Building Inspections & Home Safety Surveys Can Now Be Done Virtually

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Columbia-Richland Fire Department is now making it possible for business owners to have fire inspections done virtually. 

If you are in need of an inspection for your business and it is located within the City of Columbia here is the process to follow:

  • all virtual inspections must be scheduled!
  • you can schedule an inspection by contacting Fire Marshal George Adams at (803)545-3701 or by sending an email to 


  • prior to the date of the virtual inspection:
    • customers must have a step-ladder, flashlight and tape measure
    • you must also have a smartphone or tablet connected to Wi-Fi or 4G wireless service. Either Zoom (all devices) or FaceTime (Apple OS devices) are required to host the video call. You can check your mobile device’s app store to download.
    • finally you must turn off notifcations for your tablet or phone. You then accept the incoming video call when initiated.


  • during the virtual inspection:
    • follow all directions
    • begin the call at street view looking at structure with the address showing
    • you must then walk the exterior of the structure in a clockwise direction if applicable.
    • then walk the inspection from the rear to the front of the building. If the building is two floors walk the inspection from top to bottom.
    • make any notes of what requires correction


  • following the inspection:
    • CRFD will record all results
    • the client will be notified if the business has passed or failed. Regardless of whether the business has failed or passed –all violations noted must be corrected


The department is also now offering virtual home fire safety surveys for area property owners throughout the City of Columbia and Richland County. You can schedule one by contacting Fire Education Officer Bengie Leverett by sending an email to or calling (803)545-4162. Follow the same guidelines above before and during the safety survey.