No property owner, agent, or representative of the owner may construct, alter, or change the use of any structure to become a public building without first obtaining a permit from the Commissioner of Public Safety. A request for a permit shall be accompanied by a true copy, (an accurate representation by dimensioned plans and specifications of the final construction documents), of the plans and specifications for that construction, reconstruction, or change of use. The Commissioner shall issue a permit only if the plans comply with statutes and lawful regulations promulgated to reduce fire hazards.

The term "public building" shall include any building or structure constructed, operated or maintained for use by the general public, which shall include, but not be limited to, all buildings or portions of buildings used for a schoolhouse, hospital, convalescent home, nursing or boarding home to be licensed by the Department of Human Services, Division of Licensing and Certification; theater or other place of public assembly, mercantile occupancy over 3,000 square feet, hotel, motel, or business occupancy of two or more stories or any building to be state owned or operated.

State of Maine Laws for the Fire Service may be referenced at Fire Service Laws.

Construction Permits are required for public buildings, whether it is new construction, renovation work affecting fire safety elements, or change of use. The construction permit will be required regardless of the project cost. The list of "public buildings" below is not all-inclusive. Please call if you are not certain if your project will require a construction permit from the State. 

Main Office line:                                                                     (207) 626-3880

Plans Review Supervisor Marc Veilleux desk phone:           (207) 626-3991

Plan Reviewer Bradley Loon desk phone:                           (207) 626-3890

Plan Reviewer Kyle Chamot desk phone:                     (207) 626-3884


Definitions of occupancy type:

  • Educational: Occupancies such as schools, and day care centers (more than 12 children).
  • Health Care: Occupancies such as hospitals, convalescent homes, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, and board and care facilities.
  • Places of Assembly: such as auditoriums, bowling lanes, churches, conference rooms, courtrooms, dance halls, drinking establishments, exhibition halls, gymnasiums, libraries, theaters, passenger terminals, pool rooms, recreational, piers, restaurants, auction halls, and skating rinks.
  • Mercantile: Occupancies such as shopping centers, department stores, auction rooms, and supermarket.
    • Class A - 30,000 square feet plus, or 3 stories
    • Class B - 3,000 to 29,000 square feet, or 2 stories
  • Hotel, Motel, and Dormitory: Occupancies two or more stories; more than 16 accommodations.
  • Lodging or Rooming: Occupancies providing more than 3 but not more than 16 accommodations. (Accommodation means the sleeping area for one person. A double bed or larger would constitute more than one accommodation. A fold-out couch in a room of a condo for lease would constitute a sleeping room and two accommodations.)
  • Business: Occupancies one story of 3,000 square feet or more, or two or more stories; such as: city halls, college instructional buildings, courthouses, dentist offices, general offices, research laboratories, ambulatory outpatient clinics, and town offices.

Permitting Guidance; Do I need a permit? FMO CBF Permiting (

For more information please contact Licensing and Inspections at (207) 626-3880.