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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Fire Suppression Systems Permit

Service overview

You need this permit to do work on a fire suppression system.

This includes:

  • Sprinkler piping and heads (wet, dry, and chemical systems).
  • Standpipes.
  • Fire pumps.
  • Backflow prevention devices.
  • Fire department connections.
  • Fire hydrants.
  • Associated valves and other controls.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues Fire Suppression Systems permits.

EZ permits

Some kinds of work are eligible for EZ permits, which do not require you to submit plans. This includes:

  • Relocation of sprinkler heads only – both commercial and residential.
  • Installation of a kitchen hood fire suppression system.

Rough-in Permits

You can get a Rough-in Permit to install fire suppression system piping before the full permit is issued. Site Work Permits are not eligible.

You must first submit an application for a Fire Suppression Permit, including plans and the associated fees. You must request and describe rough-in work on the permit application. Once the Fire Suppression Permit application and associated plans are accepted for review, you must submit a separate application for rough-in approval.

You cannot get rough-in approval once the full permit has been approved. Rough-in approval lasts for 60 days and the work must not be concealed.

Who

Any property owner or their authorized agent can apply for this permit. Authorized agents may include:

  • Fire suppression system contractors
  • Design professionals.
  • Attorneys.
  • Licensed expediters.

Requirements

Permit application

The permit application must include the complete scope of work and current owner information.

Contractor

A fire suppression systems contractor must perform all work. The contractor must:

  • Have active license.
  • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
  • Have current insurance on file with L&I.

The contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project before a permit may be issued.

Backflow devices may only be installed by an approved technician.

Plans

If your application requires plans, they must follow plan requirements.

Plans are not required for the following work if it adheres to the EZ Permit Standard.

Forms and other documents

  • Asbestos Inspection Report, if:
    • Installed in an existing building,
    • The cost of work exceeds $50,000, and
    • The building was constructed prior to January 1, 1981.
  • Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) Form CP100: For backflow devices
  • Water Flow Test Data Form: To accompany all applications except for sprinkler head relocation only.
  • Dry & Wet Chemical Extinguishing System Data Sheet:For chemical extinguishing systems (not required if using the EZ Standard for Kitchen Fire Suppression Systems)
  • If a new fire pump or jockey pump is included, submit the manufacturer’s specifications for proposed models.

Contact Air Management Services in the Health Department for information on asbestos investigation and abatement.

Related permits

  • If the project requires a Building Permit (for new construction, additions, alterations), it must be issued prior to a Fire Suppression Systems Permit.
  • Projects involving paint spray booths require a Mechanical Permit (for the hood) prior to a Fire Suppression System Permit.
  • If any component of the system requires electrical power, such as a pump, you will need to get an Electrical Permit.
  • You need separate permits from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) for connections to the water main or sewer and for water meters. Contact PWD at (215) 685-6271 or email wtr@phila.gov.
  • All disturbances to the City sidewalk require a Department of Streets footway permit. This permit may be issued by the Water Department with a connection permit.

Required pre-approvals

For historic properties

More +

For water service and pressure flow data 

More +

For any free-standing equipment, such as a Fire Department connection, that will be put in the right-of-way

More +

For some healthcare and medical care facilities

More +

Where and when

Online

You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.

In person

You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center in person.

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

Fee types that may apply

Filing fee

  • $100

This fee is nonrefundable. It will be credited towards the final permit fee.

Permit fee

  • Each sprinkler head: $12.40
  • Backflow devices, when submitted separately: $129
  • Standpipe riser (per floor): $62 each
  • Fire pumps: $284 each
  • Commercial cooking extinguishing systems: $129 each
  • Fire hydrants: $62 each
  • Sprinkler head relocation: $62 for the first 20, plus $4.10 per each additional
  • Minimum Fee: $155
  • One-or-two-family dwellings only
    • New system: $155
    • Sprinkler head relocation or system alteration: $56

Surcharge fees

  • City surcharge: $3 per permit
  • State surcharge: $4.50 per permit

Record retention fee

  • Per page over 8.5 in. by 14 in.: $4

Rough-in Permit fee

  • $155

Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)

Applications for new construction that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.

  • Fee: $1050
    • $350 is due when you apply. You must pay the remainder once approved.

To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review Request form and submit with your permit application. Accelerated review fees will not be credited toward your final permit fee.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info.

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

How

You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center or online using eCLIPSE.

In person

1
Get any prerequisite approvals before submitting your application to L&I.
2
Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.

Applications with plans are processed within 20 business days.

  • The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.
  • Applications without plans will be reviewed while you wait.
    • You are limited to three applications per ticket.
    • Applications without plans must be made by a licensed contractor or include a signed statement on the contractor’s letterhead confirming their involvement with the project.
  • If you are applying for a Rough-in Permit, it may be issued immediately.
3
If approved, the applicant will receive notice to pay the balance.

If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

Before a permit may be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.

4
Once approved, schedule your inspection.

Contact your local inspection office when the contractor is ready to start work. The contact information and required inspections will be noted on your permit.

A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.

Online

1
Log in to your eCLIPSE account and apply for a permit. Upload all required documents and pay the filing fee.

If applying as a licensed professional or contractor, you must first associate your license or registration with your online account.

2
The application will go to L&I and other City departments for review and approval.
  • Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.
  • Applications with plans are processed within 20 days business days.
    • The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.
  • Most applications without plans are processed within 5 business days.
  • Rough-in Permits may be issued immediately when:
    • The named contractor has an active license.
    • The contractor is tax compliant.
    • The contractor has current insurance on file with L&I.
3
If approved, the applicant will receive notice to pay the balance.

If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

4
Once you are approved, schedule an inspection.

When the contractor is ready to start work, request an inspection through eCLIPSE or by calling (215) 255-4040.

Approval documents will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.


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