Fire and Life Safety Division
Plan Reviews, Inspections, Code Enforcement, Fire Prevention and Education
The Alaska State Fire Marshal has deferred a portion of the Matanuska Susitna Borough (MSB) to the Central Mat-Su Fire Department (CMSFD). We conduct all fire and life safety plan reviews and inspections, as well as, fire prevention and education activities for the Central Mat-Su Fire Service Area (FSA). To check which FSA you are in, search for the property by owner or address at myProperty. You may also contact the Permit Technician listed below.
Contact Number: (907) 861-8030
- Donald Cuthbert, FIRE MARSHAL
- Jeffrey Anderson, Deputy Fire Marshal
- Joshua Henson, Deputy Fire Marshal
- Tara Wade, FSA Assistant - Prevention/Education
- Michelle Wagner, Permit Technician
- Administrative Assistant
PHYSICAL Address: 1911 S Terrace Court, Palmer
MAILING Address: 101 W Swanson Ave, Wasilla, AK 99654
All inquires regarding projects outside the CMSFD's jurisdiction should be directed to the State Fire Marshal's office.
Fire Code & Life Safety Forms
Before beginning the construction, alteration, repair, or changing the occupancy of a building, a substantial land structure, or structure regulated by state division of fire and life safety (or their designated Jurisdiction Having Authority [JHA]), plans and specifications regarding that building's or structure's location on the property, area, height, number of stories, occupancy, type of construction, fire-resistive construction, interior finish, exit facilities, electrical systems, mechanical systems, flammable or combustible liquid and gas storage tanks and their appurtenances, automatic fire-extinguishing systems, and fire alarm systems must be submitted by the owner or the owner's representative for examination and approval. This review does not address structural considerations or mechanical or electrical review beyond that necessary to confirm compliance with fire or life safety requirements. A copy of the approval must be posted as required in 13 AAC 55.100.
It is prohibited to occupy a building for which plans have not been examined and approved if the construction, alteration, repair, or change in occupancy began on or after December 5, 1956. The JHA may post a building constructed without a plan review, as set out in 13 AAC 50.070(b).
Note: Residential housing that is triplex or smaller are exempt from this requirement.
By authority of...
Adopted Building Codes
Title 13 of the Alaska Administrative Code, Chapters 50 through 55, was adopted and amended to the 2012 International Building, Fire, Fuel Gas and Mechanical Codes. This new code took affect on May 19, 2017. Projects submitted after that date will be reviewed under the new code.
- Alaska ICC Code Amendments
- 2012 International Building Code
- 2012 International Fire Code
- 2012 International Mechanical Code
The last three codes above are linked to the ICC eCodes Free Subscription Web Site. This site is designed to allow you to view the International Codes for free. You are limited in your abilities to search and print, however all sections of the codes are available for you. The State of Alaska and MSB have not adopted the International Residential Code (IRC). For reference purposes, the 2015 IRC codes may be viewed HERE.
If you are interested in being able to have full search and printing abilities, please visit shop.ICCsafe.org for a pay option, that will allow full access and full features. For technical support using this product, please call International Code Council® at 888-422-7233 ext 33822. COPYRIGHT 2007 by INTERNATIONAL CODE COUNCIL
NOTE: The International Codes are designed for adoption by state or local governments by reference only. Jurisdictions adopting them may make necessary additions, deletions and amendments in their adopting document.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The International Codes® are a copyrighted work owned by the International Code Council, Inc. Without advance written permission from the copyright owner, no part of these books may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including, without limitation, electronic, optical or mechanical means (by way of example and not limitation, photocopying, or recording by or in an information storage retrieval system). For information on permission to copy material exceeding fair use, please contact: President, International Code Council, 5203 Leesburg Pike, Suite 600, Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3401. (Phone 703-931-4533).
Building Permit Process
- If your project is for an existing building, submit a copy of the previous building plan review approval letter and certificate. It is prohibited to occupy a building for which plans have not been examined or approved.
- Fire system plan reviews (fire alarm, fire suppression, hood suppressions, and fuel systems) will be submitted using the Plan Review Application above.
- A plan review fee will be calculated and fee'd by the Permit Technician.
- The plans are reviewed by a Fire Code Official after receipt of the fee.
- The review is usually completed within a two-week time frame, however, additional information may be required.
- Once the review has been approved as submitted and/or modified, an approval letter and certificate will be issued.
- A copy of the certificate must be posted as required in 13 AAC 55.100(b).
- Once work has been completed on-site and ready to open to the public, contact a staff member at (907)861-8030 or FireCode@/MatSuGov.us to schedule a final inspection.
- If there are deficiencies noted at the inspection, a timeframe will be established for completion of corrections. Once any deficiencies have been corrected, a certificate of occupancy will be issued and the plan review will be closed.
Fees for Plan Review
Plan Review Fees
Fees for plan review are done through the MSB eCommerce site, via Point & Pay. There is currently a convenience fee applied to all transactions done with Point & Pay.
The plan review fee is established by the State of Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety as adopted in the Alaska Administrative Code;
- upon application for a plan review, a plan review fee must be paid to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (Central Mat-Su FSA is a deferred jurisdiction within the MSB);
- the value of the proposed construction will be determined by the this office using the valuation schedule, the plan review fee table and the plan review fee formula (13 AAC 50.027(c)(6)(7)(8)), page 44;
- renovation, alterations, and mechanical changes and fuel system installation and replacement valuation is determined by the project cost;
- the fee schedule will then be applied to the calculated fee; if the Fire Code Office cannot determine project value using the valuation schedule or the construction estimate, an hourly fee of $95 (minimum of 2 hours) will be charged;
- the minimum review fee for industrial (oil, gas, and mining) use facilities is $1000;
- the plan review fee for home day cares is $150;
- the plan review fee for a relocation review is $150;
- the minimum fee for other uses requiring administrative approval, such as impairments, code modifications, and footing/foundation is $150;
- if plans are revised to an extent that requires a new plan review, the charge will be the same as for new plans;
- the charge for a plan review for plans submitted for identical structures within the same subdivision or planned unit development is the full fee for one original set, and 60% of the full plan review fee for each additional set of plans of the same identical structure; each identical structure shall be issued a separate approval permit;
- if any work for which a plan review and approval is required by this subsection has been started without first obtaining plan review and approval, a special processing plan review fee will be charged; the special processing plan review fee is an additional charge equal to the amount of the standard plan review fee for the project; subsequent violations by the same person or business will result in an additional special processing fee multiplied by the number of previous violations;
A Knox Box, known officially as the KNOX-BOX© Rapid Entry System, is a secure emergency access program developed for property owners and fire departments. For more information, visit our Knox Box page.
These downloadable safety tips are actually links to several different websites such as the State of Alaska Fire Marshal's office and National Fire Protection Association. NFPA offers free safety tip sheets on a variety of fire and life safety topics. Other topics are available at www.nfpa.org/safety-information/safety-tip-sheets. Download, print and share these tip sheets to spread the word about fire safety.
Downloadable Safety Tips
Exploring Careers in Building Safety
Building Careers for Today’s Generation
Professions within the building safety field vary widely in their specialties, and the industry offers many well-paying career options for today’s workforce:
- Building inspectors inspect structures to determine compliance with the various building codes and standards adopted by the jurisdiction.
- Building officials manage the development, administration, interpretation, application and enforcement of the codes adopted by their jurisdiction.
- Special inspectors provide a specialized inspection of structural material fabrication and placement, such as poured concrete, structural steel installation and fasteners, etc.
- Permit technicians assist in the issuance of construction and development permits to ensure compliance with the provisions of a jurisdiction’s adopted regulations and codes
- Fire marshals develop and deliver fire prevention and implements public fire safety programs that provide for inspections of occupancies for life safety and fire issues in accordance with codes and standards adopted by their jurisdiction.
- Plumbing inspectors inspect the installation, maintenance and alteration of plumbing systems complete with their fixtures, equipment, accessories, and appliances.
- Electrical inspectors check the quality of materials, the installation work, and the safeguards in electrical systems. They make sure electrical systems meet city, state or national codes, and electrical codes and standards. Electrical inspectors look closely at new wiring and fixtures in businesses, public buildings, and in homes.
- Mechanical inspectors focus on heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) concerns. This includes inspection of: mechanical appliances and equipment; air distribution systems; kitchen exhaust equipment; boilers and water heaters; hydronic piping; gas piping systems; flammable and combustible liquid storage and piping systems; fireplaces, chimneys and vents; refrigeration systems; incinerators and crematories. The mechanical inspector also checks for air quality and energy conservation measures.
- Public works inspectors check digging and fill operations, and the placement of forms for concrete. They observe the concrete mixing and pouring, asphalt paving and grading operations and keep records of all work performed and the materials used. Public works inspectors may be specialists in one kind of operation such as reinforced concrete, dredging or ditches.
- Property maintenance or housing inspectors inspect existing buildings to check for health or safety violations and the condition of the exterior property.
- Plan reviewers or examiners begin the evaluation process which ensures that a building or structure conforms to the requirements of the local or specified code. The plan reviewer examines the construction documents used to describe a project, including architectural, structural, site plan, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and fire protection drawings as well as the corresponding specifications, structural design calculations and soil report.
- Code enforcement officers evaluate and enforce local building codes. They typically issue warnings or give citations for any code violations they find.
Check out the Code Council’s career step-by-step guide to help you get started in the building safety profession.
If you are a student or professional looking for a new career, check out the Building Safety Career Path Initiative.
If you are a community looking to fund building code training, check out FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs, which can fund eligible building code activities including: providing or pursuing training for building safety professionals; developing planning, training, and exercises for post-disaster building code enforcement through ICC's “When Disaster Strike's Institute” training course; and training building department staff on new software acquired through the grant program.
Importance of Training and Professional Development
Well-trained, motivated building safety professionals are key to creating and maintaining a successful built environment. Thorough training and education help code officials consistently ensure that the buildings in their community are safe, especially in areas vulnerable to natural disasters like tornados and wildfires. The Code Council offers various certification programs and online training to help building safety professionals build their careers.
Visit the Code Council’s Learning Center to learn more about available training options.
Check out the Learning Center's Career Path Roadmaps.
Safety 2.0 Program
According to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Building Science in 2014, the building industry will experience a loss of about 80 percent of the existing skilled workforce over a 15-year period, this will open the door to new job opportunities for incoming building safety workers.
The Code Council has developed Safety 2.0 to welcome a new generation of members and leaders to the building safety profession and provide resources for students, veterans, and others considering a career in the field. The Safety 2.0 initiative continues to expand and includes a wide gamut of programs such as the Technical Training Program, which is geared towards high schools and community colleges to implement building codes into their trades curriculum, and our Military Families Career Path Program, which promotes building safety careers for military personnel after service.
Safety 2.0 also provides information on how veterans can use the military COOL programs to support their building safety journey.
The Code Council in Action
Through the Safety 2.0 initiative, the Code Council is offering training, mentoring, and career advancement opportunities to individuals as they enter and succeed in the profession. Through the mentoring program, whether you are looking for a mentor or want to become a mentor, individuals can help strengthen the future of construction trades by developing skills, gaining knowledge, and helping to guide personal and professional growth.