, equipment, tanks, plants, terminals, wells, fuel-dispensing stations, refineries, distilleries and similar facilities where flammable and combustible liquids are produced, processed, transported, stored, dispensed or used.
    5. To manufacture, process, blend or refine flammable or combustible liquids.

    Hazardous Materials Permit quantities (PDF) can be found on this table.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 34]
    Floor Finishing

    The permit is for floor finishing or resurfacing with flammable and/or combustible finishes of floor areas of 350 square feet or greater.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 34]
    Fruit & Crop Ripening

    The permit is for operating a fruit and/or crop ripening facility which uses ethylene gas.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 16]
    Fumigation & Thermal Insecticidal Fogging

    The permit is for operating a business of fumigation or thermal insecticidal fogging, including a vault to store toxic or flammable fumigants.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 17]
    Hazardous Materials

    The permit is for storage, transportation on site, dispensing, using or handling hazardous materials in excess of the amounts shown in IFC-2012, Table 105.6.21 (PDF).

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 27 for general requirements, Ch. 28 - 44 for specific types of Hazardous Materials]
    High-Piled Storage

    The permit is required to use a building or a portion of a building for high-piled storage (12 feet high and higher) in an area exceeding 500 square feet. Also included is storage of some high hazard commodities when storage is greater than 6 feet.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 23]
    Hot Works Operations

    The permit is required to conduct operations including cutting, welding, Thermit welding, brazing, soldering, grinding, thermal spraying, thawing pipe, installation of torch-applied roof systems or any other similar activity. One annual permit is sufficient if business implements GRFD Hot Work Permit Program.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 26]
    HPM Facilities

    The permit is required to store, handle, or use hazardous production materials.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 18]
    Industrial Ovens

    The permit is required for industrial ovens regulated by IFC-2012, Ch. 21. These do not include cooking ovens in restaurants.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 21]
    Lumberyards & Woodworking Plants

    The permit is required for storage and/or processing of lumber exceeding 100,000 board feet of finished or sawn lumber.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 19]
    Liquid-/Gas-Fueled Vehicles & Equipment in Assembly Buildings

    The permit is required to display, operate, or demonstrate liquid- or gas-fueled vehicles and/or equipment in buildings where the public gathers.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 314.4]

    The permit is required for storage and use of LP-gas (except for containers of 500-gallon water capacity or less serving 1- and 2-family homes), and for operation of cargo tankers transporting LP-gas.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 38]

    The permit is required to melt, cast, heat treat, or grind more than 10 pounds of magnesium.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 3606]
    Miscellaneous Combustible Storage

    The permit is required to store in any building or on any premises in excess of 2,500 cubic feet of combustible empty packing cases, boxes, barrels, or similar containers; rubber tires; rubber; cork; or similar material.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 315]
    Open Flames in Assemblies

    The permit is required to use open flames or candles in connection with areas where the public gathers and/or dining areas of restaurants or drinking establishments. See also "Candles (and other open flames) in Eating and Entertainment

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 308]
    Organic Coatings

    The permit is required for any organic-coating manufacturing operation producing more than 1 gallon of organic coating in one day.

    Organic Coating Materials Permit amounts (PDF) can be found on this table.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 20]
    Places of Assembly (Restaurants, Bars, Nightclubs, Exhibit Halls, Sports Venues, Arenas, Theaters)

    The permit is required to operate a place of assembly.

    [Michigan Building Code-2012, Sec. 303]
    Private Fire Hydrants

    The permit is required to remove a private fire hydrant from service.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 105.6.36]
    Pyrotechnic Special Effects Materials

    The permit is required to use and/or handle pyrotechnic special effects materials, such as are used for entertainment and theatrical purposes.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 33]
    Pyroxylin Plastics

    The permit is required for storage or handling of more than 25 pounds of cellulose nitrate (pyroxylin) plastics and for the assembly or manufacture of articles involving pyroxylin plastics.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 42]
    Refrigeration Equipment

    The permit is required to operate a mechanical refrigeration unit or system with more than 220 pounds of a Group A1 refrigerant or more than 30 pounds of any other refrigerant.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 606]
    Repair Garages & Motor Vehicle Fuel-Dispensing Facilities

    The permit is required to operate repair garages and automotive, marine, and fleet motor fuel-dispensing facilities (gas stations).

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 22]
    Rooftop Heliports

    The permit is required to operate a rooftop heliport or helistop.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 11]
    Spraying & Dipping

    The permit is required to conduct a spraying or dipping operation using flammable or combustible liquids or the application of combustible powders regulated by IFC-2003, Ch. 15.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 15]
    Storage of Scrap Tires & Tire Byproducts

    The permit is required to establish, conduct, or maintain storage of scrap tires and tire byproducts that exceed 2,500 cubic feet of scrap tires, and for indoor storage of tires and tire byproducts.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 25]
    Tire-Rebuilding Plants

    The permit is required for the operation and maintenance of a tire-rebulding plant.

    [IFC-2012, Ch. 25]
    Waste Handling

    The permit is required for the operation of wrecking yards, junk yards, and waste material-handling facilities.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 315 (Miscellaneous combustible storage); Sec. 2704 (Hazardous materials storage); Sec. 1908 (Yard waste and recycling facilities)]
    Wood Product

    The permit is required to store in excess of 200 cubic feet of wood chips, hogged material, lumber, or plywood.

    [IFC-2012, Sec. 1908]