A Quick Primer on Special Inspections for Gas Station Canopies

Special Inspections, demanded by AHJs, have been part of the International Building Code for years. Almost all types of construction projects today are required to pass these Special Inspections.

A Quick Primer on Special Inspections for Gas Station Canopies

Traditionally, gas station canopies weren’t within the purview of these inspections; however, in the last few years, they’ve been included under the standard, prompting gas station owners to pursue higher quality designs and installations.

But What Are Special Inspections Anyway?

Special Inspections are a set of quality control inspections that are specified for construction projects. These inspections are performed by third-party inspectors, who compile an inspection review report for the concerned project and submit it to the relevant building authorities.

Based on this report, the authorities issue the C of O (Certificate of Occupancy) for the project, affirming that it’s been completed per plan and properly inspected for safety.

Special Inspections and Gas Station Canopies

As mentioned earlier, Special Inspections weren’t initially binding for gas station canopies. Facility owners would install a canopy, and it was up to them whether they wanted to pursue Special Inspections or not. Usually, they would prefer to avoid them, because they cost money and cause unnecessary inconvenience.

However, following stricter code enforcement and increased incidents of canopy failures across the country, AHJs decided to introduce Special Inspections for gas station canopies as well.

Just last year, we saw an old gas station canopy in Effingham been knocked over by strong winds. Thankfully, no injuries or major damages were reported. But it highlighted the need for robust canopy inspections and maintenance programs in the fuel retail industry.

Special Inspections for gas station canopies may include one or more of the following specified inspections:

  • Structural inspection—this involves inspection of welds, splice plate connections, and bolt tightness.
  • Rebar/anchor rods inspection—this involves inspection of rebar/anchor bolts to confirm they match the P.E stamped footing detail.
  • Final “As-Built” inspection—this involves complete inspection of the canopy and is performed when the canopy is installed at the site.

To determine what type of inspections are required for your gas station canopy project, consult your gas station design engineer for assistance.

John W. Kennedy Company is your one-stop shop for gas station equipment and supplies. We sell gas station canopies, service station hardware, underground fuel storage tanks, shop management systems, fuel management system and everything else you need to keep your gas station operational, safe and efficient. Visit our online store to learn more about our product range.

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