Permits, violations & licenses

Appeal to the Board of Safety and Fire Prevention (BOSFP)

Service overview

The Board of Safety and Fire Prevention (BOSFP) hears appeals of fire code violations issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). If you receive a notice of violation from L&I and it says your appeal should go to this board, you can make an appeal.

You can submit an appeal to:

  • Request a variance from the Philadelphia Fire Code.
  • Request more time to comply with the code.
  • Challenge the code interpretation of a code official.

The board will consider an appeal if:

  • It proposes alternatives that will meet or exceed the intent of the code.
  • The variance request will not be an unreasonable deviation from the code requirements.
  • Enforcement would result in unique or extraordinary conditions that make compliance impractical.
  • Strict compliance with the code would interfere with the historic character of the property and the request does not constitute a safety hazard.
  • You are requesting more time to correct violations and you are working to comply as quickly as possible.

The board will make a recommendation to the commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) for a final decision.

Who

Any property owner or their authorized agent can appeal. Authorized agents may include:

  • Attorneys
  • Consultant (with expertise on the merits of the case)
  • Contractors
  • Design professionals

Requirements

Appeal forms must be signed by the applicant or owner. You must submit the following:

  • Check or money order for $150 payable to the City of Philadelphia.
  • Two copies of the appeal form.
  • One copy of each violation notice issued to the property.

You must mail your appeal application to the Fire Department within 30 days of the date on the violation notice.

To request a variance without first getting a violation notice, mark “Permission Request” on the form.

If the violations have been referred to enforcement court, you must submit a letter of remand from the court.

Where and when

Online appeal submission

You can submit an appeal online using eCLIPSE.

Mail or in-person appeal submission

Philadelphia Fire Department
Board of Safety and Fire Prevention
240 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123-2991

Cost

Appeal cost
$150

Per building

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 (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% 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% 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 authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

How

1
Submit your appeal online, by mail, or in person.

The board will review, accept, and process your application.

2
The board will assign your appeal to a fire code inspector and notify L&I that your case has been accepted.
3
The assigned inspector will conduct an inspection of the property.

The inspector will complete an inspection report.

Follow-up inspections may be necessary.

4
The case will be scheduled to be heard by the board.

You will be notified 7 to 14 before the scheduled hearing.

5
The board will hear the appeal and make a recommendation to the fire commissioner.
6
The fire commissioner will issue a decision.

Forms & instructions

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