Fire Service Offers Amnesty on Inspections

ST. JOHN — The Virgin Islands Fire Service has notified all individuals and entities holding an expired Fire Safety Certificate of its intention to offer an amnesty period to facilitate coming into compliance.

While the Fire Service is not insensitive to the difficult economic times being experienced by some, Virgin Islands law provides that all Fire Safety Inspection shall be renewed on an annual basis.  When a licensee does not renew annually, that delinquent licensee is charged a percentage of the license fee as a late fee penalty for each month the Certificate is not renewed.

However, Virgin Islands law also provides the Director of the Fire Service the authority to use discretion in waiving or reducing penalties, the Fire Service announced.  The inspection fee itself however is mandatory and cannot be waived or reduced.

Therefore, effective immediately, delinquent Inspection Certificates are given until Monday, August 31, to come into compliance with respect to renewing any Safety Certificates that are not current.  The Fire Service, in turn, shall provide a reduction on late penalty fees of 26 percent of the total owed by a delinquent licensee.  This offer shall expire at the close of the business day on Monday, August 31, 2015.

This amnesty offer is specific to late fee penalties for delinquent Certificate renewal and is not applicable to those licensees who have not paid or are contesting the payment of a citation(s) and or fines issued by the VI Fire Service for infractions of the law.

Finally, the Virgin Islands Fire Service urges all individuals and/or entities that are operating a business in the Virgin Islands without the proper Fire Inspection Certificates to come into compliance with Virgin Islands law.

The law requires all individuals and/or entities doing business in the Virgin Islands to procure a Fire Safety Inspection Certificate from the Virgin Islands Fire Service prior to receiving or renewing a business license.  Failure to do so shall result in legal action being taken against you to the fullest extent of the law.

Persons unsure if they are in compliance can contact the V.I. Fire Service on St. Thomas/St. John at (340) 774-7610 or on St. Croix at (340) 773-8050.