General Plan Review Questions

Can I submit plans directly to FSCI?
That depends on our agreement with the municipality or fire district.  Please contact our office and we can advise you if a direct submit is permitted by the governmental entity.

Is there a fee associated with FSCI’s plan review and inspection services?
As a third-party plan review and inspection service, FSCI charges plan review and inspection fees.  Typically our fees are directly related to the size of the building or system that is being reviewed or inspected.  Normally, these fees are a one-time fee.  As an example, our fee for a fire protection review would include the initial review and any subsequent reviews necessary for FSCI to recommend approval to the governmental entity we are representing.

When are fees paid?
Most FSCI governmental clients require that FSCI charge the submitting contractor directly.  FSCI determines the plan review fee upon receiving the plans for review and will contact the applicant, usually within 24 hours of plan receipt, with the appropriate fee.  When we also perform site inspections in a jurisdiction, an inspection fee is automatically added to the plan review fee.  Plans are scheduled for review when fees associated with the project are received in our office.

Certain jurisdictions pay FSCI directly for our services and may charge the applicant before issuing the permit for the proposed work.

FSCI suggests that you contact our office and we can advise you of which procedure is being used in a particular jurisdiction being served by FSCI.  We can also provide you with a fee estimate based on information that you are able to provide us.

How long do plan reviews typically take to complete?
Once complete plans and specifications, and where applicable the plan review fee, are received, plans are scheduled for review.  Our goal is to complete all plan reviews within 10 business days.

An expedited plan review service is available for an additional fee.  Expedited review times are 3 business days for fire protection plans and 5 business days for building and life safety plans.  Please contact FSCI for an expedited review fee estimate.

As a contractor, I do work in many areas. How can I find out what each AHJ requires? It seems that many towns not only use different code editions, but also adopt their own ordinances.
That’s true. Municipal requirements do differ from town to town. Always check the municipal website, as many of them provide information about what code edition they enforce. Many also have their ordinances available for view. You can also call FSCI and ask a fire or building consultant prior to submitting plans.

I’m the head of a municipal department and manage my own plan review division. Our workload often fluctuates. Some months are steady and other times we can’t seem to keep up. I don’t want to lose any of my staff. Can I use FSCI on an “as needed” basis?
Absolutely. Many of our clients use our services when they are particularly busy or for a large scale project such as hospitals or high rise buildings. We do not require our clients to maintain a certain amount of work to use us as a resource. We’re here when you need us!

When is FSCI going to approve my plans so I can begin work?
The ultimate decision on when work can begin on any project is made by the local code officials.  Most officials will not allow work to begin on a project, or a portion of a project such as the fire sprinkler or fire alarm systems, until plans have been submitted and approved and a formal permit has been issued.  FSCI does not directly control the issuance of construction permits for any work.  FSCI makes recommendations to our municipal and fire district clients regarding the substantial correctness of plans and specifications sent to our offices for review.  FSCI will either recommend that our client “APPROVE” or “NOT APPROVE” the submittal, but ultimately the final decision to issue a permit so that work can begin is up to the local official(s).

Can I expedite my plan review after they have been submitted and logged in?
Yes.  Upgrading a plan review from a standard review to an expedited review can occur at any time a plan is in our office.  The upgrade can occur on the initial review or any subsequent review.  The expedited review fee is a 100% increase in the base plan review and inspection fee (where applicable).