Spark arresters

I would like to know if anyone has the exact requirements for spark arresters.
Specific code.When and where do you write it up as lacking?

I call it out every time one is missing or not installed. Doesn’t matter the year of the house. I don’t put it on my summary report but include it in the body of the report.

Section 3707(f) of the Uniform Building Code, Height and Termination, is amended to read:

  1. Every chimney shall extend above the roof and the highest elevation of any part of a building as shown in Table No. 31-B. All chimneys attached to any appliance or fireplace that burns solid fuel shall be equipped with an approved spark arrester. The net free area of the spark arrester shall be not less than four times the net free area of the outlet of the chimney. The spark arrester screen shall have heat and corrosion resistance equivalent to 12-gauge wire, 19-gauge galvanized wire, or 24-gauge stainless steel. Openings shall not permit the passage of spheres having a diameter larger than 1/2 inch and shall not block the passage of spheres having a diameter of less than 3/8 inch.
  2. When the valuation of an addition, alteration or repair to an existing Group R Occupancy exceeds $1,000.00 and a permit is required, a spark arrester shall be installed to the existing chimney in accordance to subsection (a) above.
    *]Prior to January 1, 1992, all existing chimneys shall be fitted with spark arresters whether or not any addition, alteration, or repair has been done on a Group R Occupancy.

Thanks Troy.
I had a little confusion when someone told me it was not required on a wood burning fireplace.Just wanted to make sure I was right , and now have what you put here for backup.
Much appreciated.


I write it up whenever it’s not there. Here in high-fire-hazard-San Diego County, they are an absolute must.

Well, I would call Harwood or Norridge code enforcement and ask. I believe they both use the 06 version of residential code. The building code is geared more for multi units and commercial.

If it’s going to be included on body of the report, why not include it in the summary of the report? Conflicting opinions might prevail, right? Plus, your clients want to know what you are writing up as “an issue”. You have to keep in mind that some clients will skip the body of the report and read the summary only or vice versa, if indeed you offer it…or why not include it all?!

Same here…

The Summary report is my opinion only and besides my report clearly states that this is not a substitute for reading the entire report. And IMHO that does not affect the immediate habitability of the home.
Now high fire danger areas, that very well could be considered a habitability issue, furthermore causing the trees and shrubs surrounding your home to burn your house down:) (not actual wording, point only)

Ed , why would I want to call Norridge ?
I have never done an Inspection there.
Check the union label under my name.