Design Professionals & Contractors

Information on this page is designed to assist design professionals, developers and contractors during the design, construction, and inspection phases of projects. If you don’t find the information you are looking for, please call us at 573-874-7556 or e-mail us at

Fire Code:

The City of Columbia currently is using the 2015 International Code Council family of codes. This includes the 2015 International Fire Code and local amendments.

The ICC codes are copyrighted materials which can not be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of the International Code Council. However, the ICC has developed a web site where current and legacy editions of the codes can be viewed at no charge. You will not be able to print, search, copy or paste any of the text, but you can view at no charge.

Plan review process:

The plan review process has been redesigned to allow the design professional or contractor to submit all plan sets to the Office of Building and Site Development located on the third floor of the City Building, 701 E Broadway. After the required set(s) of plans have been delivered, they are checked for accuracy, and then transmitted to each department which will be part of the review process. Within 10 days, plan review comments will be mailed to the point of contact.

This page outlines the commercial development plan review process:

If you have questions, please contact Building and Site Development at 573-874-7474 for assistance.

Fire Suppression Systems Design must be sealed by a Missouri Professional Engineer:

Turning Radius requirements and truck dimensions for fire apparatus:

The following links will provide design professionals with the turning radius and other dimensions of our fire apparatus for use when designing streets, fire apparatus roads, private drives, or parking areas. The 2015 edition of the International Fire Code prohibits a grade incline of greater then 10% without the approval of the Columbia Fire Department. Additional information on required fire apparatus roads and fire apparatus access can be found in Chapter 5 of the 2015 International Fire Code.

Knox Box© and Knox Locking FDC© Caps

All buildings are required to install and maintain a Knox© Box rapid key entry system in an approved location on the exterior of the building. Buildings with multiple tenants, depending on building size, require only one box which can be shared by up to 5 tenants. Large buildings, such as warehouses, malls, etc, may require more then one Knox Box.

Knox Boxes may be ordered on-line with a credit card or an order form can be printed from the Knox Company web site.

As a general rule, the Knox Box 3200 series is the correct Knox Box to order. It is recommended for new concrete or masonry construction that you purchase a recessed Knox Box with a recessed mounting kit available for ordering on the Knox Company Web site.

Knox Locking Fire Department Connection Caps (Storz connection) are required on all new fire sprinkler installations. Locking Knox Caps must be used with adapter kits. Please make sure that you are ordering four inch (4″) caps and the correct adapter kit . Any other size will not work with any Columbia Fire Department hose connections.

If you have any questions regarding the appropriate Knox Box or Knox Locking Fire Department Connection cap, please contact us at 573-874-7556 or e-mail your question to

Acceptance/Commissioning Tests:

Fire detection and suppression systems require acceptance or commissioning tests before they are placed in service. The following is a list of required acceptance tests. You can schedule an acceptance test by calling 573-874-7556. We request that you please call 24 hours in advance of the test so we can ensure the availability of an inspector as well as to ensure that all of the trades which are required can be present.

  • Fire Alarm Systems
  • Fire Sprinkler Systems
    • Fire sprinkler piping inspection must be completed and approved before fire sprinkler pipe is covered. Call 573-874-7556 to request an inspection.
  • Fire Standpipe Systems
  • Fire Pumps
  • Fixed Extinguishing Systems
    • Commercial Cooking Fire Suppression Systems
    • Wet or Chemical Agent Computer Room Fire Suppression Systems
  • Fire Doors
    • Roll Down
    • Hinged
  • Fire Dampers

Tenant identification and posting of building address

The building address is how emergency services locate an emergency. Correct numbers of the proper size and contrast are critical in emergency services locating an address in low-light and poor weather conditions. In addition, tenants in malls with service corridor doors and tenants in strip malls with rear doors must post identification on those doors as well.

The 2015 Building and Fire Code both state the minimum size of address numbers is four (4) inches in height with a minimum stroke (width) of one-half (1/2) inch. The code further states that the address numbers must be visible from a public right of way which is generally classified as the roadway the building is addressed to. This means that in some cases, the four inch minimum height may not be sufficient and larger numbers may be required.

The rear service corridor doors and rear doors of spaces in strip-malls must be labeled with the tenant name and the suite number. The minimum size of these letters and numbers has been set by local policy at two (2) inches in height and one-half (1/2) inch wide. These letters and numbers must also contrast to the background they are affixed to.

If you have any questions regarding the required size of address numbers or tenant identification, you are urged to contact the Fire Marshal’s office at 573-874-7556 and request to speak to an assistant fire marshal.