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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Hotel and Motel Inspections


The Residential Care and Lodging Team conducts fire safety inspections of:

  • Hotels, motels 
  • Child care homes and child foster care homes  Photo of someone inspecting a hotel.
  • Child ​care centers
  • Day training and rehabilitation facilities
  • Treatment facilities
  • Adult day services ​centers
  • Special requests and fire hazard complaints submitted by fire departments or other agencies 

The Residential Care and Lodging team was established by the MInnesota Legislature in 1978​ following several tragic losses of life in Minnesota lodging buildings.  Comprehensive fire safety inspections now help make Minnesota a safer travel, vacation, conference destination.

Minnesota hotels, motels and buildings used for lodging, with six or more guest rooms for short-term rentals, are inspected for fire safety once every three years, with follow-up inspections occurring until fire-safety violations are corrected.  Some municipal fire departments conduct fire inspections within their jurisdictions under agreements with the State Fire Marshal Division. 

Find out which hotels and motels in Minnesota are fully outfitted with sprinkler systems by using our inter​active map.

What We Do

The mission of the Residential Care and Lodging Team is to prevent fire deaths and property loss in hotels, motels and residential care homes.  People are most vulnerable when they are sleeping in unfamiliar buildings with no one awake to notice a developing fire.  As the number of people and the size of a building increase, the potential for loss of life increases, too.

The Residential Care and Lodging Team mitigates this hazard through fire safety inspections of all hotels in Minnesota every three years, as required by law, with follow-up inspections as needed to gain compliance with the Minnesota State Fire Code. Training and consultation on fire safety requirements and fire prevention is provided to municipalities who conduct fire safety inspections of hotels and residential care homes, and to building owners, licensors and managers.

Residential care homes (day care, foster care, rehab) are inspected for fire safety when first licensed by the Department of Human Services.

Fire code safety requirements depend on the use of the building, age of construction, size of the building, and other occupancies within the building (such as places of assembly, retail, garages and hazardous areas.)  Fire safety may include fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, fire protected exit corridors and stairways, employee safety training, identifying exit routes, emergency lighting, fire resistive construction and other requirements, depending on the size and use of the building.

Important information for hotel management and employees

The following information sheets provide useful information on a variety of hotel and motel issues.

Logging and recording forms

Use these fillable logging and recording forms to keep track of emergency light testing, portable fire extinguisher testing, emergency generator monthly tests and staff training.

  • Document emergency light testing in this log.
  • Document portable fire extinguisher testing in this log.
  • Document emergency generator monthly testing in this log.
  • Document staff training in this log.

Contact Us

We have nine​ inspectors who work in different parts of the state. This​ map shows which inspector covers your area.