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Residential Property Resale Inspection

home-for-sale-signTown municipal codes require a Residential Property Resale Inspection on any single family dwelling listed for sale within the Towns limits of RossFairfax, and San Anselmo. Resale Inspections are not required on individual condominiums or townhomes unless the entire complex is being sold.  A fee of $190 (effective 7/1/2016) is assessed for each inspection. Ross Valley Fire Department Fire Inspectors will complete the inspection within 1 week of application submittal.  To schedule an inspection, please apply and pay below. 

The Residential Property Resale Inspection is an exterior inspection of the residence required to ensure compliance with state law and local ordinances, primarily related to wildfire hazards.  The report and code requirements are to be included in the seller's disclosures.  Buyers are required to maintain properties in compliance with vegetation management and wildfire hazard codes and standards.

An appointment time is not required, as we do not enter the dwelling.  If you would like to meet with the inspector, please request an appointment at the time you apply for the inspection, and the inspector will contact you to schedule a time.

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New for 2021. Your payment will be processed by Square.  All credit cards are accepted.

Fun fact:  The San Anselmo Town Ordinance for resale inspections was initially adopted by Ord. 590, effective December 25, 1969. There have been a few changes to the original ordinance, last being in 1979.


Fire Inspectors will be looking for the following items during the inspection (complete requirements are shown below):

  • All properties are required to meet the flammable vegetation clearance requirements of PRC 4291 and Ca Gov Code 51189. Section 4291 of the CA Public Resources Code.
  • Maintenance of "defensible space" for a distance of 100 feet (or to the property line) from all structures is required.  This includes clearance of all combustible vegetation, dead limbs, fallen leaves, and needles.  Additional defensible space guidelines and tips are available from FIRESafe MARIN.
  • Additional clearance and removal of combustibles and pyrophytic plants is required within 30' of all structures.
  • Certain plant species, notably juniper, bamboo, or other pyrophytic plants, must be completely removed if within 30' of structures, driveways, or roadways.
  • Any tree limbs extending within 10 feet of the outlet of a chimney, or 6 feet from the roof, must be removed.
  • Trees adjacent to or overhanging a building must be completely free of dead wood.
  • Address numbers must be plainly visible and legible from the road fronting the property.  Numbers must be at least 4 inches tall and a color that contrasts with their background (an address number painted on a curb is not acceptable).
  • Combustible vegetation must be cleared within 10 feet (horizontally) of roadways, and 15 feet overhead.
  • A spark arrestor of heavy wire mesh with openings between 3/8 and 1/2 inch is required on all chimneys.
  • Additional items may be required for compliance with state law or local ordinances related to wildfire hazards upon inspection.


Each seller must disclose that the property is required to meet the flammable vegetation clearance requirements of PRC 4291 and Ca Gov Code 51189. Section 4291 of the Public Resources Code, State of California.  Section 104.3 of the California Fire Code, authorizes the department to inspect properties for the purposes of ascertaining compliance with State and local Forest and Fire Laws.

A minimum of 100' of Defensible Space is required by law!  Defensible space is the area around a structure where vegetation has been modified to reduce the intensity of a wildfire. This reduces the amount of heat to which structures are exposed and helps firefighters protect your property during a wildfire.  Creating Defensible Space does NOT require a property owner to remove all landscaping and vegetation! Creating Defensible Space simply requires maintaining vegetation according to a set of flexible standards.  If you do not have adequate Defensible Space, firefighters may choose not to protect your home during a wildfire due to the life-safety risk.

Cut all dry grasses to 3 inches or less.  Rake and remove clippings and maintain regularly during fire season.

Remove all leaves and needles from roof and rain gutters.  Maintain regularly during fire season.

Remove all dead tree limbs and any branch with leaves or needles within 10' of the ground on mature trees.  Remove tree limbs to 1/3rd the height of tree if tree is less 30 feet in height.

Remove combustible vegetation from the edge of driveways 15 feet vertically and 10 feet horizontally for fire engine clearance.

Remove all dead branches, leaves, and foliage from trees, bushes, and ground cover.  Remove all dead vegetation and brush piles on the ground.

Minimum of 4-inch address numbers shall be placed in such a position as to be plainly visible and legible from the street or road fronting the property.  Address numbers shall contrast with their background.

Remove all tree branches within 6 feet of the roof, decks, or 10 feet from any chimney opening.

Store combustibles (firewood, lumber, etc...) no closer than 30 feet to structures or enclose in a fire resistant location.

Remove all combustible vegetation and materials from underneath decks and balconies.

Chimneys serving fireplaces, barbecues, incinerators, or decorative heating appliances in which solid or liquid fuel is used, shall be provided with a spark arrester.  Spark arrester shall be constructed of woven or welded wire screening of 12 USA standard gauge wire having openings not exceeding 1/2 inch.

Remove all combustible vegetation and materials within 15 feet of propane tank(s).  Combustible (wood) enclosures or fencing are not allowed.

Add separation (2X the height) between fire resistant plants and remove all pyrophytic plants within 30 feet of the structure(s). "Gorilla Hair" mulch, and certain species such as bamboo and juniper (including pyrophytic plants) within 30 feet of any structure, or 10' from any roadway or driveway, must be removed.  Mulch should be non-combustible, compost, or bark greater than 1/4" diameter.

Electronic Gates are required to have a KNOX key override switch.

To meet standards and abate hazards, additional requirements may be listed following inspection, in addition to those listed above.

CFC Section 4907.4 Notice to Abate. The Fire Chief is hereby authorized to require the abatement of any nuisance condition described in Section 4907.2 and 4907.3.  Should the abatement of the nuisance not be accomplished by the owner of the affected property within the period set forth, the Fire Chief is authorized to perform such abatement without further notice to the property owner, the cost of such abatement will be assessed as a lien against the property.

Our Mission

To protect the lives, property and environment of Ross, San Anselmo, Sleepy Hollow and Fairfax through education, prevention and community service in a professional and caring manner that is fair, honest, respectful and ethical.

Contact Us

Ross Valley Fire Department
777 San Anselmo Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960 USA
Tel: (415) 258-4686

For Emergencies, Dial 9-1-1